Farmfields and Patchworks

Today was another driving day, this time across the rest of Wisconsin, all of the southern edge of Minnesota and into Sioux Falls, SD. The view was pretty much the same — plowed cornfields (that means no cornstalks) and barns. Lots of fields and barns. The only color is a brownish-gray. Gray skies. Gray highway in front of us. Sometimes some flooding in the fields from the Mississippi and other rivers. So it’s a good thing we stopped for some color along the way.

First stop is downtown LaCrosse, Wisconsin. This town has everything from big breweries, old cheese stores, funky restaurants and adult shops…. all next to each other. Pretty quirky, and colorful. Lisa wondered if they even know how quirky their downtown is! We went to a very popular Cajun place called Buzzard Billy’s and the Flying Carp Cafe. There are actually stuffed carp spinning from the ceiling fans overhead. We must have been missing New Orleans, because Jim had the shrimp po-boy and Lisa had the crawfish etouffee to compare to what she learned from her cooking class in NOLA. “Yeah you right!” (that’s a Cajun phrase haha).

Other glimpses of color are the “barn quilts” we’ve occasionally seen since New England. (We haven’t been able to get any pics of them, but you can see them if you click here. ) They reminded Lisa that she had to visit a few the famous quilt shops while out on the prairies. The first one we went to was the River Road Quilt Shop in La Crosse, WI and another was in Minnesota called the Calico Hutch. Jim was momentarily spotted in the shops, until the quilt ladies saw him and then he was outta there!

Once we were able to squeeze Lisa’s quilt purchases into the remaining nooks and crannies in Subie, we finished up the afternoon driving to Sioux Falls, SD where we planned to bed down for the night. We called Frank when we were near his hometown of Sioux City, IO to let him know we were thinking of him. We also listened to the Auburn vs. Virginia game in the car and decided to watch the Texas Tech vs. Michigan St game at a local sports bar called TC’s Referee near our hotel. It was hard watching that game and the Cubs vs. Brewers game at the same time, but someone had to do it! We had a great waiter, Justin, who really warmed up to us (cuz we’re fun to talk to!) He even added to Jim’s beer glass and coaster collection by giving us a couple of their 25th Anniversary glasses!

Tomorrow it’s back on the road again! We just got into South Dakota, so it’s 6-plus hours to Mt Rushmore on the western edge of the state (if we decide to go visit). On the way, we may get stuck at Wall Drug (if we find any more crannies in the car). Let us know if you need us to pick up anything — We still have the roof rack!

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