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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Those of you familiar with Wisconsin's alphabetic county road nomenclature know what I mean by "driving the alphabets". The southwestern area of Wisconsin, in particular near the Mississippi River valley, has probably some of the best driving and motorcycling roads in the upper midwest. Locals likely are well aware of the highways WI 35 and US (MN) Hwy 61 flanking the river, but drivers/riders using these routes as conduits to the fun stuff, the areas of exploration, are rewarded with hours of enjoyment every time you get off the beaten path at a new area. And you can easily double the fun by simply turning around and running the path in the reverse direction- lefts become rights, uphills become downhills.

Yesterday, a mid-autumn day of exceptional weather with peaking fall color, and a fortunate day off from work, I filled up Via's tank and headed south from the Twin Cities to an area I'd visited on 2 wheels a few times, but yet to visit in the ragtop. OH, what a day!

Here is a Googlemaps link to show the area I explored, driven roads highlighted in blue. My entry and exit of the area was at the intersection of WI Hwy 35 and Buffalo County Rd I, east across the river from Wabasha, MN. After traveling north on CR I, I turned right at CR II, then followed the path counterclockwise back to Hwy 35 and CR I.
https://goo.gl/maps/q3i2xE6ykfo

Google Maps says this highlighted route is about 40 miles long. I also use a Spot GPS tracking device for driving and motorcycling trips (safety when out of cell range), and that device's route sheet told me I spent about 1.25 hours driving the route, but I had a couple photo stops along the way. Let's call it an hour to drive that 40 miles. My speed zone was between 30-45mph, depending on the conditions, mainly following posted speed limits (no need to exceed them). All are paved roads in good shape, but narrow and most even lacking striping, used mainly by local farmers and residents. Rollercoaster is accurate- ups and downs and lefts and rights and blind turns and blind hilltops (a few :eek: moments for sure..., you can't be speed crazy on these roads). A couple times when using downshifting to control speed on long winding descents, between the narrow road and higher engine RPM and constant moving of the steering wheel, it felt like I was ripping along at high freeway speeds, then I'd take a quick glance at the speedo to find I was maybe going 40-45mph. It's a rush, even at those speeds! Sitting low to the ground sure adds to the feeling of speed without having to go fast. Careful, lots of leaves covering the roads in here now, too, messing with your pavement visibility and traction. Some stretches are in near-permanent shadow of hills and trees and can remain damp with dew a lot of the time in spring and fall. And always be mindful for deer, raccoons, farm tractors, and the occasional over-protective farm dog.

When I turned for home, I crossed back into MN at Nelson, WI into Wabasha, MN. Wabasha is where you pick up MN Hwy 60, heading west from Wabasha to join US Hwy 52 North back to the Twin Cities, a 40 or so mile stretch itself. This highway has its share of excitement, too. Very popular with sports car drivers and motorcyclists. Gotta be careful on this road, there have been some epic wrecks on this highway over time. Easy to have head-on and single vehicle wrecks while driving too fast for the many rapid terrain changes.

I didn't track the odometer, but I probably logged close to 300 miles for the day. I am now within spittin' distance of the 8000 mile mark in 5.5 months of ownership. What a great car!

For the photographically curious, all photos captured with a Sony A6000 using a Sony E-mount F/2.8 20mm lens, edited in Adobe Camera Raw within Photoshop CS5.

Steve.





 

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Really pretty place for driving. Fall weather is sooo nice! Great pictures.
Did you get a chance to speak 'Skansin wit da locals?
;)
Best regards
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Really pretty place for driving. Fall weather is sooo nice! Great pictures.
Did you get a chance to speak 'Skansin wit da locals?
;)
Best regards
Pete
Nope, no chattin' with the locals, it was nothing but drive, drive, drive!

Besides, I've lived almost my whole life so close to America's Dairyland (as seen on their license plates) that I probably sound just like 'em, don'tchya know.

Steve.
 
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