Friday, October 1, 2010
This will be a fine weekend for leaf-peeping and pumpkin-gazing in west-central Wisconsin. Wander Dunn County--Bide-A-Wee country--weaving back and forth across Wisconsin highway 64. Make it cheesy with a stop for some curds and sharp cheddar at Bolen Vale Cheese in Connorsville. Turn north on Dunn County K in Connorsville and you wind along the South Fork of the Hay River. That's a pretty road. If you make it to the sweet little town of Sand Creek, where said brook joins the Red Cedar River, a burger, a malt, a bowl of chili at the Sand Creek Café might be in order. Biscuits and gravy recommended if you make it there in time for breakfast.
A bit farther east, out Wisconsin 29, just east and south of the town of Thorp, you can find the area's finest gouda, Marieke, at its source, Holland's Family Farm. Then head south along Clark County Road M, through gorgeous hardwood forests--Clark County has nearly 183,000 acres of county forest, impressive. The maples will be resplendent.
I found the pumpkins on County M, and obviously it's not just your typical jack-o-lantern stuff, but heirloom eating pumpkins and the like. This one just above, I do believe that's the famous galeux d'eysines. No one was around when I stopped, I left my money in a cup, weighted down on that windy day with an acorn squash. I'd love to know how they came to raise this fascinating selection of cucerbits.
Happy October, all. Quite possibly my favorite month of the year.
Text and photos copyright 2010 by Brett Laidlaw