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American Road Magazine
Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!


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Everything posted by WisHxGeek

  1. On the way home from the Wisconsin Governor's Conference on Tourism I decided to take the Yellowstone Trail home since it was a beautiful spring day. I placed a bunch of photos in the gallery from along the way- however the photos are reversed so they start near Waupaca and end in Germantown. WI Yellowstone Gallery Here is a handy guide for the Yellowstone Trail- Online WI Yellowstone Guide
  2. Horicon Marsh in Wisconsin is known as the Little Everglades of the north- and for good reason! The number of bird species that make it home or migrate through the area is astonishing. For years I had visited the area during the fall season for the annual migration of Canada Geese. As the geese flock to the area, so do the the bird watchers and tourists. We drove and hiked through the marsh area and it was amazing. Then one spring we took a pontoon ride through the marsh with Marc and Gayl at Blue Heron Landing. It was AWESOME! Marc knows the marsh and all of its inhabitants better than anyone- he has been doing the tour since he was 11 years old. He knew every bird and animal that showed itself. He knows the history of the area, and is active in its present and ensuring its future. He even pointed out the great whirly-bird when it flew over head. The pontoon ride allowed us to see a side of Horicon Marsh that had been previously hidden to us. Bring along your binoculars and explore! Here is there website: Blue Heron Landing
  3. We have chosen a winner! Congratulations to Josh Friedrich! His winning entry can be found on our Facebook Fan Page under the discussions tab. Be sure to keep an eye out for more contests... we have more travel books to give away to our winners! Here is a link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Road-magazine/43605721685?v=app_2373072738&ref=nf#!/topic.php?uid=43605721685&topic=41821
  4. My sister has just started a new job that will require her to drive from Chicago, IL to East Lansing, MI on a regular basis (very regularly while she is training!) I am looking for suggestions of diners to try between the two, as well as diners in East Lansing. Suggestions of menu items would be great, too! Thanks folks! Christine
  5. Well, we may not have found any pinball machines while visiting Madison, WI- but we did visit two great attractions that neither my husband nor I visited while a student at UW-Madison (too busy studying- of course ). Our first stop was Olbrich Gardens BolzConservatory. In the summer their gardens are amazing- but in the winter their tropical greenhouse is paradise! It houses "more than 650 plants representing more than 80 plant families and 475 species and cultivars from tropical and sub-tropical environments around the world." (From their website http://bit.ly/UWMOlbrich). One note of caution though- during the winter the change between the outdoor and indoor temps/humidity will cause your camera lens to fog up, so bring a clean cloth to wipe it off continuously. We then wandered over to the UW-Madison Geology Museum (http://bit.ly/UWGeology). It is a small yet very cool museum. It includes a good selection of gems and minerals, a great explanation of the geology of Wisconsin, glow in the dark minerals, and a fine collection of fossils. At the very end of the exhibit is a room with several dinosaur skeletons. Both stops were great fun for the whole family. Each stop took approximately an hour, and the cost of admission was right ($1.00 for the Bolz Conservatory, the Geology Museum was free!)
  6. There is something that stirs my soul when I return for a visit to Madison, WI. Maybe it's the 5 or so years I spent there going to college... and occasionally studying. Even though the landscape has changed and many businesses I once frequented are no longer there (not to mention campus buildings like dormitories), I still love to reminisce as we wander the campus(mostly because it really annoys the kids). I have learned to accept the changes that are bound to occur as my college days fall further into the past... but this last visit I came across a change that really sent me into an all out funk. The Plaza Tavern, home of the addicting Plaza Burger, had not one pinball machine!! For close to thirty years I have counted on them for my pinball fix while in Madison. In talking to the owner he commented that he was the last holdout and that they had just removed the pinball a few weeks before. He said they just didn't make money- but he also said video games did not make much money either. As I walked down State Street, which is lined with similar establishments, I came to the horrifying conclusion that he was correct... not one pinball machine! When I arrived at Memorial Union, the student union, I tried to ease my depression with Babcock Ice Cream (a must eat if you are in Madison) but was stunned to find that the arcade had been turned into a coffee shop! My daughter saw my pain...she suggested a game of Pinball on the Wii...
  7. This time of year provides the opportunity to cross from Bayfield, WI to LaPointe, WI (Madeline Island)by wind sled. During this window of time there is too much ice to cross by ferry, but not enough to open the ice road. You can check the status of the ice road and wind sled schedule (and the ice caves) here: http://bit.ly/Bayfield.
  8. I am not sure if 1970's qualifies as an old amusement park... but I remember Warner Brothers Jungle Habitat in New Jersey in the 1970's. It was not open very long though. It was hurt by the opening of Great Adventure just up the road... oh, and some incidents that have become urban legend. This theme park was a drive through safari type of deal (not quite like Jurassic Park...). The animals were free to roam around and come up to your car and say hello. I found a great video from a visit in the 70's: (complete with background tunes!) I understand there are still remains there today and that folks use it for hiking and biking around. Rumors circulated that Warner Brothers just closed the doors and left the animals there- so there are rumors of exotic wild animals still wandering around there today. Christine
  9. Here in Wisconsin (Columbus, WI) there is a newish amusement park called Little Amerricka. They have a whole bunch of vintage rides that they have collected into one place. They even have the ride that I always saw on the New Jersey boardwalk that I was too small to ride- the Wild And Wooly Toboggan (see photo below). It seems I am now a bit too big to ride. They also have a monorail around the park, bumper cars and the parachute ride. There are 3 roller coasters- a kids size, The Mad Mouse (sans seat belts or bars) and a new wooden coaster. They also have a train ride that goes quite a ways through some farm scenes. Here is there website: Little Amerricka They also have a FanPage on FaceBook. The only thing they are missing is Skee-Ball and Pinball.
