Wisconsin Is Weird

I know I’ve been kind of hard on Wisconsin in the past, but I believe every word I’ve written about the state is justified. And I’m not just saying that because Wisconsin’s college and professional sports teams are the hated rivals of Minnesota teams. Wisconsin is also our nemesis in politics, in agriculture, in tall tales of huge fish and bucks with big antlers, in our vast expanses of view-blockers, in lifestyle, in . . . well, EVERYTHING. We even compete in telling insulting jokes about each other. (You know why Minnesota’s wind is always blowing toward the east? ‘Cuz Wisconsin sucks.)

My reason for riding to Wisconsin today, however, was NOT to dig up more dirt on our neighbors across the river. No, I figured I might find some interesting, Cheesehead-style vanishing points.

Every time I ride to Wisconsin I have to make the choice between riding the busy, hilly roads to the left, or riding the smooth, flat rail trail to the right. Every time I choose the outbound hills at the beginning, and the inbound trail at the end.

At first, I was not disappointed in the Wisconsin vanishing points. I got a picture of the St. Croix river vanishing in the distant north, which is at the top of this page.

I also got a video of some vanishing seagulls, but since the St. Croix river is considered Border Waters, I can’t be sure of which state they are citizens. Personally, I’d like to think Minnesota seagulls would not snub a fellow Minnesotan like these birds did. You can watch below and decide for yourselves.

(By the way, the St. Croix river is nowhere near a sea. Shouldn’t seagulls on a river be called “rivergulls?”)

That was about all the vanishment or vanishism I could find and, believe me, I searched. I searched long and hard.

Conversely, I didn’t have to search very hard for more examples of Wisconsin Weirdness. So that’s the theme I’m going with today. Too easy!

Only a half-mile up the hill that rises away from the St. Croix River, Wisconsin greets visitors with side-by-side fireworks stores. Big, exploding fireworks are illegal in Minnesota but not in Wisconsin. One can take the automobile train to “The Fireworks Depot” for the thrill of possible hand and finger amputation, and one can flock to “Victory Fireworks” in search of the victorious feeling of sparks burning out your eyeballs.

I saw a multitude of flags like this on one of the main drags through the town of Prescott.

I guess they’re celebrating the 172nd Anniversary of statehood. Not 175 years. Not 200 years. One Hundred Seventy-Two Years of freedom to blow your head off with cherry bombs.

I don’t mean to diminish the significance of 172 years. I can only dream of existing that long. It’s just that 172 years is kind of a weird milestone. Only in Wisconsin!

I absolutely cannot figure out why a Wisconsin heavy machinery crew is tearing down this grassy butte. I sure hope it isn’t an ancient Indian burial mound.

And not too far away, another Wisconsin construction crew is digging up dirt from the ground and BUILDING three mounds. What the heck is going on here?

Before leaving Wisconsin, I decided to stop in at one of my favorite grocery stores. Ptacek’s has one of the most amazing selections of bratwursts I’ve ever seen, and they also have a pretty good craft beer selection. It’s the place I go to check out some Wisconsin beers I can’t find in Minnesota. But this time Wisconsin went a little too far.

The Ale Asylum Brewery of Madison, WI is a fine brewery, but this one is disrespectful. No, I’m not talking about the foul language in the NAME of the beer; I’m talking about the disrespect to the Prez, who just today told us all not to worry about the Covid. Wait, I mean there wasn’t ENOUGH disrespect toward the Prez.

I took the rail trail back MY Town. It has a vanishing point.

I make no secret of the fact that I enjoy a fine ale or two after a bike ride. They taste good, they’re refreshing, and they cause me to write far more than I probably should on a Cycle365 post.

I didn’t buy the ale with the foul reference to Covid-19. I bought this one with the disguised reference to marijuana. The Wisconsin brewery that makes it is only about 20 miles from here.

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

9 response to "Wisconsin Is Weird"

  1. By: BobinVT Posted: October 6, 2020

    Your Minnesota-Wisconsin rivalry reminds me a little of our Vermont-New Hampshire rivalry, although neither of us have professional sports teams. NH is often referred to here as Vermont’s evil twin. Look at a map. NH is basically Vermont flipped upside down. As to the beer, I thought at first maybe you were offended because it was only 5% alcohol. But no, your reasons are better.

    • By: gregblood Posted: October 7, 2020

      I have studied maps enough to have seen that New Hampshire is Vermont upside down. Or is Vermont an upside down version of New Hampshire? I don’t want to get into a controversy, but New Hampshire seems to have the wider, more solid base. On the other hand, if you turn the map of the U.S.A. upside down, Vermont has a wider, more solid base. I don’t care, I like Vermont better.

  2. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: October 6, 2020

    Great travelogue — as you may know, Illinois and Wisconsin have been known to have issues as well.
    Those sand deposits/mounds may very well be sand used in fracking, which in itself is an issue, as well as the mining of the sand in Wisconsin.

    • By: gregblood Posted: October 7, 2020

      Yes, those Wisconsinites seem to irritate all of their neighbors. Wisconsin has even tried to annex the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but the Yoopers wisely resisted.

      • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: October 8, 2020

        Caution Advised: Look up FIB in Wisconsin slang.
        A frequent traveler from here to Green Bay had NO FIB as his license plate.

  3. By: Scooter Posted: October 7, 2020

    Vanishism? Sounds like a cult. Is that what we signed up for this month? We’re all gonna die!!

    • By: gregblood Posted: October 7, 2020

      Vanishism is a real word that I just made up. You are all participating in a challenge of Vanishism, which, considering it’s Halloween time, is probably better than Vampirism.

  4. By: The Navigator Posted: October 7, 2020

    Nice ride – even if it’s over with the weirdos.

    I bet those weirdos wish they could get their virus positivity rate down to a similar level as the alcohol volume on that beer!

    • By: gregblood Posted: October 7, 2020

      It’s encouraging to see that two other people besides me noticed that low alcohol content. I might as well have purchased a six-pack of Budweiser. Oops, I mean Miller High Life since I’m talking about Wisconsin.

Leave a Reply