Monday, August 02, 2004

Madison, WI Aug 1

Hopped from Chicago to Madison Wisconsin on our State and National Capital tour. We made a detour outside of Madison to visit a National Historical Site called Cave of the Mounds. I'd promised the girls we'd see at least one cave on our trip and we'd already passed Howe's Caverns and some Kentucky cave sites without venturing in. I found this one on the internet and it sounded cool, so off we went...

Cave of the mounds was discovered in 1939 when the land owner was blasting for limestone in his quarry. They set off 8 bored holes full of black powder and when the debris settled they found out they had opened up an entrance to a limestone cave over 1/3rd of a mile long. Ever since then it's been a tourist location. It's very cool. Lots of stalagmites and stalagtites and calcium deposits in interesting colors. We all came to the conclusion that "caves are cool".

We spent the evening in Madison cruising the city in car and on foot. It's pretty dead in the summer as the UW Badgers are out of school and the state legislature is taking a break also. A benfactor has donated upwards of $150 million to put in a new performing arts center and restructure the downtown to make it more pedestrian friendly so there was a lot of construction going on.

Betsy and I both agree that the people we've met in Wisconsin seem to be very "real". The kids still seem to have that midwest corn fed friendlyness without having that need to express their uniqueness (the same way every one else is expressing theirs) through tatoos and piercings and such. The adults also seem to have skipped over the keeping up with the Jones materialism. I think I could live in Wisconsin.


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