Southwestern Wisconsin

Text: Chris Myers • Photography: Chris Myers, Kathy Myers

As the miles roll on across the Southern Wisconsin countryside, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that agriculture is big around here. This fact is certainly not lost on my wife Kathy, occupying pillion. Each time the large fields of stock change, she announces it through the Air Rider communicator. To the tune of the Monty Python "Spam" song, she chants, "Corn, corn, corn..." or "Cows, cows, cows..."

Our little singsong tribute to "America's Dairyland" has been going on for the entire tour. Oddly enough, it hasn't gotten old, nor has the scenery. Kathy sings about corn or cows, and I rock my head back and forth in unison. We surely look strange to passing motorists, but who cares? We're having a blast. The singing is as endless as is the prairie's stock of - well, you know.

Every year, Kathy and I load up the trusty Bandit and hit the road for two weeks. We choose a location, roll the dice on the weather, and hit the road. That's our idea of vacation. Those friends and family members who are not insanely jealous think we're crazy. Maybe they're right, but we always have a good time. When Christian mentioned he had a tour idea for Wisconsin, I volunteered to do it with Kathy; after all, we were going to be right there. He was reluctant to have me work on our vacation, but I convinced him that everything would be fine. Work? Give me a break. Plus, I wanted Kathy to see first hand just what it is I'm doing all those times I ride away for days on end.

Starting in Madison, a Capital Idea

Wisconsin's state capital, Madison, is a beautiful town despite ongoing construction projects. The streets are alive with activity. An eclectic mix of hippies, skaters, and students from the University of Wisconsin weave their way through cadres of business people and legislators looking for a quick power lunch. Although Madison is certainly worth further exploration, there are lots of roads to wander. Somehow, in regards to Madison, I have a feeling that, in the words of a somewhat famous University of Wisconsin-Superior graduate, "I'll be back."

If you've never been on an extended tour, let me assure you that the best-laid plans often become moot. Despite our intentions, we find it difficult to pry ourselves from the lively streets of Madison. Yep, we get a late start. Having been on the road for over a week at this point, walking around just feels good. It's late morning before we are able to locate Route S heading west out of town. Thankfully, traffic begins to melt away as does the omnipresent road construction around the capital city. The scenery begins a transformation from commuter homes to farmland. This is the Wisconsin we're looking for.

(End of preview text.)

For the complete touring article, including facts & information, map(s), and GPS files, please purchase the January/February 2005 back issue.