Day 23: Way to Go, Wisconsin!

All good here:  no problems with van, camera, dogs AND it was gorgeous weather.  Banged through small cities and big ones.  Thoroughly exhausted and could barely get Flickr up last night.  Now doing the blog at 5am.  Should be a more rural day today and a slower pace.

Let’s start in Portage — this is from Craig’s Popcorn Corner:


In Poynette – the Curd and Whey Cheese House:



From Madison – at Mr. Robert’s Bar & Grill:



Also in Madison — I assume this sign was re-texted for this business:

One more from Madison — a hard to shoot rooftop sign.  The restaurant opened in 1954 and I assume this sign is from then:

At a small electric car dealership in Stoughton.  I love this little van.  Not that it would be very practical for me for long roadtrips.   Poking around on-line — I think they’re made in England.  There’s also a pickup and a few other versions and a car with similar styling.


Also from Stoughton.  Apparently a “tied house” — a bar tied to selling a particular brand of beer.  Some examples in Milwaukee:

Also a bunch in Chicago:


From Edgerton.  Sadly, the Red Goose part of the sign is now missing.  And the shoe store itself is gone as well.  The sign would have looked like this originally:



One of the highlights of the day — in Baraboo.  It’s been on my list a long time — a carousel and a couple big, ornate band organs to shoot for the website.  I usually blow off museums, zoos & such since they can be costly and time-eating.  But I finally gave in to the Circus World Museum.  I’m no fan of circuses because of their centuries old and continuing abuse of animals… but my conscience was eased a bit when I persuaded the admissions person to let me in free since I’d only be there a few minutes.  I was wowed by the collection of circus wagons.  Although depressing to think of the caged animals that were contained in them, the carriages themselves were incredible.  More about them at their site:



Also in Baraboo — and still in business:



Moving on to Wisconsin Dells — the Evergreen Motel is now closed and I fear this sign will be gone very soon.  There used to be tons of these unique little motels and signs — but development and property values have just smothered them.  There are still a few oldies that survive (the Holiday Motel for instance – see my Flickr photos from tonight).  The Dells is all about huge, flashy amusement parks, theme hotels, etc. for college students and families.



A long haul to Wisconsin Rapids in the dark — during which I got stopped for speed (75 in a 55) but let go with a verbal warning.  At least I had this pretty sight to greet me when I got there.  Chasing bulbs mostly working:



Hoping to wrap up Wisconsin today or tomorrow.  There’s a fairly big chunk of the southwest part of the state that I planned to do after Minnesota.  But I think that’s probably going to have to wait as I’ll probably run out of time somewhere in the middle of MN and have to scurry home.

6 thoughts on “Day 23: Way to Go, Wisconsin!

  1. I feel the same way about circus’s. I went to one in Sacramento years ago and vowed to never go again. The carriages are beautiful, but you are right, knowing there were caged animals ruins it for me. Glad you had an incident free day!

    • Another incident free, sunny day today — my lucks has really improved! This is what roadtrips are about — the highs and lows. You don’t appreciate the highs without the lows. The carriages were stunning — just glad I didn’t pay & support the circus “industry” to see them. There were other sections with animals there I think — and some horseback act going on — I avoided all that. Places to go, things to shoot.

  2. Hello, Debra Jane! Yes, I am way late to your midwest odyssey this summer, still catching up. Been on dial-up at my mom’s, supervising repairs to her house. Snuck out to Starbucks to see how your trip is going. Interesting weather in the midwest, eh?

    As always, you’ve found some real gems, and I can’t believe how much ground you are able to cover in a day! I can’t think of any places you haven’t already found. Leon’s in Milwaukee, and the Penguin Drive-in in Manitowoc are always great.

    Be safe, and I hope you don’t come across too many ducks…

    • Oh, it’s so good to hear from you! I’ve been worried. Can’t imagine doing anything on dial-up. It must take five minutes for one of my blog posts to load. Yes, I cover a lot of ground each day — about 12 or 13 hours straight with only doggie breaks now & then. Plus you’re missing a whole lot of cities that aren’t mentioned at the blog or Flickr — only posting photo highlights at both places. I was too early to catch some frozen custard at the Penquin — maybe next time. I’m being very careful with the ducks. There was a heron way in the distance at one river and I made sure that I kept Nik busy enough not to see it. I think herons are better flyers than ducks but there’s something rather sacred about herons and egrets — they should not be chased out of their chosen habitat. Nor should ducks either but…

  3. Dear Speedy,

    What another colorful collection of images you’ve made, DJ!
    Really surprised & delighted that so many great signs & cool buildings still exist. I owe you many thanks for recording them & educating me about them.

    Looks like you are lucking out with your kind of weather, too. As Mr. Burns of the Simpsons says, “EXCELLENT!”

    The circus wagons are wonderful works of art. Especially like the Dragon!

    Holiday Motel sign is just, so, fun.

    I suspect the Red Goose part of the shoe sign is missing because the ducks told them Nik was coming.

    Keep on rolling.

    P.S. No treats? For you, that is.

    • Sorry for the late reply. Long days here on the road. Superb weather for several days now. I say “excellent” myself constantly and I’ve never watched the show. Also PURR-fect. I took lots of circus wagon photos — don’t know what I will do with them all. I took about twice as many blog photos as I actually used yesterday. Just not enough hours in a day. I hope the Holiday Motel can hang in there. Much, much competition from massive hotels. Ducks never used to be a problem til this year. And now that he’s tasted blood, or so I assume…. Lord help us all. Not interesting treats lately. I did a big boring supermarket purchase of stuff to keep expenses down. Cheese & peanut butter sandwiches — don’t suppose people want photos of them. But I will certainly get some more sugar soon.

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