  10. Tell us all about your favorite Summer Drive! The best response, as determined by the American Road Staff, will be included in the Summer Issue of American Road. If your response is selected for inclusion in the magazine we will also send you a special gift. We want all the details! Be sure to include: Your Name The Route The State/Region Why it is your favorite drive... what makes it special? The names of some of your favorite spots (diners, motels, shops, parks, etc.) Send along a photo (at least 1200 x 1500 pixels) from one of your summer drives along this route. You may post your reply on the Forum or email it to me at cmartens@americanroadmagazine.com. Think Summer!
  11. Just found a piece of great history from Fairyland Amusement Park (located on old Route 66 at 40th and Harlem Ave., Lyons, Il. ) for sale: http://www.urbanremainschicago.com/item.aspx?itemID=4293 Christine
  12. Our FaceBook fans continue to grow in numbers- 390 as of today! Don't forget to reccomend the AR page to all your friends and neighbors. Our Twitter following is growing as well- each day we add several new folks. The magic number right now is 1,072! Thanks for all your help and keep spreading the good word! Christine
  13. It's a most Excellent new contest! The rules are simple: 1. Give us your best answer to the following question. 2. The most Excellent answer (as chosen by the AR staff) will receive a copy of the book Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure by Matthew Algeo. (read more about this Excellent book at this most Excellent link: http://www.trumanroadtrip.com/page/page/6814761.htm 3. One or two word answers are just no fun at all. Be sure you explain your answers! 4. Any posts that include inflammatory comments will be discarded. 5. Entries may be re-posted online or in print by American Road. 6. You have 2 weeks from the posting of the contest to post your entry in the Forums or on FaceBook Discussion Tab. 7. Winners will be announced in the Forums, on FaceBook and Twitter. So... here's the question: Which 20th century president would you most like to have coffee with at a diner? Bonus points for including which diner and why.
  14. I am often lured in by the promise of seeing the "World's Largest.. (your favorite animal name here..." and my wheels always turn at the sign of a history museum or the glow of a diner's neon. But, the sight of a small cemetery makes my head turn every time. I can't help but wonder what history awaits to be found carved into the old stones. It started as a quest to find my heritage- but now I like to stop at cemeteries that bear no last names in my genealogical roll call. And more often than not my kids wander with me- and occasionally Bob the dog. The artwork is amazing on many of the stones- symbols, poetry, maps and more. We have noted memorials in the shape of logs, trees, columns, lambs, urns, houses (Native American burials on Madeline Island), books and more. Sometimes the brief inscriptions speak volumes: "Step gently for here sleeps my dream..." "They are coming..." (That one still makes me go "Hmmm..." For a walk through history nothing beats a cemetery. Just remember to tread lightly, leave no trace, pick up trash when you see it and set right flowers and such that have gone astray.
  15. On Madeline Island (WI) in Tom's Burned Down Cafe there is a sign that reads "Free Beer Tomorrow!" Tom's Burned Down Cafe burned once many years ago and they threw a tarp over the bar and continued on... a few summers ago it burned again. Now the advertisement on the ferry for Tom's reads something like "Burned Again By Popular Demand!" Chris
  16. Each year The Burlington Liar's Club crowns a new World Champion Liar... no little white lies will bring you this prestigious title! I am sure a lot of training goes into winning a world championship of this caliber. Straight from AsSeenInWI.Com Blog is the story of this year's doozy: December 31, 2009 Sun Prairie man's bank quip makes him World Champion Liar for 2009 A jab at the woes of the nation's banks has been named the top tall tale of 2009. The Burlington Liars Club bestowed its highest award Wednesday for this line: "I just realized how bad the economy really is. I recently bought a new toaster oven and as a complimentary gift, I was given a bank." The quip earned Larry Legro of Sun Prairie the dubious — but serious — distinction of being the year's World Champion Liar. So, now I ask our Forum Folks... what is your favorite road trip "lie"?
  17. Big paper bags of popcorn with lots of butter. Footie jammies and lying on the roof (trying not to dent it). Parking backwards and "cozying up" in the back. Lots of great memories are made at the drive in! But, what is the most memorable movie you've seen at the drive-in?? I still remember seeing West World with Yul Brynner (1973). Freaked me out so bad that Mom made Dad take us home early. That movie still freaks me out! Great movie though... http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070909/ See the preview here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYvyiruWzYo
  18. Today we were busy telling "road" jokes... My favorite: Why did the skeleton cross the road? To get to the body shop! My dad always told this one: Why did the duck cross the road? Because he was stapled to the chicken (this explains a lot about my childhood... ) What are some of your favorite "Cross The Road" jokes?? Remember... a pun at maturity is fully groan...
  19. Some of my favorite stops on a road trip are the ones that you had no idea existed until you stumble upon them along the way... Metropolis, IL- not only a giant Superman- but also a giant guy holding groceries at the edge of town (I swear he was bigger than Superman, which concerned me...) Huber's Orchard & Winery- we saw this sign along the highway and it led us through hill and dale until we came upon this attraction... farmers market, winery, petting zoo and more. http://www.huberwinery.com/content_display.php?id=1 The general store in Cornucopia, WI Corps of Discovery Welcome Center in Crofton, NE What are your favorite unexpected finds?
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