One of my favorite places to travel is the Driftless Region in southwestern Wisconsin. And since I picked up fly fishing about four years ago, it has been a great way to discover new streams filled with brown, brook and rainbow trout.
One such trip was back in May when I traveled to Lancaster to write about the new owners of Walker’s Clothing & Shoes, an institution in the city’s downtown since 1928. I left Madison at 5:30 a.m. and was on a stream rising with browns shortly after 7 a.m. About three hours later I found myself exploring Walker’s expansive basement that holds one of the largest inventories of shoes in the state. Nelson Dewey, Wisconsin’s first governor, is buried just a few blocks away.
The Platteville Produce Auction opened this past spring north of Platteville and features plants, vegetables and homemade items from area Amish and Mennonite farmers.
A month earlier, I had traveled north of Platteville to check out the Platteville Produce Auction in a new $700,000 facility where Amish and Mennonite farmers sell vegetables, plants, flowers and homemade wooden yard decorations.
“The broccoli plants were three inches high, flats of pansies and impatiens were waiting to bloom, and hundreds of hanging baskets had yet to see a front porch,” I wrote. “A food trailer was well stocked with fresh, homemade donuts, breakfast sandwiches of egg and bacon and promises of rhubarb pie later in the season.”
Another trip to the Driftless Region came in August where we watched in awe near Ridgeway as Nels Diller and two interns used broad axes, draw knives, hand drills, planers and chisels in what is now a seven-year effort to rebuild a log house for Folklore Village. The home was originally built beginning in 1848 by Aslak Olsen Lie, his family and friends near the hamlet of Klevenville, northeast of Mount Horeb.