2016, Trip Seven, The Berkshires, Sept.8

Road trip to the Berkshires in western Massachusetts

Road trip to the Berkshires in western Massachusetts

Springfield IL Sept. 8

We are down in the land where Lincoln trod. Springfield IL was his primary home, although not his birth site. In order to get here, we drove today for 530 miles with two stops for local “attractions”. Today, and for most of the rest of this trip, we plan to use Interstates heavily, instead of rural two lane roads. We are also less likely to eat at small, local restaurants as we need to keep to a tight schedule. That probably means national chains with quick service.

Lunch at the largest Culver's in the world

Lunch at the largest Culver’s in the world

However, our lunch was Chris’s version of eating local. Culver’s is a home-grown Wisconsin chain that still has its headquarters in small town Wisconsin. Begun in 1984, they now have 560 stores. Lunch today was in the largest Culver’s store, in Newville, WI, along Interstate 90 in southern WI.

Castle Rock, WI

Castle Rock, WI

Before lunch though, we made two stops. The first was nostalgic, at a wayside rest in Wisconsin by Castle Rock. Chris and I remember stopping here frequently on our many drives between Pennsylvania and Minnesota, as did her parents on their drives between Connecticut and Minnesota. The rock formation juts out from the ground and geologists tell us the formation is actually the remnants of an island from glacial lakes formed thousands of years ago. I am able to view the rock when I am on Amtrak’s Empire Builder, doing narration for the National Park Service. I hope you appreciate the picture; we endured numerous mosquito bites in order to obtain them.

The second stop was at the International Crane Foundation (ICF) facility in Baraboo, WI, just south of Wisconsin Dells. ICF is the only place in the world where one can see all 15 varieties of cranes in one location. Cranes are in Asia, Europe, North America and Africa, although they are endangered in all locales. The cranes have both outdoor pens and indoor shelter; some were inside and we did not view them but we did see 11 different species of cranes. In addition to breeding cranes, ICP works around the world to provide and protect sufficient breeding and migration ground for cranes.

Whooping Crane

Whooping Crane

Wattled Crane

Wattled Crane

Blue Crane

Blue Crane

Grey Crowned Crane

Grey Crowned Crane

Trip Seven will be a two and one-half week trip, driving to the Berkshire Mountains where we will spend 4-5 days with Deb and Rebecca. To get there-and back, we will be stopping at numerous National Park sites. Lincoln’s home will be the first NPS site and we plan to be there early Friday morning when the doors open.

Chris and Ed

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