Wanderung 29

Alaska or Bust

July 2014 - August 2014

Canada: Manitoba 4


Waterford: An Old-fashioned, Small Town 4th of July


Following the toll roads across Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana to Chicago was fast, flat, and forgettable , but we surely had fun once we arrived at Martin and Tanya's place on the North side near the lake. First, Martin used his experience organizing backpacking excursions to design a menu for our camping in Denali, and then re-work our food supply. But then Tanya came home and we all went out for dinner at a rather authentic Irish pub near Wrigley Field. I had Shepherds pie and a pint of true draft Murphy's ale in their back room with its old blackened beams and huge fireplace , and dreamed of going back to Ireland while we chatted about the family. Such fun.

It took Martin the entire morning and part of the afternoon to finalize our menu for camping in Denali National Park, go shopping for the ingredients, and then teach us how to mix up the serving-sized packets for each meal across the seven days we planned to camp there. But as we continued on our journey North we felt MUCH better prepared for that part of the trip. (Thank you, Martin!)


Our trip to Alaska started with a lot of preparations. Our mascots, Muschi (stuffed kitten) and Spatz (stuffed sparrow), read up on Camping in Alaska and checked our route for our first stop, our son in Chicago. Martin reorganized our food supply for Denali and sent us on our way.



The next morning we drove north to Waterford in Wisconsin were my sister lives. There we enjoyed a true small-town America 4th of July celebration. The celebration started with a morning parade over an hour long that included marching troupes of Boy Scouts, 4-H clubs, Future Farmers of America, High School marching bands, and trucks from the local fire departments.


Our next stop was the small town of Waterford in Wisconsin where we celebrated the 4th of July with Bob's sister Lois. This was no coincidence--we had planned it that way to enjoy the holiday there. Waterford and the close by town of Burlington still celebrate the 4th of July the old-fashioned way: Parade in the morning, concert in the park in the afternoon, and fireworks in the evening. Since Lois plays the oboe in the band, she participated in the two of the three events.

First there was the parade in the morning with fire engine,marching bands, and floats.


There even was a cement mixer with its rotating concrete tank painted red, white and blue! The streets of Waterford were jam packed with spectators who enthusiastically applauded and waved at every parade float or marching group. Huzzah and Happy Birthday U.S.A.!


There were, of course, also horses and old cars. This parade was truly a part of Americana that I would recommend everyone to experience at least once.

In the evening we had the concert in Echo Park in the city of Burlington. The Kiwanis Band (including Lois on her oboe!) played in an old-fashioned band stand in the middle of the park. The band played that old Sousa classic: Stars and Stripes forever, as sun went down over the lake, and the cymbal player strutted her stuff, clashing her cymbals out among the audience!

And as sun went down we were ready for the fireworks.


What a wonderful send off for our trip to explore the northern-most state of our great country. Onward!

Copyright 2014 by R. W. Holt and E. M. Holt


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