When planning this road trip, I was excited to see friends, family, and the sites along the way, but I was also excited to see what the country looks like between those things. The destinations are awesome, but getting there is half the fun (my lovely wife may think otherwise)! For those readers who also wish to know what can be found in the wilds of Wisconsin and Minnesota, read on!
The answer: Apparently not much can be found on I-90 in Wisconsin and even less can be found on I-90 through Minnesota.
I will elaborate, lest you feel you have been given short shrift. Wisconsin is actually a very pleasant state. It has green, rolling hills and dairy farms dotting the countryside. As we drove north and west of Madison, the hills became more jagged, and as you saw in Mica’s post, some interesting rock formations popped up. I should also mention the area surrounding Wisconsin Dells, which appeared to be some bizarre water park resort destination. Please comment if you know what is up with that.
Upon crossing the Mississippi at La Crosse, Wisconsin, we were greeted by the relentless plains of southern Minnesota. There is so little in southern Minnesota that the road signs saw it fit to tell me that we were approaching the burg of Albert Lea, MN (pop: 18k) from 100 miles out. There was just nothing else in between. Plains gave way to sad little hills, which gave way to more plains. The interstate was, by and large, straight as a pin, and there were typically about 5 or 10 cars per mile of highway. I think I saw more wind turbines than on any other day of my life, even after living in Illinois for five years. I don’t mean to imply that the state of Minnesota is boring; we were just in a boring part of it (less “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” more “I Can Tell We’re Not Far From Iowa” (no offense Kim, and other Iowa natives!) (sorry for double parentheses!)). Someday we’ll see the prettier and more interesting parts, but today was not that day.
Tomorrow we spend a solid day driving across South Dakota, but I am confident it will be more interesting. Faces on mountains and stuff.
11 thoughts on “Round Lake, IL to Sioux Falls, SD: Driver’s Log”
Yeah, the Wisconsin Dells are some kind of cross between Disney World and Six Flags in terms of level of excitement. – Chicagoland kids would see the ads on TV all the time (That and Indiana Beach) both had amazing jingles.
Did tiny Chicagoland Jordan get to go???
The only thing I really remember about driving through Minnesota was the fact that I had zero cell phone signal within the state. Sorry Minnesota!
I had full service (but sometimes only 3G) with Verizon in Minnesota. South Dakota? Not so much.
As a resident of Wisconsin for the first 10 years of my life, the Dells played an essential part of my family vacation experience. I would like to say we have stayed at all major hotels in the area, however by now there are even more incredibly large mega hotels that my little child-sized brain couldn’t have even fathomed. Here are some key words I associate with the Dells. Moccasins, Family Land (our family was too cheap for the more publicized Noah’s Ark), wooden roller coasters, Big Chief go-karts, henna tattoos (and for the of age tramp stamps a-plenty), THE DUCKS (google this if you don’t know what they are), Tommy Bartlett Water Show, Robot World, the Wonder Spot, and Paul Bunyan all-you-can-eat pancakes.
Oh, the nostalgia!
This sounds like the things that both dreams and nightmares are made of.
OK! Miss Ing here lived in WI for 24 years amongst the rolling hills and farms, I grew up on a farm of course and frequented the Dells yearly for at least 1 day since we couldn’t ‘get away’ from the farm. I prefer Noah’s Ark Amusement park. Mike on the other hand grew up in Elroy, WI between Madison and LaCrosse. HE on the other hand had a summer job in the Dells selling concessions at Family Land. TRUE STORIES HERE! He hated it and still does! I would go back to the Dells for some sun and water rides! Something extremely weird and disgusting all at the same time: my friends and I had a game we played while visiting Noah’s Ark, we would count how many hairy backs we saw. I know, classy!
This is why we’re friends, Ing!!
Maybe Mike has been in the tunnels on the Elroy Sparta Trail!!!!!!!!!!
Ha! No offense. I was reading that thinking “eww, sounds like driving through IA!” Ha ha ha. I have a super hard time staying awake on the trips out of Iowa. The road is sooooo boring.
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