Wisconsin and Michigan are Favorites!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks! After Aunt Audrey’s party in Colorado we headed east to La Crosse, Wisconsin. We’d never been to Wisconsin! In Havasu, we met Rick and Kathi and they invited us to stop in sometime while they are in La Crosse (they summer there). We realized that La Crosse was kind of on the way to Nappanee, so off we went!

La Crosse is beautiful! We stayed at the same park as Rick and Kathi and it’s right on the Mississippi River. The name of the park is Pettibone RV. It was gorgeous and centrally located for everything! We had been looking at electric bikes for a few weeks and knew that a shop in La Crosse had the ones we wanted. We were talking to Rick and Kathi about this and they said they’d been thinking about them too! Well, the least we could is help them spend their money! 🙂

We all loaded up in Rick’s truck and went to test ride many brands of bikes. After our research of test rides, we decided on the final choice and headed out to buy them. There’s a whole story behind the purchases that ends with Roger and I paying full price and Rick negotiating a very steep discount! Lesson learned… follow Rick’s lead in the future :).

Now we had the bikes, we had to plan a great trail! We rode the Great River State trail from Onalaska (just down from La Crosse) to Trempealeau. About 30 miles round trip of absolutely beautiful scenery where the trail crosses over feeding streams and parallels the Mississippi. We thoroughly enjoyed the day on our new bikes and riding with great friends in this beautiful part of the country.

There were many highlights of our trip to La Crosse, but one that stands out was going on Rick and Kathi’s boat on the Mississippi and going through a lock on the river! We’d never been on the Mississippi and never been through a lock. It was fascinating to see the orchestrated dance of tankers, tug boats and personal watercraft navigating the locks.

Another highlight of our time there was a trip to Lambeau field for a pre-season game of the Packers and the Texans. Yes, Roger and I were Packer fans for a day :). The camaraderie, the stadium, the fans and the hospitality of Rick and Kathi made this a once in a lifetime experience! I even bought Packer earrings as a souvenir!

We also learned (again) how to play hand-and-foot (card game) and I got to have lunch with an old and dear friend! La Crosse gave us lifetime memories for sure!

We spent one week with Rick and Kathi and needed to leave to get some rest… LOL… Just kidding (kind of), it really was a blast and after we rest, we’ll be ready to do it again!

Next, we drove to Nappanee to turn our coach over to Newmar for the annual service and some maintenance items. What an impressive place! The service center opened ~6 months ago and they have a campground right across the street. It was very strange seeing so many Newmars in one location! We’re used to seeing one or two in a campground. It was fun to watch the place fill up as Monday morning approached. When we arrived Friday night, there were ~15 coaches. By Sunday night there were close to 50.

Monday morning, 6:00 a.m. numerous golf carts come into the campground. Each golf cart is carrying 4 people. The service techs unload, find their assigned coaches and begin the check in process. It was certainly a well oiled machine and we enjoyed meeting the Newmar Team. We made new friends (shout out to Audra, Mark and Cole) and loved seeing the new facility. It reminded us of a silicon valley clean room more than a maintenance shop!

The process is that they keep the coach each day and then return it each night. This means getting up at 5:00 a.m. every day and getting the coach ready to drive into the service bay :(. Uh, no! We decided to give it to them Monday morning and then we rented a VRBO home in Charlevoix, Michigan for the week (about 4 hours north on the Michigan western border).

We arrived in Charlevoix on Monday evening and absolutely fallen in love with the area! We’ve always heard people talk about how pretty Michigan is and in particular the UP. It’s a joke with us non-Michigan people that when you meet someone from Michigan they all say the same thing…. “Michigan is shaped like a mitt (as they hold their hand up) and we are from the thumb (or wherever). It’s like when you meet people from New Jersey they always tell you what exit they are from. We love our Michigan friends and now totally understand why everyone brags about this area!

It’s funny how we’ve never been to this part of the country and now we’re wondering how we missed it all of these years! Wisconsin was amazing, Nappanee in Indiana reminds us of Kutztown/Fleetwood area so much you’d think we were “home”. It comes complete with horse and buggies at the grocery store! And now Michigan with incredibly scenery and hospitality!

Over the past two days, we’ve explored Charlevoix and tomorrow we go to Mackinac Island. We’re treating this trip like a scouting mission and checking out the different areas. We will definitely be back and spend at least a month or more!

Y’all stay safe and hopefully we’ll see you on our travels!

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