After eating half of the curd we’d bought from the Cheese Makers (the low fat diet is going well so far!), we pulled into the Country View Campsite in Mukwonago. It felt like months ago that we camped so it was time we got our tentage on. It was $27 (£16) a night so it was a steal. It seemed quite a big park but we managed to get put in the middle of two sites with what felt like a million barking dogs. We put the tent up within minutes and Stef started on the dinner. It seemed that we were not the only ones hungry as there were a million mosquitoes flying around. I sprayed myself with repellent but they were still around, so I told Stef not to bother. The sky didn’t look to good and as she started to dish up, it began to rain gently. We packed up the gear and ran to the tent with our delicious pork chops.
The drizzle continued but it didn’t really matter, as we didn’t have anything planned for the night. With dinner in our growing bellies, we started to watch a film. About an hour into the film, the fun started. It began to chuck it down. It was a good job we didn’t stop anywhere else on the way to the camp-site otherwise we would have got absolutely drenched whilst putting up the tent! It seemed like the rain was getting heavier by the minute. Soon, even though the volume was on max, we couldn’t hear the film. All of a sudden, there was a massive strike of lightening and the tent lit up for what seemed like a minute. It was flickering all over the place – it’s a good job neither of us are epileptic! At the same time as the flashing, the thunder cracked down all around us. We were right in the middle of it. There wasn’t a second that went by without a flash or a loud roar of thunder. It was bad and we were panicking. There we were in a worse storm that what we’d experienced in Terry but this time we were in a two-person tent put together with a metal frame! That’s when we noticed the leaks on the tent. They weren’t tears but the rain was actually seeping through the material. It was obviously a summer tent! The floor of the tent is made of tarpaulin and the water hadn’t really made any puddles so we were confident we’d be all right. The rain was battering the outside and there was nothing we could do.
Obviously, we had left the lamp in the boot of the car so as we sat there in the middle of the tent, with the only light from my LED rimmed baseball cap (less geekier than it sounds, it is in camo), we discussed our options. We could both stay in the tent and wait for it to pass, if it even did, or spend the night in the car. Neither of us wanted to be the target for the lightening so we chose the car. Looking out of the tent window, it was like someone had a shower over us – the rainfall was immense. The car was only about 2 metres away but we had a problem. We had things that needed to be taken to the car like pillows and sleeping bags. As we lifted up the pillows, it was obvious why the floor was dry. The bottoms of the pillows were drenched. So much so, that you could wring them out! We had bought some roll up foam mattresses’ so fortunately the sleeping bags were dry. We put on our shoes and I decided to go first with as much stuff as I could carry. Stef unzipped the door and I ran as fast as I could to the car, put the stuff in and ran back for more. Stef then exited the tent and we ran to the car. I was in the front and Stef the back. We were dripping in storm water. We couldn’t believe how wet we were in what was possibly 5 seconds of transport. What followed was possibly the worst nights sleep I have ever had in my life.
There might have been a storm occurring, but it was still hot. We were stuck in the car with no ventilation. Sure we turned on the engine and got air-con for a while but it wasn’t a constant thing. We couldn’t open the windows either, not even a crack as not only would the water pour in, the mosquitoes would be attracted to the heat and come and say hello. It was so unbearable. Because it’s a luxury car, the seats are contoured for comfort whilst driving…not sleeping. Unless you were sitting up, you had allsorts of lumps sticking in you. Stef felt the same in the back, as there is a massive divider in the middle seat! Even though we were airtight, every now and again you would hear a mossy flying around. If it wasn’t the bloodsuckers waking you up by buzzing near your ear, it was the heat. I think the longest I got to sleep was about an hour. The rain went on till the early morning.
We were awaked early in the morning by an American family setting up their tent. They had arrived at night but for obvious reasons, they stayed in their car. They sounded like an army, as they were so loud. There were three of them –oh and a dog, which sounded like it was getting strangled constantly.
We eventually got enough strength to go to the tent. It was a good job we didn’t stay there as now we had an indoor swimming pool!
We both went to the showers to get ready. On Stef’s return, she showed me a few bites that she had received during the night. I counted 13 of them! I had none. Maybe she should have sprayed herself with the repellent…
We drove into Milwaukee to spend the day there. It was a lovely day and there were few clouds in the sky. Everything was dry. It was like last night never happened.
We parked up and started walking. About 10 minutes later, we’d made it to the Milwaukee River. The water looked really dirty and if it wasn’t for the buildings next to it, I would have thought we were in a 3rd World Country! Next to the river is probably the best statue I have ever had my picture taken with (apart from the horse with the large erection). The sitcom “Happy Days” was based here and what better way to celebrate the fact, than put a statue of one of the coolest characters in it. The artist named it the Bronze Fonz.
We had some lunch at the riverside and headed to the famous Milwaukee Public Market. It was a Sunday but the place was near empty. I don’t know why people raved about it that much if no one went there! They sold allsorts here and we grabbed some freshly squeezed fruit juices. Stef got one with ginger in it and when I tasted it, my mouth nearly exploded. I hate ginger so God knows why I tried it. Lesson learned.
We walked down to Lake Michigan and walked around for a while. It was absolutely roasting. They had some funky buildings down there. One of them was an art gallery. Outside they had a car wrapped around a lamppost. Was it an exhibit or had our mate Dave been driving it? No one knows.
Walking back to the car, we noticed that quite a few roads had been closed to traffic. We looked down one of them and there seemed to be some sort of fair. As we walked closer, we understood why no one was at the market – EVERYONE in town was here! We’d stumbled across Bastille Days, a popular French festival, and the biggest in the nation. They had live bands playing all over the place with more food stalls than people! We grabbed some ice cream and saw the sights.
As we were leaving, it started to rain. We were close to the car by then so it didn’t take long to get under cover.
As Milwaukee is the bowling capital of America, we popped into the local alley to destroy some pins. It was only $30 (£18) for the both of us to play as many games as we could handle in 2 hours. My highest score was 171 with 5 strikes and one spare. It was my personal best. Stef wasn’t far behind with 104. Scores that our friend Matt could only dream of. Stef made me play the next game with my left hand, which I’d never done before, just so she could beat me.
I won 98-72…Boom goes the dynamite.