Thursday, June 16, 2011

Camp Across America - Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania

The next leg of our "Camp Across America" Road Trip brought us from Minnesota through Wisconsin to Illinois. We found some of the BEST stuff in Minnesota and we were surprised at how beautiful it is there!

About half-way through the state, in Blue Earth, Minnesota, we came cross a 55 foot tall statue of the Green Giant

If you thought a giant, giant was cool, you are in for a treat with the Spam Museum in Austin, MN! It may surprise you to know that neither of us have every actually tried SPAM and even after visiting the museum, we're not sure we will be brave enough to pull the trigger on that one.  We did love the museum though!


Ron was able to try his hand at the SPAM assembly line. He filled and labeled a fake can of SPAM while wearing the assembly worker's uniform. 

A few hours later, we arrived in Wisconsin. We are sad to report that we did not take the opportunity to sample any Wisconsin cheese. I don't know what we were thinking! 

We did however stop to get gas right near this awesome pink elephant. 

That night we camped at the Adeline Jay Geo Karis Illinois Beach. Our campsite was just a short walk away from the shore. It was pretty deserted and pretty chilly so we didn't take the opportunity to jump in the water but Kelly skipped rocks at sunset and we both enjoyed burying our toes in the smooth pebbled sand.

The next day we detoured a little bit back to Pleasant Prairie, WI to check out the Jelly Belly Factory. We were told not to take pictures during the tour and we were disappointed to miss photo-ops with giant beans and pictures made of tons and tons of Jelly Bellies. As you can see below, the entire tour was conducted on a little train!

As we traveled through Chicago, Kelly fell asleep in the car for the first time during the whole trip. She wasn't too disappointed when she woke up because she was born not far from Chicago and has visited the Windy City before. We discovered later that night that she had a fever, and when we both started sneezing, we were glad we only had one more day left on our trip. But stuff heads didn't keep us from enjoying this Chicago gem!

This Chicago legend did not disappoint! Ron had a Superdawg with fries and Kelly had a Supercheesie with fries. Both came with delicious hot peppers and a pickled green tomato that was to die for! 

We did have to miss out on White Castle for this experience and Kelly still isn't convinced that we shouldn't have spend an extra day in the mid-west just to stop for those little steamed burgers, but we guess that will just give us a reason to head back soon!

Another highlight of this day was driving through Chesterton, Indiana and the house where Kelly spent the first 2 years of her life. Chesterton is a cute little town with big yards and lots of trees. Much of Kelly's family is still there but having lived in California for the vast majority of her life, she doesn't know her family well and we weren't able to stop in. 

That night found us camped out in a funny little campground in Ohio. I wish we were feeling well enough to take pictures of this place! We stayed at the Leafy Oaks campground where the owners were kind enough to upgrade our tent site to a nice spot by the lake. We were the only tent campers in a large land of mobile homes and permanent RV campers. Lets just say that Flemming Goh felt right at home here. 

The morning came and we headed out in a hurry after showers that may have made us dirtier than we were before and that evening we arrived at the Dice house in Strasburg, Pennsylvania! 

Home Sweet Home
...Sort of...

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