We are staying at Lake Farm Campground, a Dane County Park, just a few smiles south of the city of Madison, Wisconsin. The price for this wide open spot is $26 per night but it only has 50 amp electricity and we had to fill with water near our site. No sewer, no cable but it does oddly have free Wi-Fi. It is also conveniently located near the city and a bicycle trail system called the Capital City State Bike Trail. We will definitely check out the bike trail for one of our city treks.
Madison is called Mad Town by some of the locals and we wanted to stop by here to check out this state’s capitol. Madison is a large city of nearly a quarter of a million. It is also called The City of Four Lakes as it is in the midst of Lakes Mendota, Lake Monona, Lake Waubesa, and Lake Kegonsa. This city reminds of of another state capitol, Austin, in our home state of Texas.
On our list here, of course, was to check out the state capitol building. Madison was not the site of the original capitol building as it was in Belmont for 42 days. Then after moving to Madison the second capitol building was constructed in 1837 on its current site. As the government grew so did the capitol building. Tragedy struck in 1904 when all but the north wing burned to the ground due to an accidental fire. The building as it is today began construction in 1906 and was finally completed in 1917. It is a super cool building.
Happily the capital building was recently renovated and restored to its original appearance. There are lots of decorative stencils and murals that were repaired or recreated. Many of the interior columns have gold leaf at their apexes and there is a lot of various stone work throughout the structure. At the end of the wings is a sculpted badger that I originally thought was a rat (oops!). But hey,l most state governments have a rat in the capitol somewhere don’t they?
After spending some time exploring the capitol building we strolled over to a place called the Old Fashioned right on the capitol square.The square hosts a big farmer’s market on Saturdays and this weekend the Taste of Madison will be held here.I sure wish we could stay for these two events but with the first University of Wisconsin game scheduled for this weekend there isn’t a RV site to be had near town. Thankfully we were able to score a site in Woodstock Illinois for Labor Day Weekend (Thanks Pam! for the tip) so we will head there on Friday.