Windshield Time

Posted 9/15/21

OUTDOOR Adventures By Brian G. Schommer We are so blessed to live in this area of Minnesconsin when it comes to the abundance of outdoor activities available to us. Sometimes, I think we fail to …

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Windshield Time


OUTDOOR Adventures

By Brian G. Schommer

We are so blessed to live in this area of Minnesconsin when it comes to the abundance of outdoor activities available to us. Sometimes, I think we fail to realize that we are having an outdoor adventure at the time it is happening. For example, driving from one place to another for most people is a daily routine that rarely generates additional thought beyond getting from “Point A to Point B.” Stop for a moment next time and take in the area between those two points. You just might be amazed at what you see.

This is just a suggestion but, if you are having “one of those days” where you just need to break away and have a bit of time to yourself, or shared with those that you love, and love you the most, it is something I think you will find calming, if even for just a short time. The directions I am giving are from Hastings but if you live anywhere along the way, the route is quite easy to adjust. If you ride motorcycle or have a convertible of any type, your trip just got a little better.

Get yourself on Highway 61 and head north towards Highway 10 which will lead you to Prescott. If you want to turn there, go for it but if time is not of the essence, keep heading straight for a bit. If you stay on 61, you will eventually see a beautiful golf course to your left and Zywiec’s Garden Center to your left. Again, if time is available, stop there and grab something cool to drink for the ride, maybe an apple or something else to nibble on and take in the fresh smells of summer turning into fall. If you turned off and are headed to Prescott, put Zywiec’s on your calendar for a later date. Once you are done there, head back on 61 towards Highway 10 or, feel free to take the scenic route on the backroads to get back that way… it’s your adventure.

Once you are headed towards Wisconsin, be sure to really look at the bluffs, fields and beauty that is surrounding you. When you drive across the bridge to Prescott over the St. Croix River, listen carefully to the noise made by your tires and the bridge. This little bit of forced attention will help you be more attuned to the fact that you are not just driving, you are on an outdoor adventure. Please be sure to have your windows rolled down. Now you have a decision to make, and again, it is 100% your decision. Left or Right?

If you turn left staying on Highway 10, you will head out of Prescott and drive towards Ellsworth where you will see farms and lots of rolling hills, fields, woods and usually a few different forms of wildlife. Recently we saw a couple bikers by The Gaslight Bar who looked pretty wild, and fun, too. Our time had a constraint, or we may have stopped. If you are on this little 17 miles stretch of Highway 10, you will want to turn right on Highway 63 just before Ellsworth. That is, unless you are looking for fresh cheese curds. Then you continue into town and stop at the Ellsworth Cheese Factory. Either way, get on Highway 63 and head towards Hager City and Red Wing. If you turned right, you headed down Highway 35 towards Hager City and will end up at the intersection of Highway 35 and 63. This is another decision spot.

If you took the longer route towards Ellsworth, be sure to enjoy the smells on your way back to Minnesota. Most of them will be pleasant, especially if you like the aroma of fresh cut hay. There are a few dairy farms on this path so, as stated, “most” smells will be pleasant. There are some great hills on this little jaunt towards the Mississippi River which are fun to drive but the real scenic views are just ahead. That is, if you are don’t stop at the Hager Heights Drive-In first… if they are open. This is one of the more fun places to eat in the area and their chicken is superb. This is the decision spot no matter which route you took. If they are open, do we stop to eat. If you drove towards Ellsworth and turned, do we head up 35 towards Prescott or cross the bridge in Minnesota and take 61 towards Hastings? If we turned right in Prescott, do we head up 63 towards Ellsworth because cheese curds sound great right now? Or do we head over the bridge and catch the bluffs on the Minnesota side because on 35, they are equally as fantastic, and the roads are curvier allowing for a slower, more relaxing drive? So many decisions to make and no matter which direction you go, it is your outdoor adventure, so there are no wrong answers.

Schedule some windshield time for yourself TODAY. Get out and enjoy the open roads, scenic views and just take some time for yourself. If you are no longer able to drive, call someone and ask them to go for a ride. Tell them you will spring for the cheese curds, and you might have a little better luck. I might even be in for that type of reward. When you are outside, it is up to you to make it an outdoor adventure, or just to go from “Point A to Point B.” What are you going to do… I hope you will Get Out and Enjoy the Great Outdoors.