Week 18 – Milwaukee, WI

 

Another very full week has come and gone! As we sit here to start the recap, it’s hard to believe how much we fit into this week! Some adventuring, some family time, a wedding, a lot of driving, and of course, swimming, biking, and running.

20160906_111430We left you last week still in the beautiful town of Petosky, MI having just come off some incredible running and biking days. After Monday’s rest day to get caught up on sleep and chores, we set out to have a day of fun on Tuesday! We had driven up to Mackinaw City the night before, so we woke up on Tuesday morning already in the parking lot to catch the ferry over to Mackinac Island. Mackinac Island is a cute little island (only 3.8 square miles) about 20 minutes away from Mackinaw City by ferry. We choose to take the ferry that goes under the Mackinac Bridge so we’d get a nice view of the 5 mile long, pretty 20160906_115832spectacular bridge. Once on the island, we got to experience its charm and old-world feel. They don’t allow motorized vehicles on the island so everyone gets around by horse drawn carriage (including the Amazon delivery guy) or by bicycle. Naturally, we had to rent a tandem bike to explore the island so we picked that up as soon as we got off the ferry. We rode through the main street, past souvenir shops, restaurants, fudge shops, and other storefronts designed to lure in the tourists. From there, you can follow a bike path the entire eight mile loop around the island, with some stops at various sightseeing locations. We rode the first mile, stopped to climb at least 100 stairs to see the natural arch and get some aerial footage of the island with Jim’s quadcopter. Once we went down the never-ending staircase, we got back on our bike and continued around the loop….until it started downpouring! Not just a drizzle but an actual downpour! We tried 20160906_123803to pull over and hide under some trees, hoping it might die down. But once we realized it wasn’t going to stop, we jumped back on the bike and made the best of it, peddling and laughing the entire two miles it took us to get back to town. By the time we got back, we were soaked all the way through to our underwear and now a bit chilly. We turned the bike back in and ducked into a small, warm restaurant where we had coffee and burgers until we were a little warmer and our tummies were nice and full. No visit to Mackinac Island would be complete without a trip to a fudge shop, so after lunch we stopped in for some 20160906_135635free samples and walked out with a nice big chunk of dark chocolate sea-salt caramel fudge. Yummmm! We took the fudge over to a great little spot with awesome views to savor it and to get some more footage with the drone. At this point in the afternoon, we were still damp and a bit chilly so we decided to head back to Bertha and end the day of fun.

We had really hoped to have more time to explore once we crossed the bridge into the Upper Peninsula, we’ve heard it’s a beautiful area to hike and camp. Sadly, however, we were now on a bit of a time crunch so after our afternoon on the island, we decided to start the drive. We drove into the UP Tuesday afternoon and ended the day in a very busy Walmart parking lot in Escanaba, MI, about 150 miles away. It was just a place to have dinner and rest for the night before 20160907_165203we hit the road again early the next day and crossed the border into Wisconsin. Before leaving the UP, however, we had to stop and try a pasty (see related Instagram post for details), they were delish and Bertha’s first successful drive thru trip!

Wednesday afternoon we pulled into Oconto, WI (about 80 miles from the Walmart) and got all settled into an RV park for the next two nights. It was awesome because it was the cheapest park we’ve stayed at yet – $15 a night! It was really pretty, right on the water, and perfect as we had a to-do list of things to get done around Bertha, workwise, and training of course. We got more funny looks as we rode our stationary bike trainers in the shade of the tree we were parked next to, but that’s ok.

GOPR4904-0001Friday morning we got Bertha all loaded up and ready for departure and headed off to Green Bay! For those of you who don’t know, Jim’s dad actually played for the Packers briefly back in the early 70’s (he was drafted to the military shortly thereafter), so Green Bay has an extra special place in the Burho heart. We parked Bertha across the street from Lambeau Field and Jim took off to get some aerial shots of the stadium. The neighborhood around there was extremely fan-based, as you can imagine. Yellow and green everywhere, even the garbage cans! We weren’t in Green Bay much longer after that (just long enough to shove burritos in our faces), before we set off toward Steven’s Point, WI. We had been planning the last few weeks around ensuring we’d make it back around to Wisconsin in time for Eric and Abbie’s wedding (Eric is Jim’s cousin on the Burho side). We pulled into Steven’s Point on Friday evening with just enough time to change into some nicer clothes and make it to the rehearsal dinner at 5:00. We weren’t a 20160909_171632part of the actual rehearsal, but the couple invited family to the dinner that evening and had planned an entire cabaret-style musical performance. It was the coolest thing ever. The dinner was in an old flour mill and it was so wonderfully decorated. We enjoyed a super delicious dinner and an open bar before the musical numbers began. One by one, Eric and Abbie’s friends, and many of Abbie’s family members, took the stage to wow us with their musical talents. We’ve never met an entire family with this kind of musical gift before, it was such an enjoyable evening! Luckily, we had parked Bertha only a few feet from the mill so we were able to find our way home easily that night!

