I had been hoping to go further afield, but we stuck close to home, relatively speaking. We explored the better parts of Vernon County, Wisconsin, located in Southwestern Wisconsin. On our way there, we made a stop at St. Joseph Ridge, to visit this grotto.Because the weather was against us, raining and spitting snow, and 40 degrees, we did't stay too long at the grotto. But I'll say right now, these types of places fascinate me. There are enough of them located in my part of the state to do an in depth study on. I'm kind of "collecting" them - grottos and sculpture gardens. This one was built in the 1920's. Someday, I'd like to build my own. Most of the grottos and sculpture gardens I've seen have been made by immigrants, but they didn't start building them until they were in their 60's or later. So the way I figure it, I've got about 20 years yet to do my research, and collect my rocks and pieces of glass and other interesting articles. Every grotto or garden seems to have religious symbols, and patritoic symbols. Maybe I will put in some knitting symbols as well.In addition to man-made structures, it's fun to find geologic features that seem to defy reason. Here's a landform called "3 Chimneys", located between Viroqua and Westby. I'm going to have to do a bit of studying on this one too. My brother knew where it was located (in a farm field on a country road), but neither of us could find out why it was formed or what material it was. We were in an unglaciated part of the state, and I thought we were too far away from the areas overrun by glacial meltwaters, but I'm not sure.
In addition to finding unique landforms, we were also exploring Amish country. At first, we bought a few things from a "commercial" shop that carried crafts by local Amish and other artisans. Then we started going down the country roads, and finding the actual farmsteads, many of which sell their goods right from home. At one home my brother bought a peach pie, fresh from the oven. It was too nasty a day for a picnic, so the pie rode in the backseat, filling the car with the most wonderful aroma! Every place we stopped, when we got back in the car, the fragance of baked peaches made us swoon. At another home I bought a bent hickory footstool and we visited with the carpenter in his woodshop. Later we realized that we had only found one of several Amish communities in the area, so another trip is planned.
In spite of the weather, we had a good time, probably spent too much money, learned a bit more about the Viroqua area, and basically had a nice break.
Coming soon - KNITTING CONTENT - I promise, really I do...