Monday, October 1, 2007


I traveled a short distance north over the weekend to stay at a cabin in the middle of nowhere and basically relax. Aside from sitting in front of a wood stove, cooking pancakes and reading Neil Gaiman, I also ventured out into the countryside to explore a small section of the Driftless Region of Wisconsin (so-called because the glaciers never quite made it there and left the landscape as it was before the Ice Age).

Just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from the cabin was the small town of Wilton, a way point along the Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail and home of Gina's Pies 'R' Square, a delicious cafe just blocks from the trail head. I had the veggie burger, which proved to be extremely good, and a slice of quite respectable pecan pie for dessert. I say "quite respectable" because I lived in Oklahoma (where I actually did a little bit of pecan harvesting) for a couple of years and they make some of the best pecan pie down there. Most anything else tends to pail in comparison.

The waitstaff was very friendly and even encouraged me to consider buying the restaurant (which is for sale for a mere $195,000), something I'd love to do but doubt my bank account could handle.

The place was bustling when I went on Saturday afternoon, most of the patrons appearing to be coming in from the nearby bike trail. There was a sea of bikes parked alongside the brick building and everyone from rambunctious children to cheery adults and silver-haired adventurers were bellying up to the tables inside. Feel free to take a look at the few pictures I took in the area.

Afterwards, I went over to Wildcat Mountain State Park and tooled around for a little bit. The fall colors were just starting to pop--lots of yellows and golds and a few bright reds here and there, too. Unfortunately, the skies were a bit overcast the day I was out, so it was not ideal for photography. Still, I found a great spot that overlooked the entire valley, with the church spire and housetops of Ontario off to the right and a shimmering bend in the Kickapoo River emerging from the colorful trees just to the left.

Along the quiet back roads, I passed a lot of folks on horseback and innumerable cars with canoes and kayaks perched on top. I think I'll have to add all of those activities to my list of things to do the next time I'm in the area.

Overall, it was a lovely weekend--just too short and a bit more cloudy than I would have preferred. Still, I'm always amazed that, just a short distance to the west and north of Madison's mostly flat terrain, there's this completely different landscape full of bluffs, rivers, valleys and beautiful forests.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, good morning! I'm The Gina, from Gina's Pies Are Square! Thank you for the nice blog mention. I can't believe I stumbled across it. If you're ever back in the area, stop in and say, "Hello!" Yours, gina

The Lost Albatross