Wine and cheese, Wisco style!

Trip Start Sep 14, 2009
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Trip End Aug 31, 2011


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Where I stayed
Some hotel

Flag of United States  , Wisconsin
Friday, July 16, 2010

In order to start seeing a new area Wednesday evening we moved hotels from the Waukesha area north to West Bend. Wednesday evening we ended up encountering absolutely torrential rainstorms. Rain so bad driving faster than 25mph on the interstate was nearly impossible due to lack of visibility. The rain didn't really affect our plans, however, because it was all supposed to come down either during the night or very early in the morning. This forecast turned out to be completely correct.

Thursday morning we set off for a tour of the Cedar Creek Winery in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Finally released from the urban areas we were able to get some real quality routes in. The entire way south was either a rails-to-trails bike trail (old railroad turned into recreational trail) and infrequently traveled country road. Up here the roads were much, much more hilly. Fine for me as I enjoy this type of terrain, but not so much for my dad who really didn't have the proper gearing setup for his bike on this trip. I would usually breeze up the hills as he was struggling hard to get up.

Once again google maps did fail us, but not that bad. It brought us to a location in the middle of nowhere for the winery. Luckily, the place only ended up being 1.8 miles down the road. So we got there in more than enough time and got a small bite to eat before our tour.

The winery did have one different thing there. They used to use these massive barrels that held hundreds of gallons of wine being processed. After the fermentation process was done the barrel was drained and someone physically had to go inside and clean it. There was a tiny hole at the bottom that someone would climb into to do so. Most of the large women on the tour thought that only a small child could fit through, let alone an adult. To be honest, I'm pretty sure I could fit through it.

The way back I decided to change our route. I realized that we were close to the last covered bridge in Wisconsin, so we had to go back that way. However, we had a short detour to make. On the way there I was thinking, 'wow, I can't believe that we haven't had a flat yet on the trip.' well, when we returned to our bikes the front tire on my dad's bike was low so he wanted to bring that to a bike shop to get repaired.

The bridge ended up being more than I expected. I was expecting this really dilapidated thing that you could only go near, not through. Turns out it is still a very functional bridge and although it's not part of the road anymore, pedestrians are allowed through it.

The rest of the way back to the hotel was just as relaxing as the way there for me and just as painful for my dad as it was there. Mostly uneventful for one thing.

On the trail system leading into the city the crosswalks are lined and have signs posted that drivers must stop for pedestrians in the walk way. We got to a cross walk and I saw a car that looked like it had no intention of stopping. I made some sort of loud audible comment so that the person on the other side of the road could hear me. The person passed without stopping and the guy across the street, a police officer on a bike, said "I'll go follow and stop that person." I finally saw a cop on a bike pull over a motor vehicle.

Friday, the last day of our trip, we didn't have enough time to go ahead and bike to our final destination, a cheese factory in in Theresa, WI, so my dad drove there and I biked there. Well, most of the way. Originally we were planning on going to a different cheese factory, so I mapped out the route to that other one, not the one we were actually going to. He found me along the route told me what the deal was and we ultimately decided that I should just get in and ride in the car the rest of the way.

The cheese factory was pretty cool. It was a very small operation where everything is made by hand. The tour was mostly just a video with a question and answer session done by one of the more tenured employees. At the time we were there in the morning nothing too much was going on, no one comes in on Saturday, so they're not really going to be doing a lot of cheese making. After the tour we were told that fresh cheese curds would be ready in about an hour to an hour and a half and also there was a candy shop run by a blind guy that would be an interesting place to go to. Since I never had cheese curds that fresh and there was a small restaurant at the candy shop we decided to stay around and wait.
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