Lake Kegonsha State Park, Stoughton WI

dsc_0457.jpgThe final 159 miles of our 2,100 miles trek from Tucson were the way you’d want them to be: smooth, scenic, and uneventful.   We spent the morning touring a Frank Lloyd Wright home in Quasqueton IA (a name so difficult to pronounce that the locals simply call it “QWAH-key”).   The Usonian design of “Cedar Rock” was as interesting as all other FLW houses we’ve seen, and this example was particularly interesting because it was furnished almost exactly as Wright intended when it was built in the late 1940s.

Not many people know that Wright not only designed the houses, but the furniture as well.   He even chose the items on the shelves.   Owners were expected to bring in their clothes and food, and not much else.   Few could resist the urge to customize their own houses eventually, which is why this particular example is so interesting to see.   The tour, by the way, is free with only a $3 donation requested.

From Independence to Dubuque on Rt 20, and then through Wisconsin on Rt 151, it was bucolic and green all the way.   The scenery is settling to the nerves, while the concrete roadway undulates gently and makes a quiet “thump-thump” that can put you to sleep if you’re not careful.   I listened for the engine and the hitch, but both were nearly silent.   So our major activity was watching for cheese-related billboards, of which there were many.

We have rendezvoused with Brett in Lake Kegonsha State Park, about 15 miles south of Madison WI.   We’ll be staying here for several days, commuting as needed up to the WBCCI International Rally in Madison.   While I like staying on site at Internationals, this time we are only going to be visiting for a couple of days, and the cost of the International with 30-amp electricity is far too high for two days (over $400 for a family of three).   Lake Kegonsha is $19 per night, plus either day-use passes of $10, or $35 for the year.

The 3,000 acre lake features a boat ramp and a swimming area, but it’s pretty mucky with algae and seaweed in the shallows, so I doubt we’ll be doing much any swimming.   There are quiet roads for cycling and walking paths everywhere.   We’ll explore more of the paths later, despite the annoying flies that dive-bomb our heads the moment we step out of the Airstream.   Down the campground loop, some neighbors in a tent have hung a sign that says, “BUGFEST”.   Fortunately, the bugs are more annoying than biting.   A hat is helpful for keeping them away.   This is part of the northern state park experience, and I expected it.

Most of our time will be spent elsewhere, anyway.   The campground is   mostly a place to sleep.   Since I’m finalizing articles and layouts for the Fall 2009 issue of Airstream Life magazine, I need to make regular trips to wifi hotspots to upload large files.   The five Panera Bread locations in Madison with free wifi will be my haunts.   It’s also time to catch up on housekeeping: post office, laundry, fuel, etc.   And I’ve got scheduled meetings at the International rally site.   So we’ll do some sightseeing in the next few days but mostly we’re here to handle business, and that will keep us well away from the buggy campground.


  1. Tim says

    If you have a chance on Saturday morning, Madison has a simply wonderful Farmer’s Market on the Capitol Square! Go early….great food. Lots of great places to eat on State Street.

  2. Loren says

    Definately check out the Farmer’s Marker. There is a Whole Foods down there as well. For a change in cuisine that Eleanor would like to check out there is an excellent Ethiopian restaurant named Baraka on State Street. (Hope it’s still there) Other good eats are Peninos and Beef A Roo. Course Gabri’s favorite is Culvers :) Her grandparents live on Lake Kegonsha so you may see her paddling around in a kayak on the Lake or walking around Madison. She is there till July 8 before returning to Ohio. I told her to look for Emma. Hehe. Have a great time!

  3. Paul Hahn says

    Hey, Rich,

    You came close to my home when you stopped at the Wright house near Quasqueton (btw, the locals I know call it Qwahs-key, not Quak-key). My aunt often visited the Wright home when she was on the school board with the Wright home owner, Mr. Walter. They would socialize in the boat house. I have stopped at the house while floating the Wapsie River.

    If you ever get to the Northeast Iowa area again, please let me know. We have lots of courtesy parking on my acreage west of Denver. (And the disc golf course is always open.)