As Gramps pulls into Madison, Wisconsin, Gram says that she feels sorry for Mrs. Winterbottom. She doesn't think Mrs. Winterbottom sounds very happy. "'Being a mother is like trying to hold a wolf by the ears,'" she says (10.3). Wait, it's like what?
They have a hard time finding a place to park (ugh, don't we all?), so Gramps has to be aggressive. Uh oh. Sounds like that trouble we've been hearing so much about.
He doesn't have any money for the parking meter, so he leaves a note for city of Madison explaining who he is.
He tells them he's a World War II veteran with German shrapnel in his leg. When Sal asks her grandfather if he really does have shrapnel in his leg, he doesn't really respond, which we take to mean, "the shrapnel was imaginary" (10.10).
Madison, Wisconsin is alive. Sal feels like the whole city is on vacation. People are biking, feeding ducks, windsurfing, and more.
The trio gets some delicious lunch at a deli, raspberry ice cream at a parlor, and some lemon tea and blueberry muffins at a café.
This all sounds like tons of fun, but Sal is itching to get back on the road. She has this strong urge to get to Idaho A.S.A.P.
Gram asks Sal if she'd like to send a postcard to anybody, but Sal doesn't like postcards, because her mom sent her loads of postcards after she left.
She remembers, "The last postcard arrived two days after we found out she wasn't coming back. It was from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. On the front was a picture of a beautiful blue lake surrounded by tall evergreens. On the back she had written, 'Tomorrow I'll be in Lewiston. I love you, my Salamanca Tree.'" (10.17)
Back on the road, they drive for a few more hours until Gramps gets sleepy. They stop in Wisconsin Dells, a city in south-central Wisconsin known for its beautiful gorges cut by the Wisconsin River.
As Gramps takes a nap, Sal and Gram explore a fort and watch Native American dancers and drummers. Sal falls asleep on the grass, and when she wakes up, her grandparents are nowhere in sight. It's a scary moment, because she's worried they've left without her.
Then, she sees Gram dancing in the middle of a huge dance circle, shouting, "'Huzza, huzza'" (10.27). Phew. And… what?