The second part of our trip covers the Wisconsin Dells, WI to Otsego, MN.
The first part of our trip ended with the battery light coming on in the truck as we headed back to the hotel.
The next morning the first thing Papa Bear did was call a local Chevy dealership to find they couldn’t get us in for a couple of days. The next call was to Walmart Automotive. Thankfully, they COULD get us in.
They checked the electrical system, (for free!), and narrowed it down to the alternator. They weren’t able to do the repairs for us but a wonderful employee named Dawn, who worked in the automotive area, said she knew of a place called CJJ’s Auto & Truck Center that might be able to help and she use to go there herself.
Dawn called CJJ’s and explained our situation. When she hung up she said they would be expecting us.
So it was off to Mauston, WI to CJJ’s which was about 22 miles north of the Dells up the freeway. That was a very tense 22 miles hoping the truck didn’t die on the way.
As soon as we arrived a mechanic came out to get the keys. We had barely made it into the waiting room and closed the door behind us and they had the truck in the stall already.
Heather, the woman behind the counter was extremely friendly and very knowledgeable as were the mechanics. Thankfully they had the parts and had us up and running in just under an hour.
We were very impressed by them. They obviously had other vehicles to work on that day and didn’t have to make us a priority but they did and we were very grateful.
The reason this part of the trip was ending in Otsego, MN was because of PB’s ex Commanding Officer, C. He knew we were driving through and he and his lovely bride J had invited us to dinner at their house that night.
So when PB planned this trip he figured in plenty of time for us to get to their house by 6pm but also enough time to make a few stops along the way.
Of course this was before the alternator went out but since CJJ’s got us back on the road so quickly, we decided to make at least one stop anyway.
We ultimately ended up here at the Hixton School House Antique Mall. It’s right off Interstate 94 in Wisconsin and in all the years I lived in Minnesota and drove past it on my way down to IL to visit my parents, I never stopped so I was pretty excited to finally visit.
I am so happy my husband is an antique junkie like myself. Now if we can just get Bear Cub hooked….
Anyway, this place is endless! So many different vendors and areas to look through. It’s amazing the different types of antiques you see in different parts of the country.
We spend about an hour walking around but we would have stayed much longer if we didn’t have somewhere to be that night. Plus we still wanted to check into our hotel before heading over for dinner.
Overall we did pretty well. And when I say, “pretty well”, what I really mean is we showed much restraint and didn’t buy everything we wanted to buy for ourselves but instead ended up getting a few things for our dinner hosts.
The rest of the drive north was pretty uneventful until we arrived in St. Paul, MN and hit rush hour traffic. That pretty much ate up any spare time we had left so by the time we arrived at the hotel, we quickly checked in, got our bags to the room and hurried back down to the truck and found our way over to C and J’s house. Which thankfully wasn’t far away or hard to find considering they live in such a rural area.
C, J and their 3 children live in what use to be an old farm-house on approximately 10 acres. Over the years they have been remodeling the house, the barns and outbuildings as money and time permit and they have done a great job. The house was especially beautiful.
I do wish I had gotten some pictures but since I had just met them, I didn’t feel comfortable asking.
Thankfully C & J’s children are as fun and active as Bear Cub so it was really nice for him to get out and run around after being in the truck most of the day.
After a great dinner and hours of conversation for the adults, and after dinner, much running around AND a water balloon fight for BC, it was time to head back to the hotel.
The next day we were driving to Jamestown, ND so we didn’t have a long trip ahead of us but I think some of the earlier stressors of the day where finally catching up with us. We were getting tired.
So check back soon for Part 3. I promise there are more pictures from here on out and less of me droning on and on!