Aug 19, 2019 – Wait, we’re not finished with Wisconsin yet!

A view from our roof of Harrington Beach State Park’s campground. Lake Michigan is a short 1/2 mile walk behind this scene.

Somewhere in our travel research, I read that Harrington Beach State Park is one of the best state parks in the state of Wisconsin being located on Lake Michigan. I figured after spending a week photographing Lake Michigan from Door County, it couldn’t hurt to spend a few more days doing the same from another vantage point.

Up the road from our campsite.

Ironically, while staying 3 nights at Harrington, I spent the least amount of time on the shores of the great lake; instead there was much more to this park. Good thing because the lake’s water levels are so high, there was no beach! Enjoy the photos from this beautiful and historical park.

Forested trails lead you a short distance to Lake Michigan.
Lake Michigan shoreline at the park. There is a beach area, but as you can see water levels are high and the beach is submerged.
From the 1890s until 1925, a dolomite quarry (now called Quarry Lake) operated in what is now Harrington Beach State Park. Here, you can see tracks laid out in the water for the mule-driven carts. Below, enjoy a slide show of the state park.

There was another draw to staying at Harrington Beach and that was to visit yet another post-industrial city, Milwaukee. Yes, the city that has or had the following distinct and I might add, diverse characteristics:

  • the German Athens of America
  • the largest Polish settlement in the U.S.
  • the distinction with New York City of having the largest percentage of immigrant residents in the U.S.
  • the major city in which for years the Socialist Party of America earned the highest votes
  • a street named after Al Capone because he owned a home in a Milwaukee suburb
  • avoided the severe declines that other rust belt cities could not because of its large immigrant population and historic neighborhoods
  • nicknames “the cream city” because of the prominent cream-colored brick used to build many buildings
  • once the home of the world’s largest beer breweries (Schlitz, Blatz, Pabst and Miller) and number one beer producing city in the world
  • home to America’s Black Holocaust museum
  • home to Laverne and Shirley
The historic Third Ward was once a flat swampy area. Drained, it was soon populated with primarily Irish immigrant homes along with factories & warehouses. It was known as “Bloody Third” for its frequent fistfights.
The headless mural created by German artist Andres Von Chrzanowski. According to the artist, the mural pays homage to women who dyed hosiery in this building for the Phoenix Hosiery Company. As you can imagine, the headless part of the mural has conjured much controversy.
We passed a lot of art sculpture on our downtown walking tour.
Milwaukee’s Riverwalk.

With only a short time for a visit, we came to admire some of the historic architecture of Downtown Milwaukee, added steps to the FitBit while enjoying the Riverwalk, stood in awe inside the iconic Milwaukee Museum of Art and ate an authentic Mexican lunch in the Historic Third Ward. We didn’t experience enough of this city but enjoy these photos from what we can share with you. Also, to get a slightly different perspective of the city, check out our friends’ Spencer and Lorraine Saint’s travel blog about their visit to Milwaukee.

I think the best part of our visit was the Milwaukee Museum of Art. Without going through the museum, we enjoyed being inside the Quadracci Pavilion (shown here), designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Below is a slideshow of the inside of the building, specifically the Windhover reception hall.
A pedestrian suspension bridge connects the art museum to downtown Milwaukee.
From across the bridge, the iconic “moving masterpiece” Burke Brise Soleil can be seen atop Windhover Hall. An architectural and engineering accomplishment, the wings span 217 feet and opens and closes at specific times of the day. Ultrasonic sensors detect wind speed and when winds reach 23 mph for 3 sec, the wings automatically close. You can read about the science behind its creation here.
We also enjoyed viewing the architecture in the down town area. This one was built between 1902-04 out of Indiana limestone and represents a Beaux Arts style. As with several other buildings in the area, is ornamented with fluted columns, carved stone grotesques and bronze grill work. The slideshow below provides more images.

RV Tips and Issues

We have learned the hard way to research campsites before we reserve one. That is, we spend a good amount of time studying Google satellite images. And it isn’t just that anymore, now we use the measurement tool in Google Earth to evaluate campground road and campsite widths. If we are lucky, we can get a street view of the campground as well. And sometimes, we find someone’s video of campsites at specific campgrounds. All of this information available to us has made our life easier and has helped us avoid further problems. We are convinced that some of our previous campsites (because we didn’t know any better) were the reason for having serious suspension issues (more on that later). My advice is if you have a moderate-sized trailer, class A motorhome or a fifth wheel is the following:

  • Know the full length of your rig (this includes tow vehicle connected to trailer or fifth wheel). Ours is 49.5 feet (truck connected to fifth wheel). Therefore, we DO NOT reserve campsites that are shorter than 50 ft.
  • For back-ins, look for campsites that are on a straight-away and not on a curved portion of the campground road. Look at the first image at the top and notice the curved road. Vivian got in with no great problems, but the curve made it more difficult. Thankfully, there was no obstacle on the other side of the road.
  • With satellite views, look for objects that will interfere with backing in. This is where knowing the width of the campground road comes in handy.
  • When in doubt about a campground, search YouTube videos, you might get lucky and find images of the campground. Check out this YouTube channel titled Campsite Photos.

One thought on “Aug 19, 2019 – Wait, we’re not finished with Wisconsin yet!

  1. Home of Laverne and Shirley!! Love it. Great pictures as usual. I really regret not being able to visit the art museum. It looks beautiful


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