What city is this today? Oh yeah, we’re in Madison WI. (yesterday) 1st stop is the First Unitarian Society, of course another FLW design. Again, their tour schedule doesn’t exactly work for us so we just “drop in” and the nice lady at reception lets us look around a bit and tells us a little bit about the building and Unitarianism. We scout around the outside of the building and have a look at the newer expansion across the parking lot. All in all an impressive complex.
Stop number two is back downtown at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. We park and roam around a bit but we’re quite early for the tour and have some time to kill. We head up the street a couple of blocks away from the lakeshore and locate a Starbucks. Across the street is the State Capitol building (boring government site) . It looks quite interesting, so we wander over and on a whim decide to go in side. OMG! What an impressive building!
We explore a bit but sadly we’re running out of time and need to return to Monona for the tour. We could have spent sever more hours here, perhaps next time. Back at the Monona Terrace our guide conducts an excellent tour, with a fair bit of walking, it’s a very big building. Designed by FLW in 1938 and never built in his lifetime. However, persistence payed off and construction started in 1994 on the $67.1M structure and was completed in 1997, 57 years after it’s inception. Spectacular views and setting right on the Monona lakeshore.
As we leave Madison for Racine we’ll be driving right by Milwaukee, home of the Harley Davidson Museum! I appear to be the only one interested and we seem to have run out of time for this one. Again, perhaps another day. So much to see. But, we did stop by to see the American System Build houses by FLW. Again, no tour was possible so we looked from the sidewalk for most of them and peeped in the windows of the one that was set up for tours.
By nightfall we’re tucked in at the Fairfield Inn in Racine and tomorrow is the SC Johnson tours.
Day 3 has us in Spring Green, WI and after checking out of the Spring Valley Inn, a very FLW styled motel, it’s a short 10 minute drive to Taliesin for our tour. We check in at the Visitor Center and do a little shopping in the gift shop prior to the start of the tour. At 10am we board the shuttle bus for the ride over to the estate for our Highlight Tour.
One hour at the Hillside Studio and Theatre
and then another short shuttle ride over to the Taliesin home for the second hour of the tour.
The grounds and buildings are quite spectacular and our guide is very knowledgeable and presents the material well and can answer almost every question that comes up.
A shuttle ride back to the visitor centre has us on our way to our next destination, the Unity Chapel. This was not in the original plan but our tour guide pointed it out and Frank Lloyd Wright is “sort of” buried there, along with many Lloyd Jones relatives and wife #2. Wife #3 had him dug up, cremated and scattered at Taliesin West in Arizona, but the grave marker is still there.
A bit down the road is the Wyoming Valley School. Tours don’t fit into our schedule so we just park and walk around the outside of the building and look in the windows.
A little further down the road is another unplanned stop, the House on the Rock. This is a vast and eclectic house/display which involves a lot of walking and many, may stairs. Apparently, just to quickly walk through and glance at stuff is a 3 hour effort. We’re tired and skip this tour, perhaps another day.
We drive on to Madison WI, and settle in at the downtown Comfort Inn. Dinner is complimentary snacks & drinks in the lobby lounge.
Two more tours tomorrow, a surprise discovery & more driving over to Racine awaits on Day 4.
As we arrive in Prescott, WI and the visitor centre for the Great River road I start to learn how to use the Osmo Mobile and take several pictures and video clips. Sadly, the Visitor Centre has switched to winter hours and won’t be open until 10am, and we decide not to hang around for an hour.
Lots of interesting sights, towns and we travel along side the Mississippi River including several locks like Lock & Dam #4 – Alma, WI. More pictures and video with the Osmo Mobile and we move along.
At Genoa we turn eastward onto Hwy 56 & then 14 and begin heading over to Richland Center. We arrive at about 4pm and even though this is not an official tour day I’ve made arrangements with for a personal tour with Lon Arbergust. We attempt to call Lon but quickly discover there is no cell phone coverage where we are. Try to find a pay phone in this day and age, not so easy. We end up at the municipal offices and ask to use the phone. When we explain why they say, “No problem, I’ve got his phone number right here, let me call him for you.” Wow, nice service. We find out later that Lon works for the municipality in the tourism area, an he just went home. He lives 2 blocks from the warehouse and we hook up about 10 minutes later.
Lon gives us a close to 2 hour personal tour with lots of interesting details about FLW, A.D. German and the history of the building including a well produced video presentation.
This road trip will take us across Minnesota & Wisconsin, thru Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and on into Pennsylvania to see several of the Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW) buildings both commercial and private homes. The trip was inspired by an interest in FLW from previous trips to Chicago, FLW150 & the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail.
The 1st day was pretty uneventful. We were under way around 9am and the drive to Minneapolis was very smooth on a clear sunny and warm day.
We stopped in Grand Forks briefly at the Best Buy to pick up the DJI Osmo Mobile. I put it on the charger and we kept on driving. More on the toy a little later.
Our first hotel room was a little on the small side and a bit noisy from time to time as trained passes right behind the hotel, and as we were close to the lobby, there was some late evening and early morning coming and going noises. Also, it was cosy as I clicked the wrong button making the reservation and ended up with a single queen bed instead of a king or two queens. The cameras stayed in the bag so no pictures today.
PF Changs for diner and I get the Osmo Mobile setup & operational for Day 2 tomorrow.
Spent a nice couple of hours out on the lake today doing some fishing. It was sunny with a light west wind and a little cool at about 8°C. While I was picking up some minnows I received a tip about a spot in Moore Bay from a local guide that was producing yesterday, but for me today, nothing.
I then went to the other end of Moore Bay were I’d been with my brother inlaw and caught fish previously. This spot is the “Fall Spot” and is supposed to be very good around this time of year. Upon arrival, the fish finder lights up and is “beeping” so much I turn off the fish alarm. Below is a screenshot of the Garmin echoMap.
Well, they may have been on the finder, but refused to get on the end of my line! After about 45 minutes and several passes over multiple areas that claimed to have lots of fish, just one nibble and that might just have been my wishful thinking. I gave up and boated back to the cottage empty handed, but still enjoyed my time out on the lake.
Some how I got interested in stoicism, perhaps just a little bit as its not making too much sense just yet. Anyway, I’m subscribed to the Daily Stoic emails and today’s email and my corresponding discovery is that when your angry, perhaps it’s best not to read this s***.
This is something we have to remember when we get overwhelmed or puffed up. That none of this is new. All of this is running according to a tired script as old as time. Don’t let it go to your head. Don’t let it get to you. You’re just an actor playing a role. And soon enough they’ll be producing a remake of it and you won’t even be around to be in it.
This really didn’t inspire me at all. A little depressing actually.
I’ve been year round cycle commuting for 5 years now and of course the winter season is the most challenging. Studded snow tires certainly help, but this year I rode a fat bike for a few days, What a game changer. Seriously considering adding a new bike to the stable.
We had a great day with the family starting with Brunch and culminating with the traditional turkey dinner. Lots of action with Parker & Easton (4) and Clark & Dane (2), they really bring something special to the day.