So we headed up the hill under a twilighted sky, summiting around dusk and descending in the dark. I know this trail well. Each deadfall, tree root, and protruding rock fixed in my mind. But in the dark, things get misplaced. As two weeks ago when I tripped over a freshly fallen tree and planted my nose in the horse trail.
As my eyes adjusted to the dark on this night, I could faintly pick out the black earth of the hoof-worn trail that lay like a ribbon against the lighter background. I felt the steep slope fall away from my next step. Riley’s shapeless form moved ahead of me, leading me home. During the day, this bluff cuts an imposing line against the horizon. During the night, the land weaves its way into your senses.
So it is with Driftless Wisconsin. Take a look around you at the stunning photos on this website, and you will only know part of the story. It’s one thing to see Driftless Wisconsin in photos. It’s quite another to experience it with your senses.
There are many ways to experience Driftless Wisconsin.
You can ride it on a bike. The Kickapoo Brave Ride on September 15 begins in Gays Mills and takes you on a rolling tour of the back roads, visiting quaint villages and rural farmland along the way. Along the 60-mile route, visit Ferryville for their Fall Fest and Market in the Park on the Mississippi River. A Harvest Dinner with locally grown food awaits you back at Riverside Park on the Kickapoo River.
You can ride it on a horse. The 9th Annual Fall Trail Ride at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve near La Farge on September 28 – 30 takes you along equestrian trails that will visit the fall colors. Enjoy the special equestrian campsite with Saturday evening dinner and Sunday morning coffee and rolls. Registration is limited and required by September 16.
You can experience it through art. The Driftless Area Art Festival on September 15 – 16 in Soldiers Grove will take you on a tour of the artist’s imagination. Discover Driftless creativity through wood, ceramics, fiber, painting, photography, jewelry, sculpture, food, and music.
You can live it through history. The Norskedalen Threshing Bee on September 22 at the Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center near Coon Valley relives the pioneer spirit. See demonstrations in threshing, corn shelling, rope making, blacksmithing, butter churning, lumber cutting and all the skills that tamed the land for our ancestors.
See it in the light; feel it in the dark; take it all in through any means possible. There are so many ways to experience Driftless Wisconsin.