Road Trips

  • Road trip: Northeast Iowa

    There's something inspiring about a certain pocket of northeast Iowa. It's nurtured a a beloved children's-book author, a famous composer and two brilliant woodcarvers. It's stirred battalions of people who create art, preserve heirloom seed and carry on Norwegian culture. There are a lot of stories in these hills and valleys on the edge of the Driftless Area, which escaped the flattening effects of the glaciers.

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  • Road trip: Bluff-country byways

    At harvest time, Minnesota's bluff country overflows with beauty. Fat pumpkins await buyers at farmers' markets. Golden clumps of wildflowers line bicycle trails. From buggies, the Amish sell homemade baskets, bumbleberry jam and apple butter. There's an abundance of everything, including tourists.

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  • Road trip: Seeking covered bridges

    The more hectic life becomes, the more we love covered bridges. They evoke a powerful sense of nostalgia for slower-paced times. Literally slower: On Minnesota's last span, a sign reads, "$10 Fine for Driving Faster Than a Walk Across This Bridge.''

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  • Road trip: Mural towns

    If you want to see colors, you don't have to wait for fall. In the northern Wisconsin town of Ashland, murals pay tribute to lighthouse keepers, lumberjacks, pilots and jazz musicians. They've made Ashland such a destination that the Minnesota Iron Range town of Virginia has put their creators to work creating murals there, too.

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  • Road trip: Southwest Wisconsin

    Scratch the surface in southwest Wisconsin, and you'll find treasure. In the 1820s, it took the form of lead ore that early miners, to their amazement, found at the grassroots. Lead and zinc made this area bustle when Milwaukee and Madison were just getting started, and one of its villages served as the territory's first capital.

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