Friday I headed to Milwaukee. The plan was to stay at a friend’s house (camping in their yard) for the weekend. My friend (Deb) and her kids followed in their car. They were also planning on camping and we stopped at a camping store so they could buy a tent large enough for the three of them.
When we reached Milwaukee we pitched the tents, ate pizza, and slept. It was pretty hot and humid out, and the sun hit the tents about 630, after which staying asleep was tricky. It was saturday, and I had some errands to run, picking up some things I had left in storage, and a couple parts from the Shop. I also did an oil change in their bike parking area. I did ask if it was okay first.
After that I met up with Deb and the kids, who were enjoying the chance to shop at a giant mall, and then the four of us returned to the house. There we discovered the plan was to grill enough food to feed about 45 people, and eat as much of it as we could.
During the grilling process the kids jumped in the pool, and another friend broke out his RV truck. Then he just broke it. This is not an uncommon occurrence.
After we ate the monstrous amount of food and let it digest for a while
we headed back to the tent area and constructed a massive fire. I think the idea was to scare away the mosquitoes, but it didn’t really seem to work. Unless you were right near the fire the bugs didn’t seem to mind. And if you were close enough to the fire they left you alone, you were also rapidly cooking yourself.
Eventually the bugs won, and we fled into the tents.
The next morning we all woke up sort of early to meet people for coffee near the lake. When I lived in Milwaukee the weekly coffee meets were something to look forward to. People showed up from all over Wisconsin and Illinois, and sometimes farther. This was the 3rd of July, though, and the group was small. Quality over quantity.
Our hosts for the weekend
After coffee, we killed some time and then wandered over to the lakefront. The crowd was already huge, and more people arrived all the time. We paid for parking (we were all in the car by now) and wandered around the crowd for a while before settling on a place to watch.
The sunset was pretty amazing
I didn’t take pictures of the fireworks, I can’t ever get them to turn out and would rather just enjoy watching them. Which I did. We then had to fight traffic and the police (who not interested in helping in any way. We almost had about 5 accidents in the parking lot, where there was no traffic direction at all, only to find all the law enforcement on the major road, making sure we only used half of it). The drive which should’ve taken us about 40 minutes was closer to two hours, and we fell asleep more or less instantly.
Monday we packed up and headed back to Wisconsin Rapids, with a brief stop to collect Deb’s younger sister, whose car had broken down on the way to Milwaukee a few days earlier. Since she had to get to work, and I didn’t want to rush anywhere, Deb and the carload was soon separated from me, which means when I had my first real issue of the trip I was all along and again in a no cell phone area. The front tire of the bike went completely flat, and wouldn’t hold air. As near as I could tell there was a leak right at the base of the valve stem. I had a spare tube, but didn’t want to take the time to change it so limped into town to Deb’s house. I would find a local place to replace the tube later. The flat meant I got to Rapids 2 hours later than planned, and there was some concern developing when I finally got enough signal to let Deb know what had happened. We all jumped into her car and headed for more fireworks