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From Arizona to Wisconsin: Our Epic Road Trip (Part 2) - Heartland Journey: Exploring Wisconsin and our Road Trip Home - June 2023

The image is a collage-style map highlighting a road trip from Arizona to Wisconsin, titled "From Arizona to Wisconsin: Our Epic Road Trip Part 2." The map includes markers indicating key locations along the route:  Phoenix, Arizona Gallup, New Mexico Pueblo, Colorado Lincoln, Nebraska Waterloo, Iowa Polk City, Iowa Dodgeville, Wisconsin Each location is marked with an icon representing a point of interest, and there is a blue line tracing the path of the road trip. Surrounding the map are photographs depicting scenes from the journey, such as landscapes, landmarks, and places visited. The overall design has a playful and adventurous feel, with a mixture of fonts and bright colors enhancing the visual appeal.

Recap from Previous Post:

So far, we have been having an exciting road trip, traveling from Arizona to Iowa, five states, in nine days. We saw beautiful landscapes, interesting RV parks, and survived a crazy storm. We are now very close to our destination, Wisconsin, which is our next stop. We also had an interesting drive, following my parents, due to road and weather conditions when it came to them pulling their trailer.

Day 9-14: Arrival in Wisconsin:

We are now heading to Wisconsin, closer to our destination for my dad’s high school reunion. We stayed at Governor Dodge State Park in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, for one night. My dad hadn’t been to this park for many years and wanted to see how much it had changed. He was surprised by how much it has changed. The trees were a lot bigger, and there were more accommodations. This park had a lot of low-hanging trees, tight roads/turns, and small RV spaces. I must say, it was beautiful because of all the tall, thick trees. Some of the spaces were not level, but they had a fire pit and a picnic table. We drove to the lake, and it was beautiful. They even had a concession stand and picnic tables along the lake. I can see this place being a very busy spot during the summer.

After leaving Governor Dodge Park, we headed to another RV park in Dodgeville called Tom's Campground. (Note: this RV park only accepts cash) Upon checking in with my dad and him giving them his last name, they immediately asked if he was related to Dick. My dad told them that Dick was his brother. They then told us stories about him. It was really cute. Now I know what it would be like to live in a small town where everybody knows everybody. We were then escorted to our RV spots. This park offers only water and electricity, 50 and 30 amp, has a dump station, and bathrooms and showers are $.25 and were a little moldy inside. They had a very cute little cabin for rent, a volleyball court, and a playground for the kids. The RV spots were rock and grass, some level and unlevel, different sizes, but did have a fire ring and a picnic table.

My parents went to my dad’s 70th high school reunion and really enjoyed it. I could not believe that 19 people from his class showed up. My dad really enjoyed catching up with everyone.

During our stay in Dodgeville, we visited my dad’s brother (Dick), who is a farmer. It was really cool to see his farm. As they walked us around, all I could think of was all the hard work they do every day with raising, feeding, and milking cows. I really enjoyed feeding the calves, and they were so cute. After our visit, we saw a McDonald’s and wanted to get an ice cream cone. We went through the drive-thru and ordered 4, drove up to the window and paid. After we paid, we were told to pull forward, and they would bring out our ice cream cones. So we pulled forward and parked. After about 10 minutes, no kidding, they brought out our ice cream cones. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t think it took that long to make an ice cream cone. We, of course, all started laughing and remembered we were in a small town, where I am assuming everything is slower.

While my parents continued to visit with his brother, we decided to go to Missouri to visit my husband's cousin, who he hasn’t seen in many years. It was very nice seeing her, and she took us to the Mall of America. I could not believe how big this place was. In fact, she told us that the hotel next to the mall was filled with people who came just to see the mall. I never would have thought of a mall as a tourist attraction, but of course, this mall had a lot, besides just shopping. It had a Lego section, an amusement park with several rides, and an aquarium which his cousin took us to and so much more.

Before heading home, we discussed not rushing back home, like we did coming up here. We decided to take it a little slower and not drive as long each day.

Day 15-17: Heading Home Iowa & Nebraska Explorations:

We are now heading home, and our next stop will be in Waterloo, Iowa, staying at KOA Lost Island. As we were getting closer to Lost Island KOA Resort, we noticed a storm coming in with tornado warnings and a large theme park called Lost Island. At first, we thought we were going the wrong way because the road we needed to take was closed, and we had to go through the theme park parking lot to get to KOA. The theme park looked very cool, and we would love to come back, but because of the storm, the theme park was closing.

This RV park was very nice and had cute cabins for rent along the lake. The park had many amenities: fishing, canoeing/kayaking, playground, outdoor activities, restaurant, and a store. The RV spots had full hook-ups, 50 and 30 amp, tight sites, not much shade, unleveled spots, but had fire pits and picnic tables. The bathrooms and showers were very clean. We were unable to do any sightseeing because of the storm and only stayed here one night.

The next day was a little cloudy but nice. We are now heading to Lincoln, Nebraska, to stay at Camp A Way. Upon arrival at this RV park, we were amazed at how big it was. We were also escorted to our RV spot, which is always nice because sometimes it is hard to find your assigned spot in larger RV parks. It was very easy to maneuver in this park, even though there were some tight roads and low-hanging trees. We had a very level, rock, pull-thru spot and had some shade with a fire pit and picnic table. The spots have full hook-ups and 50/30 amps. The tent spots were also very nice and large. This park was very clean and had a lot of amenities: outdoor activities, pool, indoor hot tub, playground, game room, dog park, and a laundry facility. We even saw some kids sliding down a large slip-and-slide down a hill. They had several kid games, bike rentals, and a store. This park was a very kid-friendly park. We only stayed here one night, so we could not check out Lincoln, Nebraska.

Woke up early the next morning and started heading to our next destination, Ogallala, Nebraska (Keith County). We arrived at Ogallala Tri-Trails KOA, which was in a rural area but easy to find. This park was very nice and open, provided some shade, super clean bathrooms, play area, pool, laundry, and a dog park. The RV sites provided full hook-ups with 30/50 amp and picnic tables. Since we arrived here early enough in the day, we decided to check out the town and the nearby lake, McConaughy. The town was very cute and loved that there was not a lot of traffic, like in a big city.

We drove to Lake McConaughy, which is Nebraska’s largest reservoir and Nebraska’s most popular vacation destination. We also checked out Vans Lakeview Campground. This was an interesting campground. The camp spots were close to each other and appeared to have electricity, with a lot of trees. After this, we decided to check out Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area. This area was very nice. Most spots had large trees and picnic tables at each site, whether for tenting or in an RV. We really enjoyed driving around Ogallala. We now had to get back to our 5th wheel so we could relax until we headed to Colorado the next day.