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Sun, Jul 25, 2004

Getting There Is Half The Fun

ANN's Best Tips For Getting To AirVenture 2004

By ANN Contributor Chris Armstrong

Going By Auto

If you are like the vast majority of people who go to Airventure, the biggest aviation gathering on the planet, you arrive by car. If you were planning on flying and haven't yet made arrangements to arrive at Oshkosh, here's a hint: you're either a driver or a pedestrian. A check of the Wisconsin DOT web site and the Federal Highway Administration web site will give you a heads up for road construction projects that you might want to avoid. The Wisconsin DOT site has a handy map of all construction projects for the year. Only a few of those listed are underway during Oshkosh week, so check the individual listings for when they are scheduled. If you are traveling through the Milwaukee area, make sure you go online to check the current congestion.

For many states the 511 traffic information service is available. The Chicago area is covered as well as many states west of Wisconsin. Just Dial 511 to receive traffic conditions for any road in the covered area.

If you are traveling from Michigan one option to reduce your drive around the lake is the Ludington (MI) to Manitowoc (WI) car ferry. The crossing takes four hours and costs $47 per adult one way, $78 round trip, plus $49 per car each way. State rooms are available for $34 one way and $66 round trip. Campers and trailers are additional.

The Ferry Leaves Ludington at 0800 ET, and 1955 ET arriving in Manitowoc at 1100 CT and 2255 CT. The return trips leave Manitowoc at 1315 CT and 0030 CT arriving in Ludington at 1815 ET and 0530 ET. There is a 20% discount on the 0030 "redeye."

A new high speed ferry service started operation last month. The Lake Express Catemaran,  travels from Milwaukee (WI) to Muskegon (MI). This ferry is nearly twice as fast as the SS Badger, taking two and a half hours to cross versus the four hours of the Badger, and the cost is not much more. The Lake express can take small campers and trailers for at additional cost but maximum height is 8 foot 6 inches, maximum width is 8 feet and maximum trailer length is 18 feet. The service is new and some passengers have reported some problems as might be expected in the first few weeks of operation, but most are pleased with the service.

When traveling to Oshkosh some great places to stop include the Wisconsin Dells, Devil's Lake State Park, Mill Bluff State Park, Kohlar park Dunes in the Kohlar-Andrae State Park, Cave of the Mounds, and the Kettle Moraine State Forest. Check the Wisconsin DNR page for details on state parks. If you prefer scenic back roads to highways a few great scenic drives on the way to Oshkosh are Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive, the Wazee Trail in Black River Falls, and the Wild Goose Parkway in Horicon.

Finally, if you feel like straying from AirVenture at some point during the week, there are quite a few other fly-ins and aviation-oriented events to check out. You can find a list of them on the Wisconsin DOT website.

FMI: www.eaa.org

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