The 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.