Wisconsin to Iowa, USA

I completely drove the entire perimeter of Lake Michigan. I left the Upper Peninsula, Michigan early in the morning around 08:30. I decided to use my last quarter of gas to get to a gas station that cost .15 cents less per gallon. Then back to the road, but which way? This is where I lost service for 4 hours! Time to use a map and figure it out on my own. I essentially just drove on the rim of lake Michigan- it was beautiful. Not a bad place to navigate. I finally picked up service a little passed Green Bay. I used this time to catch up with my bestfriend. I had a feeling she had her baby- I was right! She had her baby a few hours before my call. After congratulating her I let her go to be with her family. She sent me lots of pictures and I wished I could’ve been there. I know I will meet her daughter soon. I called my sister for an hour


painted coy fish on the sidewalk in downtown Milwaukee. Pictured as I am walking over it.
coy fish on the sidewalk

I arrived to Milwaukee around 1330 and got an early check-in with an upgrade. The hotel is old and not in the best of areas but its laundry day and I didn’t want to pay too much. Finally, a shower. It’s been a full 2.5 days! The campground in Michigan didn’t have showers, so I had been using baby wipes. My grandma calls this a ‘whore bath’- haha, what!? Anyway, I had time to go downtown so I caught the public bus. Then I went to this great bar- Swinging Door Exchange. The people here were great! Ryan was my bartender, but even the patrons beside me were friendly. We had a full conversation, everyone at the bar was included. Then I did the River Walk to the Public Market. I really wanted the cheese whirls and curds but I still had a ways to go. Eventually I wound up by City Hall (inspired by a post card) but there was construction so the wonderful Arches didn’t bode well with the view behind them. Next stop, laundry soap and dryer sheets.

American flags waving on a bridge in downtown Milwaukee. Picture taken through orange lillies.
picture from 9/11

I figured it was getting dark and didn’t know what else was left in Milwaukee. It kinda seemed like a ghost town. Or as Eric, my Uber driver called it, a sleeping city. Apparently a few major department stores recently closed. The reason I really left was because I was uncomfortable- many people, men, were yelling out their windows, or across the street… etc. Then, a man started yelling directly at me, I think he was schizophrenic, he continued yelling at the building after he passed me. Anyway, I got this unpleasant vibe and decided it was time to Uber back. I saw a beautiful sunset on the ride out the back windshield. So, I talked with Eric for about 5 minutes, and he said to come back in the summer, it would be alive and reminiscent of a smaller Chicago. Maybe I will, but honestly… I dont have the fondest memories here. *On a side note: parking was cheaper than a bus ticket. Incl. the Uber I paid 3x a parking fee*. I do wish I had made it all the way to the lakeside, but there was a lot of construction and I didn’t have a goal in mind. I plan to go to Veterans park in the morning before I stop in Dubuque on my way to Minneapolis. I should be able to capture the skyline from the park. Grab lunch in Dubuque and hit my next stop. I should probably figure out the day now so I don’t waste another city like today. 

Me laying in a field at Veterans park, Milwaukee, WI.
small pond reflecting the skyline of Milwaukee
small pond on the way to Veterans park

Black Cat Alley- Milwaukee, WI.

9/12/18 recap of the morning.
What a long day. I decided to give Milwaukee another chance. And it was so worth it. I drove downtown myself and got free parking. Then I wandered to Black Cat alley to get pictures of all the street art. I expected it to be busy there, no idea where I came up with that idea, I was all by myself! This was perfect because I needed to get to the lakeside too and it was the opposite way from where I parked.
Click on a thumbnail below for full size.

I got some great shots with every piece of art thanks to my cell phone tripod and bluetooth remote, button. Then off I went, I stopped at Colectivo coffee, I read this was a must. I purchased a mocha and 2 slices of bread- chocolate pumpkin and also zucchini. Then I walked to the lakeside, more specifically Veterans Park to get a shot of the skyline and be on with my day. It was beautiful I took a perfect reflection shot in a small pond and all. Then I walked back to my car and drove it to the lakefront for some more pictures. I was out of there with good timing to stop in Dubuque for dinner. 

outside Colectivo coffee- their sign with the building behind it. People are sitting at teh tables outside, it's pretty crowded

Dubuque, Iowa

I arrived well before dinner time so the place I had originally picked to eat wasn’t yet open; instead I had a late lunch at Hops & Rye as an alternative. I ordered tacos, because it was Wednesday and I didn’t realize it was Tuesday before dinner yesterday.  The food wasn’t bad, just a bit messy. I would probably recommend it… I was just expecting a whole different experience. My heart was set on Brazen Open Kitchen Bar. Hops & Rye was empty and the employees just talked with eachother. Then I hopped back in my car and did a small bit of exploring until I accidentally got on a major route so figured it was time to leave. I’d just put in my next stop- Minneapolis. It was about 4 o’clock or so, and the GPS said it would take 4.5 hours.

My car parked in front of Hops & Rye in downtown Dubuqe, Iowa, USA.
Front row parking at Hops & Rye

It took me through a town by the university and then to a service road. I figured I’d be on this to back track and jump on the interstate. Nope, I stayed on this road and went through lots of farmland and small towns for 2 hours. It wasn’t too bad,  as I was about the only one on the road for the most part but I had no internet so I was just a little worried I would have to navigate again, but this time it would be more difficult. Anyway I got to witness a pretty gnarly sunset but I didn’t get any pictures. Oh, and I drove over the Mississippi river to get to Dubuque and then drove next to it for a majority of 1 out of 2 of those long hours. I got here to my hotel in Minneapolis around 21:00, and it’s now midnight. I have a pretty big city to navigate tomorrow.
Nighty night.

A view of the Mississippi River at a 'scenic view' stop on the road.
The Mississippi River

When I stay in hotels I always stay within the same chains- IHG. I’m not really a travel hacker but I use the IHG credit card so everything I buy helps me earn points for free stays and I also am a Spire elite member which includes complimentary upgraeds along with many other benefits.

All the photos on this post were taken with my Galaxy S9+.

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