Friday, June 21, 2013


OK this year for our anniversary bike ride I suggested returning to the paths of our first date bike riding which was in Madison.  I thought it was a good idea but I was met with a defiant 'No, that's too far away for a day trip.'  I wasn't devastated and headed off to exercise since we wouldn't be leaving for our bike ride very early since we were going locally.

Upon my return I was met with Natureman informing me we would be biking in an area he had always wanted to go in New Glarus, America's Little Switzerland. I looked at him in disbelief.  Natureman and time and distance don't go hand in hand. After Mapquesting the drive to New Glarus,  End of the Rainbow Valley to New Glarus: 2 hrs 49 minutes. This timing is farther than Madison.

A new adventure always means new adventures. This was not a direct route and Natureman left the state map at home. I had printed off directions but nothing replaces a map with marked Country Roads. ( Natureman's car's lighter doesn't work so I didn't take the GPS) We didn't get lost but definitely saw the countryside and farmers busy at work. Of course our trip took longer as there were numerous types of farm machinery on the same county roads.

Note the cow hiding behind the sign.
At last we arrived at what Natureman promised me as a flat route, the Sugar River Trail, an abandoned Chicago, Milwaukee, St Paul railroad line boasting 14 trestle bridges over the Sugar River and its tributaries including a replica of the Clarence Covered Bridge.  It was flat but the covered bridge was at the end of the 23 mile mark and we were only embarking on the 6 mile trek to Monticello. It turns out Monticello is not really at the 6 mile mark but a bit farther but eventually we came upon  its downtown. The cheese factories turn out to be packaging facilities for others so no company stores. We headed to the local grocery store for some cheese curds during which some young 'uns let the air out of Natureman's tires. Fortunately there was a service station nearby and his tires were refilled before heading back to New Glarus and our picnic dinner.

New Glarus is charming with its alpine architecture and European features. Even the street signs have honorary German/ Swiss names.  Great timing even had us serenaded by the same guys who did the Riccola commercials. No it wasn't them but they had the same instruments.


They wanted me to play the cow bell but fortunately I was busy taking photos. (WHEW!)

A tourist bus from Minnesota drove up just as we finished up our town tour. Perfect timing to head home to the End of the Rainbow Valley.  It was a lovely but very long day.
      AUFWIEDERSEHEN from this New Glarus Swiss Miss...


  1. Are you sure it was some young'uns, I know some very mischievious old'uns.

  2. It wasn't us, I sweat...we're in the cities. But it would have been fun to do anyway. I love the New Glarus area and recall visiting Little Switzerland as a child. My step-father was of Swiss heritage so it had a lot of meaning to him. I'm finding as I age that I love any kind of living history thing to tour.