The weather has not been kind to us, although it has not been hostile. We are determined to make the best of it (LOVING the electric mattress pad), but we cannot overcome closed campgrounds. There ever increasing numbers conspire to drive us southward.
The upper peninsula of Michigan with its Apostle Islands and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore got the ax. We considered an extra day in Grand Marais then decided with the forecast for snow, now was the time to scoot. So we did some Internet searching for what sort of roadside treasures we might unearth if we went south around Lake Michigan. Of course, we knew Wisconsin to be the Cheese State and we learned there is such thing as a Cheese Trail, so we planned a day close to a few cheese-making operations (cheeseries?) that looked interesting. While Kevin poured over potential route options, I visited RoadsideAmerica.com and looked at what Wisconsin and Michigan might have to offer.
Now, we have quite a bit of travel behind us and many cities. We have encountered several places that all have latched onto the same motto: "Keep Austin/Portland/Asheville/Anywhere-in-Northern-California weird." I need to tell these metropolises two things. First of all, when more than one of you is using this same slogan, chances are it has lost it's ring of truth. I mean, show of hands, who else is totally and completely OVER those dumb "Keep Calm and _____________ (insert random activity here) on" t-shirts and posters? I suspect even the British hated them about three days after the Queen had them posted during the war. Like that is supposed to make me feel okay about being bombed. But I digress. The second thing I want to tell Austin/Portland/Asheville/Cali is that Portland wins the contest among the four of you, but if Roadside America attractions are the deciding factor you all lose BIG TIME to Michigan. Consider the wonderful things one might visit in the Great Lake State:
- the world's largest toilet seat
- tombstone of the Cream of Wheat man
- a two-story outhouse
- the world's largest cherry pie pan
- world's largest tire
- world's formerly largest cherry pie pan
- Biblical figures mini golf
- Giant bass photo op
- Paul Bunyan made of car parts
There are also three different "shoe trees" listed, but that's not weird. We've seen enough of those to make a whole coffee table book.
I have no idea how many, if any of these things we will actually visit. I would like a photo opp with a large fish but the mini golf thing sounds creepy. I really love me some Cream of Wheat so I almost feel compelled to go pay homage to the Man himself. The weather will probably be the deciding factor, as is so often the case lately. The Cheese Trail will hold our attention for the next day or so. One of the farms mentioned claims the distinction of being the "Number Two Cheese Producer."
Hmmmmmm....I just thought of a good reason to make a side trip and extra effort to get to that giant toilet seat.