Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bike Ride to Madison and Univ. of Wisconsin…

Madison WI 017

Madison WI 016Lake Farm County Park is perfectly situated right outside Madison WI and we have really enjoyed our stay. They are electricity only sites but there is an easily navigable dump station and several water taps dispersed throughout the park for filling tanks. The showers are spacious and clean so despite that there aren’t full hookup sites, Sharon has been pretty happy here and it is very accessible to Madison.

Madison WI 024There is a beautiful disc golf course within the county park but the steep $8.00 fee per person put us off. We preferred to spend that money at Happy Hour at our favorite downtown bar, The Old Fashioned. There is free one hour parking nearby and they boast having every Wisconsin craft beer brewed either on draft or in bottles. Best of all at Happy Hour pints are two for one. Sharon was able to order her Stouts and I my IPA and still be charged the two for one price. Needless to say, much to my delight this price allowed me to try many different Wisconsin crafted IPAs.

The park we camped at is also linked to the Capitol Trail System so since student move in day was happening at the University of Wisconsin combined with a lot of construction on campus convinced us we should bike in for our campus tour. It is about 6.5 miles into town for the visit and we meandered along the lake taking in the view of our favorite Capitol Building and the Madison skyline with the beautiful blue lake in the forefront. From there we meandered through many quiet and beautiful neighborhoods before arriving on campus.

Madison WI 018       Madison WI 020

As expected we saw more U Hauls than we could count along with traffic snarls at construction and building renovation areas. We were so happy we rode our bikes as we went straight to the Bookstore to park and lock our bikes to enable us to walk and photograph our favorite buildings. Since the campus also borders one of the lakes we saw many students taking advantage of the lake piers and beaches for sunning, relaxing and socializing. As always we felt energized by the feel of excitement all around us on campus. After our walk we collected our bikes Madison WI 026and rode over to Camp Randall, the University of Wisconsin football stadium. Sadly it was all locked up as there was a practice in full session and the entire area was filled with students eagerly collecting their season tickets.

As planned to make our way back to camp my bicycle decided to have a major failure when the headset bearing decided to turn square instead of round. This made turning the handle bars extremely difficult to turn making the 6.5 mile return trip very unpleasant. We did pause for me to rest my hands and shoulders and to take in our final views of the fun city of Madison. Happily we made it back and my hands were a bit cramped and between my shoulders was very tight but at least I didn't have to walk the bikeMadison WI 023 back. And even better we got back to camp just in time to hop in the car for one last happy hour at the Old Fashioned…….gotta love it!

We left Madison on Friday morning and made the one and half hour drive south where we are now staying at the Willoaks Campground in Woodstock, Illinois. We plan to use this campground as a base to take Sharon into Chicago since she has never been there before…


  1. Wishing you a hearty welcome to Madison (and the UW-Madison) where this Cheesehead (Badger) once went to school -- and graduated. A long time ago! Hope you had a chance to go to the Saturday Farmers Market on Capitol Square. That campground is where I have stayed when visiting Madison on my nomadic travels. Wishing you good times.

  2. More sightseeing fun, those Happy Hours sound great too.
    To bad about your bike.

  3. If you go to the Navy Pier be sure to go to the Stained Glass Museum. We really enjoyed it! Crai went to UW Madison for part of his college years. We both grew up in Milwaukee and graduated from UW Ilwaukee.

  4. I'm on my ipad and it went dead before I was finished. I have enjoyed your Wisconsin posts very much.

  5. Like the sound of the campground and love that you can bike to the University. I've always heard that Madison was a great little college town.

  6. I am not a big Badger fan, but I have always heard great things about Madison. While in Chicago, be sure to walk around Wrigley, if you can find a place to park. Also, call to see if you can get tickets to a Second City show in Old Town. Lots of fun. Oh, and there are no bad restaurants in Chicago.