Sunday, July 5, 2009

Day 7: Chicago, IL to Worthington, MN

We had a relaxing morning in Chicago today to recover from the long drive a couple of days ago. Ron did a little shopping on the Miracle Mile to get some binoculars and pick up a new inverter for charging the computers in the car. Re-packing the car took a while, too, so we didn't get on the road until about noon.

The drive through Illinois and into Wisconsin was pretty uneventful. As we approached Madison, we decided to alter our route and take the scenic byway along the Mississippi (yes, I just sang the song in my head to spell that correctly) River from Prairie du Chien to La Crosse, WI. The route took us the long way through the state on non-interstate roads. It was a beautiful drive with dramatic bluffs along the side of the road, so the detour was worth it.

One of my goals for the trip was to follow a road sign to an obscure tourist attraction and it was fulfilled today. We stopped at "Little Norway" to see a collection of authentic Norse buildings. We didn't splurge for the guided tour, but we browsed in the gift shop and bought some authentic Norwegian chocolate to snack on in the car.

Our second spontaneous stop was not as successful. We thought the bluffs overlooking the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers would be breathtaking, but it was actually pretty ho-hum and took us about half an hour out of the way. We finally made it to La Crosse, WI for a late dinner at a family restaurant (can't remember the name right now) and then settled the kids in for several more hours of driving. We didn't reach our goal of Sioux Falls, SD, but we made it a couple of hours shy to Worthington, MN. A tiring, but scenic, day of driving.

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