Club News

Fall Cruise – October 7 & 8 – Southwest Wisconsin, Northwest Illinois

Fall Cruise – October 7 & 8 – Southwest Wisconsin, Northwest Illinois

Our last cruise of the season will start off at the I-90 westbound Belvidere Oasis.  We’ll then head to Monroe, WI where we’ll tour the National Historic Cheesemaking Center.  Monroe, known as the “Gateway to Cheese Country: and the “Cheese Capital of the USA,” is a small historic community in south central Wisconsin rich in heritage, tradition, technology and the hard work of dairy and cheesemaking.  Envision the manual labor from its humble beginnings in a single farmstead factory in the mid 1850’s.  At the museum, the past comes alive, enter “an era that was, that will never be again” as you step inside the Imobersteg Cheese Factory, restored and located on campus.  After our tour, we’ll head over to the Colony Brands/Swiss Colony Crossroads Outlet where we of course, can purchase cheese!  

After lunch, we’ll head a little ways north and stop by the Rural Route One Popcorn Factory.  Rural Route 1 Popcorn got its start in 1983 as a result of an experiment that turned into an opportunity to diversify and explore a new production crop.

In 1983, the government instituted a program (PIC) whereby farmers could choose to take their farmland out of production for a year and receive a government payment.  They made the decision to experiment with popcorn and make use of much of the same processing equipment as for the seed corn. Hence, Rural Route 1 Popcorn began with 25 acres. Today, several hundred of the 3000 farmed acres are dedicated to producing gourmet popcorn.  Attention to detail and quality are the keys to the success of Rural Route 1 Popcorn, which is ear harvested and then hand sorted to select the most perfect ears. And, rather than choosing corn hybrids that have the highest yields, varieties are selected based primarily on taste and tenderness. This attention to quality, not quantity, assures excellent taste and delicate tenderness for the ultimate in gourmet popcorn.  

After our popcorn visit, we’ll head north again and visit Dark Metal Artwork.  The owner Tom, is the son of renowned metal sculptor Ellis Nelson, whose works have garnered worldwide recognition and publicity.  Tom’s dad started building a variety of metal art in 1984.  Anything from life-sized dinosaurs to whimsical art.  After a look around, and maybe buying a piece or two, we’ll head toward the Wisconsin River, where we will have an adventurous ride through winding roads enjoying the colors of fall!  

We’ll travel for the next 1.5 hours following the Wisconsin River, crossing the Mississippi River and traveling the west side of the Mississippi to Dyersville, IA,  where we’ll have dinner and spend the night at Comfort Inn.  The next morning we’ll tour the “Field of Dreams” farm including the movie site house.  The century-old Lansing family farm with its quaint, and oh so recognizable house, baseball still ranks as a favorite pastime for all ages. What better place to carve a baseball diamond from a corn field and make a movie!  Field of Dreams, released in 1989, is a movie that has inspired millions and became an Academy Award nominee for “Best Picture of the Year.” 

After our visit and tour, we’ll head out to a brunch in East Dubuque, IL.  After our brunch, plan on cruising the Northern IL back roads and enjoying curvy, hilly roads along with the fall colors as we head back home.

This fall cruise plans to be an adventurous ride, unique places to visit and tour, enjoying the fall colors and most of all, the friends of our club.  An awesome way to end the 2017 cruises!

Remember to contact the Comfort Inn at Dyersville, IA for the night of October 7.  A block of rooms are being held for the Vipers of Illinois or the Viper Owners Association of Illinois.  The rate is $94.99 a night and includes continental breakfast.  Call BEFORE SEPTEMBER 22nd to reserve your room!  They can be reached at: 563-875-7700.