Our first stop on our long and winding trip to San Diego was to the Driftless area of Wisconsin.
Driftless: More Than Just A Cool-Sounding Name
While it may sound more like a 1980âs grunge band than an actual location, the Driftless area got its name because during the Ice Age, when glaciers covered most of Wisconsin and deposited sediments called drift, the glaciers never actually made it to this region… which means no sediment – or drift – deposit.
Our drive east from Minnesota was timed right: the Driftless hillsides were still holding onto their bright autumn colors.
Organic Farmersâ Paradise
Driftless is known for its Norwegian ancestry and its flourishing Amish community. Organic farmers and entrepreneurs have also flocked to the area in recent years. The topography of the valley is such that land is mostly available in only small parcels which means specialty farms find the area very appealing. In fact, agriculture now brings in about $217 million to the areaâs economy. Both the well-known Organic Valley and GoMacro brands call this area home.
Fun And Games With Animal Droppings
A great place to learn about the Driftless Region is the 8,600-acre Kickapoo Valley Reserve. The Reserve is a popular hiking and snowshoeing spot. There is a nice Visitor Center but itâs the one place dogs arenât allowed on the Reserve.
My dad thought the highlight of the Reserve Visitor Center was, not surprisingly, the “interactive” droppings exhibit: you had to guess which “dropping” belonged to what animal. See if you can guess without the help of scratch and sniff:
Farm To Table Eating
Everyone was hungry after all that scratching and sniffing. We drove a short distance to downtown Viroqua and they feasted at the farm-to-table Driftless Cafe.
What a fun place and itâs much bigger on the inside than you’d think! The walls are lined with colorful pictures of local farmers from whom the Cafe buys its ingredients. Every day the menu changes depending on what is available from the local area. My parents loved the fig and pig thin crusted pizza (figs, chunks of bacon and blue cheese).
Coffee And Slingshots
After grabbing a cup of joe and a mouthwatering gingerbread cookie at Kickapoo Coffee (named after the nearby Kickapoo River), we returned to my dadâs cousin’s man-cave. I had a blast running around this gigantic shop filled with a 48-inch snowblower, motorcycles, trucks, mowers, tractors, a four-wheeler and even a Slingshot!
Where to Stay
I loved our short visit to Viroqua and learning about the Driftless region and, of course, visiting with Cousin Doug, his wife Sandy and their dog Slugger. We parkedÂ our COW at Dougâs house. If youâre taking your RV through the Viroqua area, youâll find the roads easy to navigate (even in town) and the local Walmart available for dry camping. Or you can stay outside of Cousin Dougâs Man Cave.
Now we’re on our way south to Black Earth and Clinton!
Have you visited the Driftless area? Or taken a ride in a Slingshot? Or a rocket ship? Leave me a comment and let me know!