When planning this road trip, I was excited to see friends, family, and the sites along the way, but I was also excited to see what the country looks like between those things. The destinations are awesome, but getting there is half the fun (my lovely wife may think otherwise)! For those readers who also wish to know what can be found in the wilds of Wisconsin and Minnesota, read on!
The answer: Apparently not much can be found on I-90 in Wisconsin and even less can be found on I-90 through Minnesota.
I will elaborate, lest you feel you have been given short shrift. Wisconsin is actually a very pleasant state. It has green, rolling hills and dairy farms dotting the countryside. As we drove north and west of Madison, the hills became more jagged, and as you saw in Mica’s post, some interesting rock formations popped up. I should also mention the area surrounding Wisconsin Dells, which appeared to be some bizarre water park resort destination. Please comment if you know what is up with that.
Upon crossing the Mississippi at La Crosse, Wisconsin, we were greeted by the relentless plains of southern Minnesota. There is so little in southern Minnesota that the road signs saw it fit to tell me that we were approaching the burg of Albert Lea, MN (pop: 18k) from 100 miles out. There was just nothing else in between. Plains gave way to sad little hills, which gave way to more plains. The interstate was, by and large, straight as a pin, and there were typically about 5 or 10 cars per mile of highway. I think I saw more wind turbines than on any other day of my life, even after living in Illinois for five years. I don’t mean to imply that the state of Minnesota is boring; we were just in a boring part of it (less “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” more “I Can Tell We’re Not Far From Iowa” (no offense Kim, and other Iowa natives!) (sorry for double parentheses!)). Someday we’ll see the prettier and more interesting parts, but today was not that day.
Tomorrow we spend a solid day driving across South Dakota, but I am confident it will be more interesting. Faces on mountains and stuff.