We arrived to my friend James house Sunday afternoon after a night at the SawMill RV park in North Mankato, MN. It was a small space right next to the soybean fields. (Our drive from SD to MN was through the back country roads framed by thousands of acres of corn and soybean fields.)
Our couple days in Madison were designed for a chance to rest and recharge before hitting the road again. We had some really nice quality time with James, his wife Shamane, and dogs Sasha and Reba.
James was a great tour guide, taking us to some of the highlights of Madison. We first went to the Pope Farm Conservancy to see the sunflower fields and other native plants, then went downtown for lunch and a stroll.
We had our first (and last) taste of fried cheese curds, saw the capital building and went to a gourmet cheese shops which provides unlimited tastings – we actually had to ask the attendant to stop!
In Madison, they do not have food trucks, but rather food trailers on just about every corner of the downtown area. Then they just hook the trailer up to the back of their car and drive away. Very efficient!
James and Shamane live about 1/2 mile from Lake Wingra so the highlight of our visit was our first stand up paddle experience. We went on Tuesday morning and had the whole lake to ourselves. It was so much fun!
Overall, we had such a nice, relaxed time in Madison, did some laundry, walked a lot, ate a lot, watched a few movies and regenerated for the next segment of our trip – getting to the east coast via Illinois.
We are now waiting at the Best Western in Hannibal, MO for my parents for a couple days of walking back in history to the days of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn (which we have been listening to on Audiobooks).