Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lafayette IN to Tomah WI

Tuesday September 27

Our day started with searching for a post office and an Indiana post card.  This is not as easy as I had thought it would be...so far Walgreens seems to be the most reliable source for post cards.  We needed to find a post office to buy 1 cent stamps. Seems our post card stamps were a little short.  The post office was right where the motel staff had told us so we were on the road in short order. 

We finally made it to Central Time. Well we really went back and forth a few times yesterday in Indiana but did not change our watches until we were past Chicago. I will restate from yesterday that the worst roads we have driven on so far are in Indiana...surprised me as usually West Virginia takes that prize!  The day started gray and rainy and stayed that way most all day. We did see blue skies try to peak through the clouds a time or two but never for more than a few minutes.

 Wind turbines in a field of corn

 The farms were still primarily growing corn with occasional wheat fields and cattle. Several times we saw large fields of wind turbines among the fields of corn. Our primary goal for the morning was to avoid Chicago. We drove directly north to Gary Indiana and then turned west on I 80 until we were far enough west to miss Chicago and turned north on I39 straight to Rockford IL and then into Janesville WI. Mr. Brit - the GPS did not like our route until I put in the two intersecting interstates and then he was happy...

Our stops for the day were first at a rest stop where we walked through an oak forested park with huge acorns covering the ground. Strange acorns with caps that were very spiny. The squirrels were going to be very fat around there!

Next we stopped at an Iron Skillet near Rockford IL for a great breakfast for lunch. They also filled the bill for buying an Illinois post card and mailing it to Dan! The hot breakfast food hit the spot on a cold dreary day.

We had another interesting rest stop after we entered Wisconsin where they had several monuments to Medal of Honor soldiers from Wisconsin. One for each of the wars the US has fought listing all those awarded a  Medal of Honor from Wisconsin.  As we continued north the farms changed to primarily dairy farms and we began looking for a cheese shop. We had seen "cheese curds" at the Iron Skillet and wondered about them. They are cheese with the whey still in it and the curds some larger than large curd cottage cheese, but much dryer than cottage cheese. They are rather chewy and not a texture we were crazy about. We did however buy some great 5 year cheddar, some swiss, and something called breakfast cheese that you melt on bread.

After we past Madison and the Wisconsin Dells the trees suddenly turned brilliant reds, yellows and oranges with the colors absolutely beautiful. The skies were a little bit blue and then it began raining again. Fall was definitely here in this area..

Our stop for the night was in Tomah WI which was a small town in the right place. It was a little larger than Ben had thought it would be with 4 or 5 motels. After searching restaurants we selected the Burnstadts European Restaurant and Market and Bakery and Women's Clothes and Hooch Hut....yes they sold lots of things and had been in business since 1944.  It was definitely local and excellent food at a reasonable price. We also got some good looking bread to have with our cheese for lunches.  We looked around at the clothes and hooch but did not buy.   We did get a piece of sour cream raisin pie "to go" and having just eaten my half it also got an excellent review!.

Last weekend was the Cranberry Fest here in Tomah. The hotel is glad all the people are GONE. We are hoping to find they are still harvesting some cranberries at the Cranberry Center a few miles north of here. We will visit tomorrow before hearing further west into Minnesota.

There is no 3G on our phones here. First time for that in a town since we left home.  Several times no 3G in remote areas but fine in urban areas - guess this is not very urban!! 

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