long roads – cycling

Wisconsin has a rolling heart of the country beauty. Living near the city we often forget how wide and bountiful the US is. Although on climbs there is often only one thought in mind, the next pedal stroke, I find cycling a good place to work on poems. It can be a solitary moving meditation, a place to pray.

Chris coming up a long hill

Chris coming up a long hill

After three days on the road, a stay at a legendary bad motel “Ikes”, and a thirty mile stretch of rolling hills, a glass of New Glarus Old Milwaukee Belgian Red hits the spot. Hunger may be the best sauce, but this Lambic like brew which tasted of cherries is the single best beer I have known.

Near the Fox River’s gentle boundaries Daffodils peek forth amongst the trees Iridescent in winter’s defiance As I and spring silently passed them by I did not stop and tarry there Though in Summer heat they’ll wane and fade And yes, I loved their beauty dearly But had places to be and promises already made

Near the Fox River’s gentle boundaries
Daffodils peek forth amongst the trees
Iridescent in winter’s defiance
As I and spring silently passed them by
I did not stop and tarry there
Though in Summer heat they’ll wane and fade
And yes, I loved their beauty dearly
But had places to be and promises already made


the big cheese and the wonder of cheese curds – food

One of the joys of driving ‘cross country is all the little places one can find along the way. Just a bit off route 90 in Wisconsin in the town of Mauston is Carr Valley Cheese.

Favorite youngest shows how to make a sign lovely

Favorite youngest shows how to make a sign lovely

When one finds an artisan vintner, or cheesemaker, or restaurant the trips there are always a delight. In the little store alongside the factory we sampled an aged chedder that was fabulous, and then a wonderful cocoa cardona ( a goat cheese which has the rind rubbed with cocoa powder. ) We took one of each, and then some other goat and sheep cheeses to try. One we chose, an aged Marisa ( sheep cheese from Wisconsin sheep ) sounds especially interesting, I hope to compare it with Manchego, the Spanish sheep cheese that I consider the prince of cheeses.

a nice selection for vacation -- the ten year aged cheddar is outstanding

a nice selection for vacation — the ten year aged cheddar is outstanding

The above is a sampling, with cheese curds for last. These little cheese pieces have a salty cheddar flavor and make the most delightful squeak with each chew. The squeak lasts while they are fresh, and it makes them as fun to eat as delightful to taste.

After all, a couple cheese curds provide food for thought as one considers the sculpture in South Dakota.

A South Dakota Vulture - must be hungry....

A South Dakota Vulture – must be hungry….

If you can’t get to Wisconsin, Carr Valley sells here: Carr Valley Cheese