Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sluggy's Solo Road Trip Part 5......WI to MN to IA

Day 9, Friday, I hit the road.
A quick hug for Blanche goodbye and I was back on the road.

Heading west across Wisconsin.

Lots of dairy farms, little traffic......

Hey look!
Another dairy farm.....

Oh goody, more cows.......yawn......

I got off the highway to grab a breakfast biscuit and tried to find some fresh cheese curds while I was in the little town of Colby.
You know, like the cheese?

I tried two different spots with no luck.

       Main street in Colby, Wisconsin

But the town was just beginning their COLBY CHEESE DAYS Festival......

   Rides being set-up

Ah, too bad I was a couple weeks too late for the local Lions BRAT FRY.
Brat Fry???

Back on the highway and after awhile I saw a little building on a hill right of the road.
Well whaddayaknow?

The Nasonville Dairy Cheese  & More Store.
They were bound to have fresh curds, right?

I knew I found something good/authentic when I opened the car door and took a deep breath.
Let's just say the air was perfumed with eau d'cow patties.

Yes, this cheese store was on-site of the dairy.

And the variety of cheeses was spectacular.  I wish I had had a bigger cooler because the prices were awesome too!
I got a few different cheese you don't find everywhere.

The girl in the store was bagging fresh cheese curds.
She even let me have one to try before I bought them.
Now I know what everyone means that they SQUEAK. lol

And the prices on a lb. of curds was the lowest I saw anywhere.

I did pass on the cheese head hats however........

Now I knew(if I didn't before then) I am nNOT on the East Coast anymore because the gal in the cheese store took my personal check! lolz

Unheard of where I live, even when they KNOW you and you are local.

                       The water tower in Stanley WI.
I still had a long way to go before I got to where I was staying for the night.
I passed through Eau Claire and then spent some time practicing saying, "Menomonie" as I passed by there.  I had a hard time saying that one. lolz

I finally crossed over into Minnesota.

I crossed a couple of large rivers, the St. Croix crossing into MN and then the Missippippi near St. Paul and drove around the outskirts of the Twin Cities area.  Traffic was moderate but not heavy through the Twin Cities since it wasn't a rush hour time thankfully.

I stopped at a Walmart to stretch my legs once I got past the worst of the traffic and was South of Minneapolis suburbs.
I found #2 Son some khaki pants on sale and I bought a 12 pack of cherry cola flavored Diet Rite Cola.  They don't sell this flavor out East where I am and it sounded good.  And it was only $3.

Back in the Sonic and back on the road until I hit Owatonna MN.

There was this T-38 formation near the Cabela's right off I-35.

But I got off the highway to hit the liquor store in this town.  I found out that they carried some liquid refreshments I wanted to get for some people.
The fun was finding the way back onto the interstate afterwards, since the entrance ramp back to South I-35 was closed for construction. ugh.

Short detour and we were back on the road.
I had one more quick stop to make before leaving Minnesota.......

 The World's Largest Walleye Fish.

I tried to take this shot so it looked like the fish was laying on top of the Sonic.
Not quite.....lolz
A big fish selfie.....

I wish I had a spare sticker to add to the collection on the side of the fish.
A Texas and a Doula sticker?  I wonder if Lisa Pie(a friend who is a doula in TX) had been here? lolz

Fairly quickly after that I was over the state line into Iowa.

Man, I need to clean my windshield, don't I?

And then I saw the first Iowan wind turbines......

Before long I was getting off the exit for Clear Lake to visit my online friend Anne for the first time.
I've know her since 1999.

    Anne and her new puppy Becca.

It was about 2 pm and I was starving by now, so I took Anne out to a local deli for lunch.  We parked next to this classic car in town.
The Iowa R.A.G.B.R.A.I. Cycling Tour was due to come through town the following week so there were a lot of interesting people in town already.

We walked over to her friend's store.  In the back half the Clear Lake Historical Society, which Anne is very involved in, has a display of local history and sights.

Lots of antique photographs from the 1800's.....

Pictures of the Surf Ballroom.....

