Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A Minnesotan searches for cows in America’s Dairyland May 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:36 AM
Tags: , ,

AS A MINNESOTAN, I never intended to engage in a “find the cow” search when I crossed the border into Wisconsin several days ago. But in the free time between packing my daughter’s belongings and attending her graduation at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, I find myself scouting for bovines.

This little game, in which I am the only interested family participant, starts after I notice the America’s Dairyland” slogan on Wisconsin’s license plates. That’s enough to get this former Redwood County dairy farmer’s daughter thinking about, and watching for, cows.

I don’t have to look far. Downtown La Crosse corrals herds of cows like these examples I photographed in businesses along Pearl Street West.

Cow art.

A glimpse of shoppers walking along Pearl Street West as seen from inside Cheddarheads, a gift shop.

Cheddarheads, a store packed with all things cows, all things cheesehead and even real cheese.

Packers' fans can support the team with their very own cheesehead hats stashed in this creatively-painted Holstein bathtub at Cheddarheads gift shop.

Hours later, after a long commencement program in a stuffy gymnasium, my husband, just-graduated daughter and I return downtown for supper at The Wine Guyz. Even here these cow-crazy Wisconsinites don’t let us down. While the I’m-so-glad-I’m-done-with-college daughter orders a glass of Argentine Malbac wine, we thirsty parents opt for beer.

We order Stone Soup and Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company to complement our platter of world cheeses and homemade pizza.

Even a Minnesotan like me appreciates Wisconsin-made Spotted Cow beer while imbibing and dining across the border.

As I swig my Spotted Cow brew, I’m pretty darned content, relaxing here in America’s Dairyland” among cheeseheads and, dare I say, in the former football home of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre. Nah, better not mention that.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling