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Wisconsin 2006

This was my annual trip to Wisconsin to enjoy the 4th of July celebration at the West Farm. I decided to use the little Toyota Echo since it gets twice as much gas mileage as the Westy GTRV van. I felt completely recovered from the February knee surgery and the Alaska Cruise.

Left Ocala on Sunday, June 18, 2006, one week after a short camping trip to Paynes Prairie was aborted due to tropical storm Alberto. First stop was at Coast to Coast Sunset King Lake RV Resort in the panhandle where I had to put up my little tent in the sun between two huge Class A RV's. There was a swimming pool for cooling off.

Next stop was Sam Houston Jones State Park, Lake Charles, Louisiana. No sun, but a constant light rain. Did some hiking and photography using an umbrella.

wet tent
Val at San Antonio Zoo

Arrived in Austin to stay with daughter Valerie, her husband Larry, and their engaging dog Peri. Visited the San Antonio Zoo, Zilker Botanical Garden, and Hartman Prehistoric Garden with a replica of Ornithomimid Dinosaur from the Cretaceous Period.

Peri and Val
Peri and Val
Ornithomimid Dinosaur

Visited Texas State History Museum, IMAX Theater showing Deep Sea 3D, Wild-Connections Butterfly Farm and Nature Center, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, accompanied a group on a butterfly count at several locations, hiking at McKinney Falls State Park.

butterfly farm
Wild-Connections Butterfly Farm
butterfly group
butterfly Count
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Val by pond
McKinney Falls
McKinney Falls

Visited Larry's mother in Waco, the Harry and Anna Jeanes Discovery Center in the Sue and Frank Mayborn Natural Science and Cultural History Museum Complex at Baylor University, Fort Worth Zoo, and the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco.

Larry, Julia, and Val at Museum
Cameron Park Zoo
Ape and Val

Leaving Austin (Photo by Larry)

On Thursday, June 29, I left Austin heading for Wisconsin. I had planned to stay at a couple of Coast to Coast resorts on the way there, not realizing that the 4th of July holiday would affect my plans. The first resort would not admit me because of the holiday ban for non-home-members. So I stopped at a motel in Emporia, Kansas, recommended by Val which was half way to Turtle Lake, Wisconsin. It would have been too hot for tent camping anyway.

It was even hot in Turtle Lake, where Vicky and the kids were enjoying their new swimming pool in their back yard. They had another great 4th of July celebration on the West Farm. I used a tripod to catch some of the magnificent pyrotechnics.


After the big party and following cleanup, back to the regular schedule of endless activities - violin lessons, T-ball games, taking care of all the horses and ponies, exploring Apple River, 4H activities, county fair with tractor pulls, parades, foot races, singing with the weinermobile, turtle races and turtle rescue releases in nearby lakes.

Lucas - Violin Lessons
Horses and Ponies

Apple Creek
Apple Creek Picnic

Isabella - Tractor Pull
Three Penguins on Parade

oscar mayer

More activities including riding lessons, swimming in a lake, a breeding program for horses and ponies with visits to some local farms, and fantastically beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

Lucas, Isabella, and Barney
Vicky, Amie, and Barney

the girls
Amie and Isabella
Pipe Lake swimming

Two of the Ponies

Vicky, Ev, and Tom (Photo by Lucas)

Left Wisconsin on Thursday, July 13, and stopped in Milwaukee to visit a dear friend. Then, on to Joliet to stay with my sister Peggy and visit several relatives at the 80th family picnic. It was a hot day, but there still was food, fun, games, and much reminiscing.

Left the next day, stopping midway at a motel on top of a mountain in Monteagle, Tennessee - with a swimming pool.

Total mileage on the trip was 4,002 miles. The Toyota Echo and deLorme GPS performed very well, but I missed the GTRV Westy.

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