#148e Flying down to Dodgeville

Fleeter Log #148e
Flying down to Dodgeville
2009 August 31

Entire trip here on Spotwalla  

After witnessing the start of the IBR in Spartanburg, South Carolina, then welcoming the ralliers at the first check-in point near Chicago, I wish them well as they continue the rally to the West Coast. Myself? I feel an inner tug to stretch my trip west of the Mississippi and into Minnesota before turning back to the East Coast.

Day 11 - Monday
August 31, 2009
179 miles
  Black River Falls, WI to Dodgeville, WI

I bid the Orange Moose farewell, but like the Palace Guards, he never breaks his gaze ... even when I revved the BMW engine. Well, okay, maybe that BMW exhaust note wasn't such a challenge to his concentration. Either way, he was not to be distracted, so I gave up and headed out to find Rustic Road #54 about 15 miles away. Here's where I take to the gravel for awhile.

Almost noon and time for a squeaky cheese break! This is the best road snack one can have while fleetering. And with these August temps running between 55-70 degrees during the day, the cheese and sausage keep just fine on the road.

County Road H between Camp Douglas and Hustler.

Reedsburg, Wisconsin is the southern terminus of The 400 Trail which spans the 22 miles between Elroy and Reedsburg.
Reedsburg, Wisconsin
 "Recycled Trails of Giants Vanished"

The 400 Trail is a bike/hike/horse trail developed in 1993 from the abandoned trackbed of the Chicago-Northwestern Railway. The trail is named after the passenger train that traveled the 400 miles from Chicago to Minneapolis/St Paul in 400 minutes.

While stopping for a closer look at The 400 Trail, I came across another fresh water spring supply open to the public. These steps lead down to a spigot that is tapped into a spring. During my short visit at this roadside stop, I saw two families show up with vehicles loaded with containers to fill up with the clear spring water.

Typical Wisconsin barn and silo ... home to the gentle creatures below who came out to get a closer look at the two-wheeled visitor.

Yes, there are flies in Wisconsin.

This small post office sees the need for two Old Glory Flags ... a big one and a smaller one. I have no idea why. I guess I should have gone in to ask.
Rock Springs, Wisconsin

North Freedom, Wisconsin
More Wisconsin Rustic Road collecting.... And more gravel roads.

For the Frank Lloyd Wright fans reading along, you may find something of interest in the area that goes by the name Taliesin.

Riddle:  You are in Iowa and Wyoming at the same time, yet you have never left Wisconsin. Where are you?
Town of Wyoming, Iowa County, Wisconsin
House on the Rock has a unique appeal, but I didn't explore deep enough to learn what The Attraction was really about.
House on the Rock
It's after 5:30pm and I have no plans for where I'll be laying my head tonight. Time to start thinking about it. Even though Mondays aren't usually a busy night for the lodging industry in small-town America, you never know when you might land in a community with a reunion, a wedding, and a festival all happening about the same time ... and a limited number of overnight facilities. Don't chuckle. It's happened to me.

Next town ... Dodgeville. The only thing I know about Dodgeville is that a lot of my wardrobe in years past started with a phone call to Dodgeville. For many years, I've known of Dodgeville, Wisconsin as Home of Lands' End. Of course, my relationship with them started out before Lands' End was contaminated by Sears. Sad to say, but it just isn't the same anymore. It is my understanding that in 2002 Sears bought Lands' End in an effort to improve Sears' image. Instead of Lands' End rubbing off on Sears, Sears has altered the image of Lands' End. It is apparent in marketing. I used to enjoy the Lands' End catalog, but now it's like thumbing through the bland offerings of Sears. Back in the 80s, getting a catalog from Lands' End was like getting a glimpse of real-life Wisconsin. Real employees in real Wisconsin settings were used as the clothing models. I'd get to see the local farms, barns, animals, and countryside ... all while they were trying to sell me something. I didn't mind the sales pitch at all. Each edition included a two-page layout featuring a supplier or craftsman for an even more in-depth look into the culture.

With this past affinity, I still feel a connection to the place. Dodgeville is where I will plan to stay the night. Now to get a move on to get there and find a place with a bed to offer.

Just on the edge of town, this caught my eye. How could I miss it? A plane this huge isn't your common, everyday sight along the small highways I tend to travel. Yet, there it is. This requires further inspection.

Here's the story on how an aircraft of this stature came to rest here in Dodgeville.
Don Q C-97 YouTube video

The Farrah Fawcett - Cougar XR-7 connection: video here
The Boeing C-97 was developed toward the end of WWII and dubbed the "Flying Troopship." It was the largest cargo transport of its day and was able to carry 100 fully-equipped troops quickly across long distances. Of the 67 built, only two are still airworthy today. One is operated as a privately owned warbird known as "Angel of Deliverance" and another is used as a fire bomber. The civilian version of the C-97 Stratofreighter, was the Boieng 377 Stratocruiser, the luxurious transoceanic airliner.

Yes, I even got a closer look on the inside.
When was the last time YOU took the controls of a Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter?
Fleetering has brought me many unique adventures, and so again ...  This is a chance that doesn't come along every day ... I get to take the pilot's seat of a C-97!

My GS seems so small ... patiently waiting for me down on the ground.

After playing pilot in the pride-of-the-airways of mid-twentieth century,
I come back to earth and head into town on my pride-on-two wheels of today.

I make a quick drive by the Lands' End corporate office. Just like I feared, nothing much left in the way of character ... just a sterile corporate sign divulging what has become of my once cherished brand. Nothing here to see...

The Ugly Truth is showing a the Dodge, movie house in downtown Dodgeville.

I find a bed at the Super 8, have a butterburger for supper from the local Culver's and call it an awesome day of fleetering in Wisconsin! And that's The Beautiful Truth!

 Copyright 2009 Fleeter Logs

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