Wisconsin / Sept. 23, 2012 / by Gelb

It's been all Wisconsin this week! The weather is starting to cool down quite a bit, and the Bus 52 team needs more propane! Still, we enjoyed ourselves with two awesome stories and some warm coffee shops to get some work done.

On Sunday, we were initially going to start our trek from Des Moines up to Milwaukee, but seeing as we hadn't yet heard back from our stories about specific dates, I let everyone sleep in and we just took an extra day. After last week's roller coaster, it was fine to let everyone relax.

Monday, we awoke to spitting rain, but determination as we set off for Milwaukee. We weren't going to have our stories until the end of the week, and because the trip was going to be about 7 hours, we thought we would take it in two days. Because of that convenient fact, that meant we could go through Riverside, IA. Why is Riverside so special you ask? It is the future birthplace of James T Kirk! Apparently several towns in Iowa vied for the right to be the official future birthplace of The Star Trek Captain and Riverside happened to win. The large stone plaque commemorating the as-yet-unseen event was poetically hidden behind a small hair salon. We were psyched.

After getting our pictures and fill of our geeky-ness, we set off. Because it was still early, we decided to make a go for hitting Milwaukee that same night. We managed to get into our delightful county campground in Caledonia, WI on the banks of Lake Michigan shortly after 9:30. We were exhausted, but proud we'd gone the full way.

Tuesday and Wednesday were both work days. There wasn't internet at our campsite, so a nearby Starbucks became our satellite office.

On Thursday, we headed out to Pewaukee, WI for our story on the Cops and Kids Foundation - a fantastic outreach program that gets police officers and kids from the community together for activities. They learn archery, learn bowling, and even try fishing (that particular activity is called Cops and Bobbers). We headed out and watched them engage in some friendly archery practice. Some kids as young as seven were there - which, when you compare to a pair of over-six-foot police officers, can seem pretty funny. They all seemed to enjoy themselves thoroughly, and I think this will make for a great story.

Friday saw us back in Milwaukee, this time on the south side to do a story on Erica Steele, the director of Empowering Latinos, an innovative english class within the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin. This is no ordinary class - it's a one-on-one english class designed for Spanish-speaking adults and parents that pairs participants up with volunteers from the community. It's not only about grammar and culture, but about building personal relationships through language learning. It's a very innovative idea, and one I'm looking forward to seeing on film! Erica also enlightened us to Los Cabritos, a mexican place nearby, where we engorged ourselves in carnitas, burritos, and all sorts of delicious food (and horchata of course) - delicious.

Because we didn't have very stable internet at our campsite, we headed out on Saturday for some more wifi-searching. Before heading off to work, Amy Chin wanted to check out Sprecher Brewery - a very cheap, very fun brewery tour and tasting. We spent quite a while there - excellent value for money! I was quite partial to the Ginger Ale myself.

This next week will be all illinois! We have a jam-packed line-up of stories this week, with six slated in the schedule. From everything from Skydiving to a Haunted House, we're looking forward to the week!