Dale and I are feeling really blessed by our warm and wonderful fall weather this year. We were able to take a two day tour into Wisconsin October 20th and 21st. Some years we have seen snow by then so the 70 degree days were awesome! We drove to the Milwaukee area and parked the truck and trailer, unloaded the bike and gear, and took off. This entire trip was kind of a walk down memory lane for me. My family is originally from the area we traveled and I have so many fond memories from my childhood of those places…it was all so familiar and yet so very different than it was years ago. This is the full 2 day route we took:
We spent our first day zigzagging our way up the Lake Michigan shoreline. The scenery was amazing, but it was actually really hard to find a path right along the shore, so some of the scenery was just the incredible houses that line the water. We stopped at Lions Den Gorge Nature Preserve ( http://www.co.ozaukee.wi.us/662/Lions-Den-Gorge-Nature-Preserve )and took a short hike out to the bluffs above the lake and the view was just breathtaking.
Dale managed to hit several of Wisconsin’s Rustic Roads on both days of this trip…he collects these roads and can earn different achievements for the number of them that he rides. One of these rustic roads got a bit hairy because they had just dumped 3 or 4 inches of sand on it and a grader was working on it while we were trying to ride down it without dumping the bike.
My Grandmother, who passed away in 1991, had lived in Port Washington, and we spent a bit of time there looking at the sites I remembered and marveling at how different the harbor area was and how much more touristy the downtown has become. We also spent a bit of time looking for my Grandma’s house. I was trying to find it based on a landmark that I was sure had been there, but it was no longer there (later I would find out I had imagined that whole thing!), but eventually found it by turning down the wrong road and just by chance reading a road sign that triggered something in my memory. By following that sign we did find her old house. The truly amazing thing about driving into Port Washington was the temperature change! It was 10 degrees cooler there, along the lake, than it had been just over the hill before we drove into town.
We continued on on some great roads that Dale had found in the area and eventually ended up in Plymouth where we had a hotel waiting and enjoyed a great old fashioned Wisconsin fish fry for dinner. Couldn’t be there on a Friday nigh and not get some great fish.
After a nice soak in a beautiful Jacuzzi and a bit of wine and relaxation we hit the hay because we knew we needed to get up early and back on the road in the morning. Unfortunately, this late in the year the sun doesn’t rise as early as we did, but by the time we were gassed up and on the road the sun was rising.
Day 2 we spent riding north to south on the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive. It was so beautiful! We were at a great time for fall color and the leaves were literally falling around us. The Scenic Drive winds in and out of dense forest and there are fun curves and elevation changes.
That morning I started spotting Sand Hill Cranes in the fields. In all I believe I saw 11, and they were really cool to see.
We were coming right past Holy Hill, so we stopped to visit the famous landmark…The Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill ( http://www.holyhill.com ). I had been there as a child, but didn’t really remember it at all. Dale and I climbed the stairs to the Basilica and enjoyed looking around at all the beauty. As if that wasn’t enough stair climbing we decided to climb the tower…all 178 steps…to get the most amazing view of the surrounding area. Next time I might lose some of my gear first, but I will say, I was cold when we got there and hot by the time we left, so that’s a good thing. After a quick stop at the gift store where we found a pendent that had a motorcycle blessing on it, we got back on the road.
Shortly after Holy Hill we were on the road where the Goatman, of urban legend, supposedly stalked and killed his prey, hanging them upside down in the trees. I am happy to report we saw neither the Goatman or his prey, but the road, Hogsback Road, which is up on a ridge with steep drop offs on both sides, was really fun! ( http://www.wisconsinsickness.com/death-trip/goatman-hogsback-road/ )
Then we were driving along, back on the Scenic Drive, and we both saw a very homemade looking sign propped up next to a road sign. It read, Spectacular Sculpture. We had flown past it, but we both knew there was no way we could see that and not go check it out, so we turned around and headed down County Line Road and followed another homemade sign into a subdivision. We wound down to the very end and there was a site unlike any other! We thought we would find ONE spectacular sculpture, but what we round were 100’s!! An artist by the name of Paul Bobrowitz had filled his large property with amazing metal sculptures and opened it to the public so all could enjoy looking. It was one of the most unique, incredible, and slightly odd things we had happened upon in our travels. ( http://www.bobrowitzsculpture.com/about ) Definitely a must see if you are ever in the area.
The rest of time was spent on both the Scenic Drive and the Rustic Roads and eventually we wound our way back to where we had parked the truck and trailer.
It was a quick overnight trip, but we packed it with fun and spend a lot of time talking about happy childhood memories. It really meant a lot to me to share it with Dale and to see it all again. The roads and sites were awesome, but as always spending the time with Dale was my favorite part. If you are ever in the area, check it out!! It’s well worth it!
Thanks for coming along for the ride!