Waking up in Madison, Wisc. it was quite chilly for a September morning, but I suppose we should’ve expected that considering our proximity to the Canadian border. The city itself was still sleeping when we took off that morning and headed west towards Austin, Minn., home of our Members Only profile for the day, Bruce Beeman. But before we did, we had two stops to make.
On day two of the journey, we met up with Bob and Diane Phelps, and just before we left they told us that we had to check out this place called House on the Rock. A quick Google search revealed that it was just a short detour on our chosen route to Austin, and since we had ample time to get there, we figured we would be just fine.
We took the side roads to get to House on the Rock, which is located in Spring Green, Wisc. It’s an amazing destination surrounded by other architectural landmarks, and it’s no wonder why. This part of Wisconsin is just beautiful to look at. The roads we took were often carved into rock faces hanging off the side of a mountain, or passing through beautiful valleys with water and trees flanking our path. It was a fantastic drive, and since it’s about 90 minutes, give or take, from Madison, it’s worth the ride.
After our trip to House on the Rock (which we detail elsewhere in this issue), we found ourselves in a bit of a dilemma. House on the Rock is southwest of Madison, and we wanted to ride Route 33, known as The Little Deal’s Gap of the Midwest. But now we were stuck — with a deadline to meet and already being over our allotted time, we found ourselves having to push forward without taking that side trip. It would be something that we’d put on our list for the next time we go to Madison.
As was of ten the way with our long stretches of road in the midwest, there were a lot of farms along the way. Corn and soy reached out as far as the eye could see, with the occasional silo or decrepit barn peeking out from between the stalks. When we reached the border between Wisconsin and Minnesota at La Crosse, Wisc., we drove over a bridge with gorgeous water views in all directions, backed by tall mountains and lots of green trees. We were taking the 90 into Minnesota, which turned north after the bridge so we had a view of the water for quite a bit of time. Beautiful, just beautiful.
We made our way towards Austin, and eventually to meet our interview for the day. After a few hours of putting in work, the four of us went to grab dinner at a local BBQ place downtown named Piggy Blue’s Bar-B-Que right off of Main Street. It’s one of those locations that looks like it used to be a small retail establishment that was converted to a restaurant years prior, and the decor was a mix of local flavor and slightly dated materials. But it didn’t matter what the place looked like, because the food took center stage. Carl and I both ordered the pulled pork, and with multiple sauce options, we had a lot to choose from. Good eats for sure.
At the end of our longest day of the trip, we rode off in the night, pointing ourselves towards Minneapolis. We arrived late, unloaded and subsequently passed out at our hotel, only to awake early the next morning to leave for our flight. Going through Minneapolis we passed over some beautiful bridges and historic spots, which put a nice little cap on our journey. Again, I wanted to spend more time in town, but a plane awaited, and we had to go.
We spent a decent amount of time on the road this trip, traveling over 1,000 miles in just a few days. We met Members, saw places neither of us had seen before and witnessed firsthand what it’s like to have the freedom of an open blacktop and the ability to adjust our destinations as necessary.
Would we do it again? Sure, and we’re even planning on doing just that sometime soon. But next time, we’re not going to the midwest. No, we’ve got bigger plans than that, but you’ll just have to wait to find out what they are.
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