Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Glarus, Wisconsin

     "Let's head north into Wisconsinland". So said I on a bright but cold November morning. After perusing the map, we decided New Glarus would be an easy reach for a brief sojourn into the "wilds"
    After an uneventful trip through the sloping and gentle hills of southern Wisconsin, we landed in the hilly little town of New Glarus ("Little Switzerland" the advertisements proclaim). The sky was  blue but the scenery was a tad bleak. It didn't help that we chose one of the flattest trails to hike (must have followed the valley - certainly wasn't very Alp like).
     Its' name was the Sugar River Trail and we only encountered one other user (a jogger). We did pass buildings which bore resemblances to Swiss chalets.
     The trees were bleak and stripped of all leaves. The trail was straight and narrow and didn't protect us much from the cold - although truth to be told there was no wind to speak of.
     Onwards we trekked - past gates,
     weeping willows,
     a cow out standing in her field,
     barns in the distance,
     caterpillars predicting a long, cold winter,
     and last of the milkweeds.
     The cold finally settled into our bones and we decided enough fresh air was enough fresh air. Back to town we trudged with a last picture by the Sugar River.
     In to town we went looking for warmth and souvenirs. Spotted this friendly bovine gracing the front of a confectionary store.
     Stumbled along up hill for awhile until we entered the booming center of town. An old Swiss hotel garnished one corner.
     We entered a nearby shop, exchanged pleasantries with the proprietress (whose accent gave away a Swiss / German heritage) and purchased a cow bell (a necessity). We were about played out at this point so headed back to the car for our return trip home. We enjoyed our brief, brisk encounter with the Swiss community in southern Wisconsin.

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