Day five we woke up in Chicago with our bellies still satisfied from that deep dish Chicago style pizza last night. Today the ultimate goal is getting to Theodore Roosevelt National Park but, that is a lot more miles (i.e hours) than we want to do in one day.
We decided we would break it up into two days and try to find a good spot somewhere in the middle to stay tonight. It needed to be something a little closer to Chicago and with laundry. I knew I had at least two loads that really needed to get done. There was two KOA‘s in Milwaukee the northwest KOA was having tree work done and closed all their tent sites but wouldn't let us stay in their basic cabin, because we were 5 people. Irrespective of the size of the people they wanted to require that we get a "deluxe" cabin since there is five of us. I believe it is just a KOA way to make more money. I asked the person on the phone if they did have tent site open would we be able to get a tent site, she said yes. So we can all five sleep in a twelve by eight tent but not a cabin that's probably twelve by fifteen. It really wouldn't have bothered me but they wanted over two hundred dollars for one night in this "deluxe" cabin, when the regal cabin is usually about sixty, so the southwest KOA it was for us.
I had spied a Ross & T.J. Max within walking distance of the hotel. I wanted to get some sort of new bags for the children’s clothing because it had already become apparent that the, as my mom calls them "suck-down bags" are not destined for success on this trip. We were up and out of the hotel with one smooth and efficient single trip. Everyone carries a little and since we hadn’t brought much in it was short an easy exit. The children were asking if they could have pizza for breakfast, which was easy for me and cleared out some leftovers. I agreed but added the fake stipulation that it would depend on everyone’s behavior in the store. We were in the Ross just after opening and we found a couple pairs of shoes that George actually liked and some socks. Then to the luggage and each of them picked out a duffel bag and made their case for why it was a good choice. It’s so interesting to hear their individual preferences and decision making parameters. The way they think is so interesting to me. New bags in hand we hit the road for Milwaukee with a stop at REI to try to find a replacement JetBoil igniter. Google maps says the REI stop will only add 18 minutes. No luck as it turns out the ignighter is not a thing that’s sold modularly for repairs anymore, which the REI person and I discussed is a shame and probably adding to unnecessary throw away. Anyway back on the road for a fairly uneventful trip. We stopped in Wisconsin for cheese curds and on to North Dakota.
We got to the KOA with plenty of sunlight left we bought two bundles of firewood for a fire tonight and, our campsite backed up to the playground. The children were obviously elated with that feature and played while I got the tent and stuff set up. Weather prediction is for 4% chance of rain so I’ll take those odds and left the fly off, I'm in a hurry. There was a mountain of work that I wanted to get accomplished after the campsite was set up so any time savings I could get was welcome. Straightening up the interior of the suburban and getting the laundry done then repacked into the new bags was desperately needed. The children played then went swimming, then showered. As they were coming out of the shower I was starting the laundry, perfect timing “gimme everything you were wearing.”
I finally got all the laundry done and sorted in the most appropriate bag I could figure and into bed about 1:30A.M. but I was really relaxed (or maybe exhausted) and relieved that everything got done and was in order for the next day.