After lunch Anne drove me around and gave me the "I've lived here my whole life Tour" of Clear Lake.
We saw about everything that is worth seeing in Clear Lake....except for the Buddy Holly sites.
I guess I'll have to get my picture took with the Ballroom and/or the giant pair of black framed eyeglasses statue the next time I come through here.

One of the lake's South shore public areas....

We both loved this old unseaworthy speedboat turned into someone's flower bed/planter.....

A little...ok, not so little.....cute cottage on the lake.

Over on the North shore they had a park/camping area with these awesome yurts.....

My first Tornado Shelter sign sighting EVER!

The "Pyramid House" over on the North shore.

Hey!  You can rent the Pyramid House.

By the time we made the way all the way around the Lake, it was almost 5pm.  I was expected at quitting time Friday further south in Iowa.
I only had time for a  quick selfie with Anne and Becca.....

And then I was off again.
Right after I took a phone call from my host for the night inquiring, "where you be?".
Ok, maybe she didn't phrase it like that......

Thankfully me being delayed an hour wasn't a problem since dinner was late getting prepared at her house.

About another hour down the interstate and I was pulling up in a driveway in a tiny town in central Iowa.
McVal's house!

My arrival was quite humorous actually.
As I opened the door to get out of the car and go to the front door, an older man walked up and tried to give me a large dog.
He said, "I think this is your dog."

After a moment of WTF?!? I realized that this must be one of McVal's dogs, so I called her on my cell phone & said that I was here in the driveway and she should come outside because I was being drug away by her large dog while I tired to explain to the older man that I didn't live here but the owner was coming out to get the dog.

One of my weirder arrivals somewhere. lolz

My next stop was to see McVal and her clan at the House of Chaos.
I met everyone......Maddy, Meri, Leon(of course!), Ryan, Robb and Robb's mother and about 500 dogs. lolz  Ok, maybe it was only 5 dogs.
But I didn't get any photos right away because dinner was on deck.

The offering for the evening at McVal's Boarding House(yes Boarding House because she had a ton of people staying for the weekend)was Friday's usually dinner, homemade pizza.

I had a slice of the pepperoni and then everyone urged me to try the cheeseburger pizza too.
Well pizza had cheese anyway so I was confused how this was different from a hamburger topped pizza.

But it was.
It had cut up DILL PICKLES on it.

Sort of like this......

but the pickles were cut up.
This must be an Iowa thang I thought.
And after trying it, it is definitely an acquired taste.
Glad I tried it but I'll stick to no pickle varieties from now on.  ;-)

Later on I snapped a few candid shots......

 McVal caught unawares and Maddy being her silly self.

Butter the Beagle, one of many members of the McVal Pet Rescue and Home for Wayward Dog.

Before dinner I did go out to the Sonic and bring in a little present so it could be enjoyed with dinner.

A keg of draft root beer I picked up in Owatonna MN.
I figured Leon needed some practice tapping a keg before he got to college.
Hey!  It's never too early to learn important life skills.......

After some chatting and looking through the genealogy research Robb had(and I didn't find any common ancestors....what a shock!)I was ready for bed.  About the time I headed down to bed Robb's brother and his wife and their dog showed up to spend the night too.
Se what I mean about a boarding house?! lolz 

I think I was asleep before my head hit my pillow.
It was a long full day and I needed to rest up for Saturday's doings here at McVal's House of Chaos.



  1. House of Chaos??!!! It was CONTROLLED Chaos, thank you! Well, except for Reedus greeting you at the car and all the craziness that ensued...

    Alright. That name is warranted...

    1. hehehe.....now I didn't say I didn't ENJOY the chaos, did I?
      It was a nice change from my boring life. But then again, I think you need to come escape to PA and hide out with me for a week or two and RELAX.....

  2. How awesome!!!!! You should be a trip planner!!!! And thank you for sharing, I feel like I know everyone!

    1. Well next time I am hijacking you when I take a trip.

  3. Hello Slugmama. I followed you here after reading your comments on Sonya Ann's blog. I like the way you write and your sensibilities. Just added you to my read regularly list. BTW the name you picked is the best ever!

    1. Hey Anne,
      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. I'll get around to toddling over to your playpen soon.
      And I'll let my daughter know you liked the blog name as she came up with it. lolz


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