atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6410: There and back again.

Mrs. Fungus had wanted to get away for a couple of days, and as soon as we knew I'd have the time off anyway, she arranged something.

We went to Spring Green, WI, to tour the House on the Rock. Leave Wednesday, went the plan, see the House on Thu and Fri, then come back Sat.

So, Wed, off we went. Got up later than planned, left later than planned, got stuck in rush-hour traffic.

Note to self: when the GPS wants to take you through Chicago, do not listen to it. Listen to your instincts and take the tollway. Trust me.

By the time we crossed the border it was pitch black outside. When we got off the highway--having been in WI for 47 miles--imagine my surprise when the GPS said, "Drive thirty miles." We proceeded to drive on utterly deserted two-lane roads the rest of the way to our destination. But then an obstacle: "BRIDGE OUT" at a town called Black Earth.

To my surprise, when I made an immediate right turn the GPS didn't kick at it and start issuing instructions on turning around; it just went with it and recalculated, getting us around the failed bridge. But that incident--which seemed like the preamble for a Twilight Zone episode--prompted all kinds of jokes about Black Earth, how all the roads lead back to it at night, how that funny Rod Serling feller was here just a little while ago, etc.

Got to the resort and checked in, and hit the pool; then, wondering about food, we cast around the room looking for a guidebook; there was none. We did Internet searches and called the front desk, but the town of Spring Greem rolls up its sidewalks about 10 PM and there was nothing open. The woman at the desk made some suggestions but I checked them, and they were closed; Mrs. Fungus called the one pizza place in a 40-mile radius that closed at midnight, but they turn their ovens off at 9 PM for reasons.

We did find that about a 20-minute drive away was a 24-hour WalMart; we went there. And all the way there we cracked jokes about how all the food in the county is collected at Black Earth, and after 9 PM you weren't allowed to have any. Mrs. Fungus suggested we raid a barn we were passing for eggs.

"There ain't no eggs here. As soon as an egg is laid, an interdimensional portal takes it to Black Earth," I said, mimicing the stern farmer, unhappy at the intrusion. "There ain't no food nowhere in Dodge County after 9 PM." (I just said "Dodge County" because there was a sign for some attraction that was named after a Governor Dodge. I have no idea where we were.)

WalMart did have food, and lots of it, so we got some supplies and headed back to the resort. Having eaten, we went to bed.

To our surprise, we were able to see the entirety of House on the Rock in one day. Mrs. Fungus was confident it would take two--it had taken two days when she was last there--but we did it all and returned to the resort pleasantly tired.

And hungry. I'd had a PBJ for breakfast and she'd had--you know, I'm not sure what she ate--and then we went to the House; partway through we had some mediocre pizza in one of their restaurants, the only one that was open, but it had not been very good, and anyway by the time we got back it had been hours.

Dinner at the resort restaurant, reserved table, and it was...uh. Well. The salad was okay. We had this weird pepper-gouda soup which was pretty tasty. My entree was two smallish chicken breasts, grilled--and dry; Mrs. Fungus had a very bland chicken cordon bleu. Plus side, with tip it was under $65, which is nearly impossible to do at a resort restaurant.

With the proviso that none of these places are Michelin Star winners, our experience with resort restaurants so far is that they're pricey and the quality is lacking.

We talked over our plans. We had the choice to remain until Saturday, as planned, or to check out Friday morning and spend the balance of our weekend at home. We elected to do the latter, and so today we came home.

...stopped for breakfast at a place recommended by the concierge, and finally got a decent meal. Pancakes, eggs, hash browns, sausage, biscuit with gravy, toast, bacon--the sausage was made in-house, and my only complaint about the meal was that the syrup seemed weak. I could barely taste it. Otherwise, we left well satisfied, and began our trip home.

Then we saw an elk at a petting zoo, and had to turn around and go back. Mrs. Fungus fed corn to the pygmy goats, and besides them we saw a llama, pea hens, ducks, grouse, chickens, and pigs.

We went inside to look around, she bought a couple things; I put her in the truck and went to take a picture of the elk. Damn, that's a big animal.

Got back on the road, and drove home. Arrived, unloaded, hit the sack for three hours.


Trouble: after doing the House on the Rock--this was on Thursday--we went to a gas station, and as I pulled up to the stoplight the Jeep just died on me. Stalled out. Put it in neutral, cranked it over, stalled. Put on hazards, put it in park, cranked over--wouldn't start!--gave it gas, then it started, but as soon as I took my foot off, stalled.

Tried again and she ran up to 5,000 RPM before I got my foot off the gas, but it wouldn't stay running, so I juggled the gas with my foot while I shifted into gear, and managed to limp it into the gas station.

Mrs. Fungus went inside to get a drink while I looked on my phone to see what could be causing it. A bunch of unhelpful nonsense, but something about grounds; when she came back I tried starting it again, and it started normally and idled smooth as you please.


Filled the tank up; and while doing that, looked over the engine and saw nothing out of place. Didn't give so much as a hiccup the entire rest of the trip.

Going to check and redo all the engine grounds tomorrow, I think, just on general principles. That was the common theme for "Jeep Cherokee won't stay running".

Anyway, so now it's relaxation time. Monday morning, first day on the new job!

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