Nothing half so much worth doing…

Posted: July 17, 2018 in Travel
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

To paraphrase a famous quote from The Wind and the Willows:

Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply taking a road trip. 

Even though the weather was abysmal, as you can see from this one-handed phone photo, my spirits were high as I took to the road towards my first night’s stop in South Dakota.  Illinois had its usual wonderful combination of lots of traffic and toll roads with the rain and construction thrown in just for spice.  I whiled the miles away listening to a book on CD and wishing I could use cruise control.

© janet m. webb

I make two stops during the ten hour drive.  The first is always a combination cheese and fuel (and bathroom) stop in Mauston, Wisconsin where I stock up on cheese and a bag of fresh, squeaky cheese curds.  It amuses me each year that I buy cheese in a town whose first part of its name, Maus, means “mouse” in German, although the city’s website gives this as the origin of the name:

Mauston’s unique name originally was “Maughs Town,” named after its founder Milton Maugh.

© janet m. webb

These beauties were parked at the gas station.  As you can see from the sign, you can also get all the necessities of life here.  🙂

© janet m. webb

Once I cross the Mississippi River, swollen to an enormous width this year due to all the rain, I’m in Minnesota, where large, neat farms dominate the fairly flat land.  In Blue Earth I make my second gas stop before heading on to South Dakota.

Mitchell is my destination and if you’ve been following my blog for a few years, you know Mitchell is home to the world famous Corn Palace, where for over 100 years, corn and other grain/grasses have been used to create beautiful designs and pictures.  Take one or two minutes to look at the photo gallery of 12 photos, ranging from 1892 to the 1975 version.  The early versions, reminiscent of ornate Russian buildings, make the current one look quite plain.

© janet m. webb

© janet m. webb

© janet m. webb

As I rounded the corner, I saw a small farmers market where I found jam, farm-fresh eggs, an enormous head of romaine lettuce, and some fantastic cinnamon rolls.  I stopped at the grocery store near my motel and bought strawberries before heading back to relax for the rest of the evening.  I’ll be on the road again early the next morning.  Get a good night’s sleep.  We have 8 hours to drive, then more to do before we head up the mountain.

© janet m. webb

  1. Hi J. I’m just thinking that Milton Maugh sounds suspiciously like Micky Mouse. Do you think someone may have pulled the wool over your eyes on that one? Concerned. MB

  2. pommepal says:

    I agree with the quote and you certainly had a great road trip

    • And this was just the first day. 🙂 As I grew up, all our family vacations were road trips. We never flew. I still love the feeling of getting on the road with the highway stretching out in front of me.


  3. Joanne Sisco says:

    Stopping to buy cheese is always a good choice in my opinion, especially when squeaky curds are Involved. I like the ‘maus’ version of the name and now that Michael Debarra has mentioned it, Milton Maugh does sound like Mickey Mouse!!

    • Mickey would approve for Carr Valley’s cheeses! I discovered them some years ago and have been stopping (both on the way out and the way home) ever since. It’s just a bonus that they’re in exactly the right spot for a gas fill-up as well. Cuts down on the times I have to stop. 🙂


  4. markd60 says:

    I love cheese! I could eat it all day. Sometimes the rain isn’t so bad, if you’ve got good tires and are in a good mood.
    USS South Dakota BB 57.

    • I don’t mind the rain at all except for not being able to use cruise, which is wonderful to have when driving for 10 hours. Carr Valley has wonderful cheese and lots of different varieties. I did vegan for an entire year some years ago and I missed cheese much more than meat.


  5. Mmmm … cheese a BIG weakness of mine along with some nice crsuty bread … HEAVENLY!!!
    I love farmer’s markets even if they’re small. There’s always something unusual to find. Looking forward to day two. Safe travels …
    Izzy 😎

    • Thanks, Izzy. I’m actually back from the trip and just going through it for the blog, as I didn’t blog while I was gone. I’ll save you a seat for day 2. 🙂


  6. happyface313 says:

    😁 you do an awful lot if drivibg, dear Janet!
    I adore the 2 vintage cars! wow, stunning!
    What a cheese curds?
    Have a very HAPPY day!
    Claudia 🙂

    • Those vintage cars were quite nice, weren’t they? I do drive a lot for vacations and almost always enjoy it greatly. I love seeing the different parts of the country.

      Cheese curds are explained here:, but are basically “first press” cheese. They’re a big thing in Wisconsin and we always enjoy them.

      Happy Tuesday to you!

  7. I love road trips and stories about them. I love your photos of the Corn Palace each year. Thanks for stopping by there once again.

  8. It is not quick or easy to get to heaven. 🙂

  9. de Wets Wild says:

    Thanks for leaving me a seat in the car, Janet!

  10. Dan Antion says:

    Cheese, Beer, Wine, Liquor ? I think you could live pretty well on that for a while 😉

    I love the Corn Palace. It’s interesting to see how many panels depict weather.

  11. Sue says:

    Totally agree…there is is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply taking a road trip…..I used to do thousands of miles in Continental Europe when I was fit and younger….some great memories

  12. marianallen says:

    The Corn Palace was a happy surprise on our trip to South Dakota. We drove out to see Mount Rushmore and the Badlands, but took time for happy surprises along the way. Thanks for the memory! 🙂

    • South Dakota has a plethora of wonderful places and surprising ones as well. I love the Corn Palace, but it’s certainly unexpected for many people.


  13. Road trip! I envy you this year. Been busy and haven’t had much of a chance to hit the road. I shall follow you on your journey.

  14. Oh, I had forgotten that you stop at the corn palace! What a treat to see those murals again.

    Fresh cheese from WI sounds yummy. Drive safely!

  15. joey says:

    In Which Toad Buys a Motorcar 🙂
    (One of my faves!)