After my brief foray into the Land of Lincoln it was back into Wisconsin kind of retracing my steps for a little bit as I went northward through the state towards Michigan’s upper penninsula. I spent a night in Lake Geneva, where I’d gone for a walk on my route south, then continued into Madison where I spent a nice but grey day exploring the sights. First up was the Mustard Museum- yes, a whole small museum deidcated to mustards. Glass shelves full of samples from all the states, countries of the world, medicinal uses, world records, silly artwork, the works. I take it that in normal times there’s a little ‘kitchen’ station where staff assemble tastes of dishes using odd mustard varieties, but alas. I made do with the self guided tour and managed not to buy anything because I still have one fun mustard sauce from Vermont I’ve yet to open.
Next was the Olbrich Botanic Garden where I spent a few hours walking through the many flowers, herbs, ponds, and walkways before hitting the obvious highlight for me, a Thai sala area which was serene just by stepping into its domain and glinted in the dimming bits of sunshine. What a special place! The indoor conservatory are was closed off and there were a lot of areas blocked off for maintenance and for Covid, but for a free garden it was a pretty amazing find to get some walking in before predicted rain.
Before leaving the city I drove by the state capitol building en route to the Fromagination cheese shop. This is like the fancy cheese mecca. I loved it and would drop a hundred bucks here easy if I lived nearby. As it was, I escaped with a small bagful of cheese orphan bits, small cuts, a fancy cracker basket and some local wine. I did a whole post about the cheese but it was so so good. If I worked here I’d weigh 200 lb easy. On my way out of own I picked up some cheesy bread at a shop and in the parking lot lost my composure completely and spend a solid 5 min laughing at an ambulance turned donut deliver truck. I am a sucker for a terrible pun. Oh dear.
From Madison I pretty much booked it northward building my itinerary with roadside attractions and the state border in mind. I hit a stretch of highway construction from Madison which, super bummer, resulted in my tire picking up a giant metal bit and a great super flat tire in the morning. Womp womp. I’ll do a separate post about that fun, but regardless it was most of a day blown in central Wisconsin. After that was finally sorted I made it back up toward the Superior lakeshore and camped overnight by the Potato River Falls. It was a little rainy so I was glad to have chosen a spot not actually in the campground per say but rather kind of in the entry/picnic/parking area instead of down the muddy dirt road to the real sites. To be fair in the dark I couldn’t even see the road and only spotted it in the morning, but still. I did an early morning sunrise mini-hike to the upper and lower falls then continued on to locate some ridiculous sights like a mural of waterskiing Aquabats (aqua-acrobats), some super distrubing statues in someone’s yard that feature, among others, a George Washington in a bathtub, a baby smoking, and Abe Lincoln’s head on little legs?, the world’s largest penny, and the largest badger (fun fact- it’s popping over a fence with a little squirrel on a log in the background in what is now the lot of a strip club). Way to stay classy, Wisconsin! Don’t worry, I’ll remember you for the cheese and not the badger.