The morning was busy. We got up a 7:00 and started our departure prep. Izzy woke up shortly after and came out to the trailer because she wanted to practice riding her bike. She is obsessed with it, but that’s a good thing. I walked alongside her as she rode on the street. Just riding in the driveway was getting a little boring I think. She’s got her riding down pretty well. I told her by the time we get back to visit again, she will probably be riding without her training wheels.
James was taking Anne to dance practice with her team at 9:30, so we snapped a few pictures before she left. She wouldn’t be back before we left for Madison, so we said our goodbyes.
Anne and Bob
Anne and James
Izzy, Anne, Kaya, and James
Izzy and I went inside the house to cool off after her bike ride. She told me all about the fort she built with Grandma Karen yesterday. It was very cool and took some imagination.
James returned and had to pack for the kids and load the car for their 3 days trip to Iowa. Anne was hired by the University and high school dance teams in Davenport to create a dance routine and develop the choreography for them. She was taking 3 of her senior dancers along to help demonstrate the routine while Anne taught it to the groups. James and the kids would pick Anne up after practice at 11:30 and head out of town. I did my thing getting the inside of the trailer ready to go. Auggie looked a little “down in the dumps”. Maybe he was sad about leaving. He really seemed to like Izzy and was very attentive to where she went and what she was doing.
We hooked up the truck to the trailer and were ready to say our final goodbyes. We took a picture of us with Kaya and Izzy. We would miss all of them.
Kaya, Grandma Cindy, Grandpa Bob, and Izzy
At 11:00, we were on the road. The drive was a short 70 miles and uneventful. We drove into the entrance on a long driveway lined by beautiful old trees.
We arrived at the Viking Village Campground at 12:30 and checked in at the office.
The campground was very nice and beautifully maintained. There was a great pool near the office that I hope to make use of during our stay here.
It seems that this used to be Martin Luther Orphanage. I did some research on the facility. This is what I learned. On November 1, 1889 in Madison, the Martin Luther Orphan’s Home was established by the Norwegian Synod of the Lutheran Church for children orphaned by disease, epidemics, poverty, and war. In 1894, the home was relocated to Stoughton, WI on 52 acres. By 1898, between 90 and 120 children were being cared for. A fire in 1925 destroyed the girls and boys dormitories. The 2-story red brick building was the nursery and girls’ dormitory and rebuilt in 1927. In 1935, the stone house was built to house the boys’ dormitory and workshop. During this time, the orphanage was home to nearly 200 children and 20 employees. The home was totally self-sufficient–raising its own livestock and crops, and educating the children in the schoolhouse which now serves as the campground office. In 1940, the services changed focus from orphans to troubled youth. It was abandoned in 1974 and stood vacant for 4 years. It was then purchased and developed as the Viking Village Campground of today in 1979. The old buildings that are still on the grounds are very well-maintained.
Boy’s dormitory and workshop
Our site, #11, was somewhat off by itself from the other campers with large grassy areas all around. We had some nice big trees on our site to provide needed shade.
We pulled up and immediately Auggie wanted out of the truck. It was a new area to explore. Bob did his jobs to set up camp and I did mine. We were all set up and ready to relax in no time. I did a little bit of cleaning inside the trailer that I had put off till now and then I pulled up a chair under a shady oak tree. It was serene and beautiful. We relaxed a little before we left to have dinner at our friends, Patty and Paul’s house. Bernie and Barb would be joining us. We have all been friends for 20+ years and we met through boating in Door County. We left Auggie in the camper. He was tired from all his visiting with Izzy. Bob and I left the campground at 4:00 and made the short drive to Fitchburg where they live. We joined them on the back deck in their beautiful backyard. We enjoyed a cocktail or two before dinner. I had to check out Paul’s collection of 22 guitars. The collection has grown a bit since we were here last time.
We were having brats and chicken breasts on the grill. Paul did a fine job of cooking with Bernie supervising his work.
Paul and Bernie
It started to rain, so we all moved inside and enjoyed a wonderful dinner with friends.
Patty, Barb, and I
Bob, Bernie, and Paul
Around 7:30, we left to return to the campground. By then, it was raining hard and it continued throughout the night. Auggie got his walk in while there was a break in the rain. We barely finished his walk before the skies let loose. We watched the Packer game on TV and then called it a night. What a great time we had! Thanks, Patty and Paul!