Sunday in Wisconsin
A day for driving out and exploring further afield. My hero had identified Lake Winnebago as a potentially interesting destination, with the opportunity to see a little more of the Dairy State.
Green fields, slightly rolling landscape and wide open spaces with fairly large farms dotted around.
But no cows to be seen!
We reached the conclusion that dairy farming here is much like it is at home now, with cows kept indoors for the bulk of the time and the land farmed for arable crops. Sure enough, there were fields of corn, wheat and barley to either side for much of the way.
When we reached the southern tip of the lake and the town of Fond du Lac we thought it might be a good idea to drop into the visitors centre and get some detailed ideas. But a glance at the opening hours meant that we could access only the leaflets just inside the door – much the same information which we already had in our AAA guide.
Driving alongside the lake wasn’t as scenic as we’d hoped – the road was a fair distance from the water and a line of houses and trees meant for the most part, the water wasn’t visible. So a “Scenic Lookout” signposted from the road seemed promising.
Would you apply the “scenic lookout” label to this patch of grass? No, we wouldn’t either, though it did have a fine view of the road down there. No lake though.
Our next stop was Meuers Farm where we’d hoped to get a flavour of the Wisconsin farming lifestyle. Sadly, it wasn’t to be – at this time of the year, it’s basically strawberry picking and since they’d had a busy day yesterday, there weren’t even any strawberries left to be picked. Oh well, never mind, we’ll move right along!
We’d been driving just five or ten minutes when my hero gave a shout – “quilt barn!” A quick left turn and a snap from the window sufficed. Nice one!
The next eyecatcher was in a different league. We’d turned off the road to make our way back to a good-looking coffee shop when we came across this garden. The key to the theme was the phrase “Nearer my God to Thee” above the window. A closer look revealed countless Titanic references. Oh my.
After a great coffee at the Mud Creek Cafe, we drove on to Neenah. Great name, eh? My hero told us at this point that one of his “Roadside America” treasures was to be found here – oh my. Those are an occasional feature of our adventures here and they range from the slightly strange to the downright weird at times. What was this one to be?
Huh? Here we are in Wisconsin and there it is, the Statue of Liberty.
Now, we’ve only seen the real thing from a distance, so I can’t say if she really does have this rather strange pose from the side? A kind of curtsey?
Now, the Statue of Liberty was quite an interesting diversion, unlike the next one – a rather sad dinosaur in a derelict golf driving range. We moved right along.
Good grief, he had a third surprise up his sleeve – Muffler Man! By this time, Mary and I were beside ourselves – what on earth!?! But such is life on a road trip…full of surprises
At this point, the word for the day was “expectation”. Mary advised us that by limiting our expectations there would be less chance of our being disappointed. So, my expectation that the people of the next city would all be dressed in red and white striped dungarees needed to be pulled in a little, b’gosh. (I’m sure I have a photograph of Edward wearing such an outfit but he will be relieved that it’s not something I can access from this side of the Atlantic – breathe again, Edward!)
Actually, there wasn’t anyone around at all, for it seems as though the city of OshKosh has been hit hard by the closure of the clothing factory some twenty years ago when manufacture was transferred to Central America. So no red and white striped dungarees to be seen anywhere here, sadly.
So we made our way back down the western shore and seeing a place to stop and get out a little closer to the water, we did exactly that. Lake Winnebago is rather lovely, it was bustling with little boats on this Sunday afternoon and the breath of fresh air was exactly what we needed.
On the way back to Milwaukee, we even spotted some cows!
We made a little stop on the way home too – well, with a 40% off everything coupon, it’d have been rude not to, wouldn’t it?
Dinner tonight was slightly less raucous than last night too – our food came on a plate and not in a glass! Very good it was, too.