Saturday was the day of the wedding. We slept in before Heather headed out for a long run along the highways of Wisconsin. It was a very diverse run…it rained, the wind blew, the sun beat down, and it was quite humid. It kept things interesting at least, the views were mainly of barns and cornfields but it was pretty. Jim’s folks came and picked us up 20160910_164233for the wedding a few hours later, it was being held in the barn where Abbie actually grew up playing as a child. It was definitely one of the sweetest and most beautiful weddings we’ve ever been to. Just like the night before, the wedding was full of music – songs during the ceremony by both individual family members as well as group song. It was sweet and heartfelt and just the kind of wedding where you can feel the love in the room. The reception was held outside of the barn in a beautiful white tent, they did such a great job of decorating and had some really creative ideas to interact with their guests. We were IMG_20160910_225137given kazoos as favors so if you wanted the couple to kiss, you had to play them a song on your kazoo. They also had each family select a postcard, each one has a date on the back as to when you should send it to the couple; this way they get postcards from their friends and family every week during their first year of marriage! We spent the evening dancing the night away with family and new friends, they had a wonderful brass band and it was a lot of fun. Never had we seen a dance floor where everyone was up and dancing so early in the evening!

IMG_7232Sunday morning we wanted to get in a little more family time, so we met up with dad, Sheila, and cousins John, Jerry, and Jen. We really wished we had gotten a photo, we ate at a really cute little place in downtown Steven’s Point (which was surprisingly cute itself). After saying goodbye to everyone once breakfast was over, we sat down to figure out where we wanted to head next, when we realized that Ironman Wisconsin was currently happening just about an hour south of us in Madison. So we hit the road, found a YMCA where Heather was able to swim and shower while Jim headed out on long run toward the 20160911_231522finish line. We met back up after our respective workouts, had some dinner, and around 10pm, decided to take the motorcycle down to watch the last hour or so of the race. The last hour is so powerful to watch as the last runners come in, they’ve been out swimming, biking, and running since 7am and you can see the emotion on their face as they come into the finish line close to midnight. It’s an electric feeling in the air with the crowd and powerful experience if you ever get the chance to go watch one.

Our normal schedule of running on Saturdays and cycling on Sundays was a little thrown off this week, so we woke up on Monday morning to head out for the week’s long ride. We had found a nice bike path heading northeast out of Madison, toward a lake and decided to check it out. Most of the ride was pretty great; nice bike paths and nice wide 20160912_142438shoulders on the highways, but a lot of it smelled like a diary farm. To be expected, no doubt. Though, after miles of farmland, we pulled into the state park and were shocked to find it lush, green, and super beautiful! We rode down to the lake, which was also amazing, and took a little snack break before heading back the way we came. Six hours later, we were thrilled to make it back to Bertha…but we were also very late. The ride took a bit longer than we expected due to very strong headwinds on the way back and we had made dinner plans with one of Jim’s old elementary school friends. Luckily, she was ok with us being 20160913_123650late (especially since we brought wine). We jumped on the motorcycle and made it to her house…about an hour and a half later than planned. Sara and Jim went to school together back in Glendale, AZ, they’ve known each other since the third grade, so it was really cool for them to get together. We met her husband, Jeff, her three very well behaved children, and their hamster, Marshmallow. Once she got the kids to bed, she served up a yummy meal of venison (Heather’s second time ever trying venison) and we got to hang out and catch up for a few hours. Being that Sara, Jim, and Heather all went to the same high school, it was interesting sharing stories of the old days.

We finally got back to Bertha and into bed around 1:00am that night, making Monday a very good, but very long day. Thankfully Tuesday was rest day so we slept in and got some chores done to set up for the coming week. We drove to Milwaukee on Tuesday evening and are looking forward to continuing our way east again, through Chicago and into Michigan again in this coming week.

We know it was a long update this week, thanks for staying with us!

Total RV Trip Miles: 7,284

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