DRIVE THE INTERSTATE and you mostly miss the nuances of a place.
On a rainy Friday afternoon, I photographed this scene along Wisconsin Highway 21, a rural region of the state.
But travel a back county road or a state highway and you begin to see the details that comprise a location. Like rural Wisconsin.
Stuck behind farm equipment along Highway 21.
Wisconsin State Highway 21 between Tomah and Oshkosh has become a familiar stretch of highway for my husband and me as we travel that route to reach our second daughter’s home in the Fox Valley region. It is a busy stretch of roadway which often leaves us wishing for a quicker, safer east-west route. But options are limited, especially if we don’t want to travel through the Twin Cities metro.
The natural attraction, Castle Rock, juts up from the landscape near Coloma.
So we make the best of it, watching for the cranberry bogs east of Tomah, the Amish between Coloma and Wautoma, the natural wonder of Castle Rock,
Probably the oldest drive-in along Wisconsin Highway 21, the Milty Wilty has been in business in Wautoma for 70 years.
the Milty Wilty in Wautoma and anything that screams Wisconsin.
Small family farms abound along Wisconsin State Highway 21.
Highway 21 takes us past potato and dairy farms,
Hunting shacks for sale in Redgranite.
past hunting land and the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, across rivers and creeks,
Businesses in downtown Redgranite, one of my favorite towns along Highway 21.
through small towns like Omro and Redgranite,
The names of small town bars, like this one in Redgranite, amuse me.
past bars and churches,
Roadside stands are plentiful this time of year. Here’s one in Redgranite.
to roadside stands and Piggly Wigglies.
Posted in a front yard in Redgranite.
This route reveals so much about the character of Wisconsin. Signs for brat fries. Bars aplenty. Strong opinions voiced in handcrafted signs.
One of my favorite restaurant icons, located in Wautoma.
Small town diners.
Farming and fishing.
Scenes along Wisconsin State Highway 21 reflect this area’s rural character. This is near Coloma.
Travel the interstate and you will miss most of this. But follow a state highway and you will begin to understand a place. Like rural Wisconsin.
© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling