On The Road/ Series I / Article 2

for Pickens Progress newspaper back in Jasper, Georgia

by Barbara Taylor & Homer S. Sewell III

I hope all of you there in Pickens county are doing well and looking forward to the holiday season. I don't know what your weather has been doing there, but we are now in Wisconsin and have been having some bad weather since we last reported to you.

Two weeks ago ABE spoke to students in Hobart, IN on Monday morning and we then drove over to Momence, IL. After visiting with the students there we drove to a Cracker Barrel Restaurant and had a nice dinner with Max and Donna Daniels from Wheaton, IL. I had met them when Homer and I were in Charleston, IL for a convention earlier this year. Max is another ABE and Donna plays the part of Mary in their visits to schools and other locations. Homer has known them for several years and had told me ahead of time about Max and his humor. He was right! We had a nice evening visiting with them.

We had a day off on Tuesday so we spent Monday evening at Starved Rock State Park campground in Central Illinois. We just about had the whole place to ourselves. Wednesday found us in Cuba, IL in the morning and the evening in Gridley. Then on to two schools in Chillicothe, IL. We were excited about spending Friday in Galena, IL because we knew that General U. S.Grant had lived there. After school we stopped by for a quick visit and tour of his beautiful home. (Picture with article)

We spent Friday night in Cuba City, Wisconsin at a garage and had a new starter and fan clutch put on Saturday morning. In southern Wisconsin we kept seeing signs about a House on the Rock. We decided to stop for a visit to see what it was all about. Words can't very easily describe what we saw in our three hour visit there. We have included a lot of information about this wonderful museum in case any of you are ever in the Wisconsin area you will want to be sure to stop by. Disney World and other attractions have NOTHING on this place. The two men who put it all together had an imagination that reached all the way to the moon and back!!


We then drove further north into Wisconsin and stayed at a beautiful glacial lake campground, Devil's Lake State Park. On Sunday afternoon before we left we took a three mile walk around the lake. I have not seen water so clear in a long time. It was a very beautiful place to spend a weekend.

On Sunday evening we headed on over to North Freedom for Monday morning and to Waupun for the afternoon. Our trip that afternoon to Mauston caught us in the worst snow, ice, sleet and wind storm of the century. We heard on the news later the winds were 50 to over 125 miles per hour. Semi-trailers were flipped over all along the highways. It took us over six hours to drive the 200 miles to Two Rivers. We were only able to drive 35 to 45 MPH as we feared being blown off the highway in the AbeMobile. I don't think I've ever been so scared in my entire life! Not a fun time to be on the road.

After speaking to the students at beautiful Two Rivers we headed south along the shore of Lake Michigan to Kenosha and visited two schools there on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. Then it was off to Lake Mills and Stevens Point for Friday. The AbeMobile started heating up again and now it looks like we've got major engine problems....either a blown head gasket or a cracked block. We won't know until another mechanic looks at it Tuesday.