Travels Without Miranda, #5: Antiquing in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is a state that gets a bum rap. It is a verdant land of rolling hills and dairy farms. Granted, I detoured around Milwaukee, so I didn’t see the urban Wisconsin, but what I did visit was idyllic.

I was on a road trip circling the Great Lakes and I was a woman on a mission. The previous day I had driven from Toronto to Lake Bluff, Illinois, a distance of more than a 1,000km. I’m not sure exactly why I was in such a rush, but there was no way to stop me. This was my first vacation in years and I was going to see it ALL!


Coming into Wisconsin, I decided that I didn’t want to go through Milwaukee, so I looked for a way around the city and instead decided to get off I-94 for a spell and take a secondary road that would lead me back to I-94 at Madison in a diagonal fashion.

Suddenly, I had no choice but to slow down since the scenic route meant going through towns and going through towns meant slower speed limits and, gasp, stop signs. I passed an antique shop at one point and wished that I could stop. Two blocks away from it, I had a revelation, I could stop if I wanted to! I was on vacation, for pete’s sake and I didn’t have to be in such a rush!

I ended up doing only a couple hundred kilometres that day as I lost myself in the antique shops of southern Wisconsin, scooping up blue willow dishes and brass candleholders. I don’t have any pictures of the two antique malls I stopped at, among smaller shops, but they are Freddy Bears Antique Mall and Heavenly Heaven Antique Mall (located in a restored church) in Waterford. Plan on spending several hours at each!

When I was done, I found the beautiful Devil’s Lake Campground and set my tent up for the night, guaranteeing a leisurely departure the next day. I remember going for a swim in the shallow lake that was still warm that late in September and whooping with joy at rediscovering life in the slow lane.

Devil's Lake, Wisconsin

Devil's Lake, Wisconsin

It was in Wisconsin that I learned that I want to travel at a slow pace and that it’s when I think that I’m in the biggest hurry that I should slow down and enjoy the moment because there might not be another opportunity to do so. I must have had this lesson in mind during my Chasm respite before one of the worst days of my life.

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