My gateway to the West doesn’t run through St. Louis

So I’ve got good news and bad news…

The good news is that I stayed in a hotel room last night in Maustin, WI, which allows me access to Internet (hence the post), a warm, cozy bed, and the ability to travel into states like Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The bad news is that I stayed in a hotel room last night in Maustin, WI, which means it’s too cold to camp up here and costs me the same amount of money it would to camp 3 or 4 nights.

I need to make a few family mentions though. My aunt Angela and uncle Tommy were absolutely amazing hosts for putting me up for three nights in Bettendorf, Iowa. The food was good and company was better. On Friday, my aunt and I took a breakfast/brunch/lunch cruise on the Mississippi River. It was funny because I was definitely one of the younger 3 or 4 people on board. And the entertainment was a husband and wife couple who sang songs by Johnny Cash, Elvis, and anything patriotic. It was a good time though! Afterwards, I had a good visit with my uncle, since he had been out of town. And dinner was fantastic that night. They offered a bed for as long as I liked, but on this trip, I get a little stir crazy if I stop anywhere for several nights in a row. So I graciously thanked them and headed on my way yesterday.

My second – and more important – mention is that my little brother is now engaged to his girlfriend! I’m a little bummed that I’m on the road so far away, so I’m going to miss out on congratulating them in person and celebrating it with the family. But I’m still proud, none the less. A very cool time in his life, I’m sure.

That means that after two step brothers and now my younger brother, I’m the last one to be married off. I’m not too far off from 30 (especially with the birthday right around the corner), single, jobless, and living out of the backseat of my truck. I’m sure my grandmother is, jokingly, cringing at how far away from marriage I actually am! But at least I’m having fun, right? 🙂

But back to the trip news! Here I am in Maustin, Wisconsin (my 28th state, I believe) since every hotel known to man in Wisconsin Dells, WI was booked solid. Who knew such a tiny spot on the map is the “Waterpark Capital of the World?” Thanks to my new-found reader Donna for the location idea. I have no intentions of hitting the water slides, but I do plan on taking a river cruise of the dells this morning. I toyed with the idea of taking a ghost tour version last night at 8PM, but I was pushing it too close to getting into town and the helpful guy on the phone said that while it was fun, the scenery’s much better on the first tour in the morning.

The plan after that is to get to Minnesota by any means necessary. I might shoot for the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN. Not that I care about shopping, but it is the biggest mall in the country. So that’d be kind of cool just to say I’ve been to it. After that, I have absolutely no idea! I’m not used to states being so big! I’m eyeing Mount Rushmore, but I need to hit North Dakota & Montana at some point too. It looks like Keystone, SD is over 9 hours from Bloomington, MN. And while it looks close enough to do in a day, that’s a big negative. So looks like I might be frequenting several visitor and welcome centers along the way to find some things to do and places to see. And unfortunately more hotels.

Such is the life on the road in the chilly fall!

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