2013-10-17 12.10.59 2013-10-20 14.00.05

Dear Wisconsin,

Your state has nice beer and lovely cheese. Your people are generally friendly, and your sports teams are not detestable.

However, you are not very tourist-friendly.

Here are my complaints in order:

1. YOUR HORRIBLE ROADS.
2. YOUR EXPENSIVE, NICKLE-AND-DIMING, SHITTY CAMPGROUNDS.
Please consider improving these situations, so that people can further enjoy your beer and cheese.

Sincerely,
Sarah

Okay, so I don’t HATE Wisconsin. I just had an awful time, which probably had a lot to do with the season and the weather. A ton of the campgrounds were closed for the winter, which was a problem. Some of them left me no way of knowing they were closed until I had already arrived (which I did, twice). AT LEAST LEAVE A VOICEMAIL RECORDING! Some were creepy (see below). The ones that WERE open, were expensive and had very few amenities. A lot of those that I found had no electricity and no showers, yet still wanted almost $25 for a non-resident to camp for the night. You pay $10 extra dollars just for the privilege of entering the campground. One place I called, a private campground, wanted $25 PLUS $5 per dog. For what? To sleep with me in my own camper? Hell, no. The trails, also, want a fee just for you to walk on them. It’s this kind of nickel-and-diming that is very frustrating.

So this is what I went through:

Along the way, I had to travel over miles and miles of BOUNCY roads. I don’t mean full of pot holes. I mean however they lay the road results in a dip every 10 feet. It isn’t the cold weather, because Northern Michigan had no such problems. The road probably wouldn’t bother you if you had a nice, new car with great suspension. However, with all that weight on my rear tires from Lola, it felt like I was riding a cantering horse. Whub-dub-dub-Whub-dub-dub-Whub-dub-dub. FOR 200 MILES. At one point, nearly in tears, I pulled off the highway and onto back roads because I couldn’t take it anymore. But I couldn’t stop, because I was trying to get far enough south to avoid snow.

So as I tried to hurry south to avoid the impending snow, I found myself stressing over a place to stay the night. At one point I found myself trying to drag Lola down 10 miles of dirt road, and after getting nearly halfway, turned around because it was too dangerous. I drove for hours. Finally, exhausted and at dusk, I came upon a campground (which I won’t name, because I didn’t pay), which had come up in a search engine as “trailer camping.” There were no spots for a trailer, only walk-in sites for tents. Nobody was there to even know I was there. Fed-up, I parked in an over-flow parking lot, stole power from a random outlet, and spent the night.

That was actually nice, although totally not-allowed.

Next morning, I wanted to visit New Glarus brewery for some delicious beer (see my post on New Glarus, which other than poor camping, was nice).

Problem was, the only campground near there (and I checked, even one 30 minutes away which ended up being closed) wanted $24 for a muddy spot to sleep and a hole to shit in. No nothin’. Tired of looking, I ponied up. It was 30 degrees that night, and I was cold. My campsite was on a hill. If I hadn’t had copious amounts of adult beverages, I would have been angry.

The point is, while I was nearly tripping over campgrounds and rather enjoyed driving in Northern Michigan, Wisconsin was not as nice.

I am pretty glad to see that state in my rearview.