The Washington Times - August 27, 2008, 02:16PM

TUESDAY, SOMEWHERE IN WISCONSIN - Leaving Chicago in the early morning, it's 67 degrees and the traffic is at a crawl getting on the Kennedy Expressway at Addison Avenue. Off in the distance in the rear view mirror the Sears Tower stands out above the skyline, silhouetted with cumulus clouds.

Driving westbound along the intestate in rural Wisconsin, out of the window I see a gas station sign which reads "Cheese, Gifts, and Fireworks" ... another "Famous Humbird Cheese. 100 varieties" Did I mention we're in Wisconsin? Another reads "STOP aquatic hitchhikers! It's the law!" ... So, what, you're on your boat, out on the water minding your own business, and there's someone treading water, alone in the water, without a boat ... looking for a ride ... ? 
Now I'm coming from Washington D.C. ... So if this has another meaning, well, oops!
Okie dokie.

Well you know, I'm originally from the Midwest, so I know one of the nicknames for us is the "fly over people" because people on one coast are flying over to get to the other coast. So here we are in the great state of Wisconsin (and I must say it really is a beautiful place, and the people are very sincere and genuine) home of great cheese, brats, the Packers and the Dells. ... Oh yeah the Cheese Heads! 
When I was a kid growing up in Chicago and Evanston Illinois (the 'S' is silent) that was a word my friends called people from Wisconsin. Now watching a Packers' game on TV, you can spot them sprinkled in the crowd, huge yellow triangle pieces of foam, fitted upon their heads, cheddar.

Today Wisconsin hosts us on her interstates as we pass by dairy farms, farm implement and spotted cows, for the trip through a part of the Midwest as we make our way to St. Paul, Minnesota for the RNC. A full cup of coffee, a tank full of gas and an open road, onward to the Land of 10,000 Lakes!

Rod Lamkey Jr.
Staff Photographer
The Washington Times