Monday, October 03, 2011

American Gods and Roadside Attractions Tour: The Meaning of Regret

When we set out on this trip, we knew there were several things we wanted to see. But we also didn't want to be held to any kind of schedule to see them. There was only one, as near as we could tell, time-specific activity that must be met - Northern Chocolate Co. - and the rest would be seen whenever we got there. Having said that...

Let's face it.

Acr0nym and I? We dawdled way too long in Kenosha...particularly for a place known to the Milwaukee-ites as that "shit hole".

It was well past noon when we headed west in earnest along State Road 142 out of Kenosha. We'd wind our way through beautiful Wisconsin countryside...SR 142, SR 11, US 14, and onto I-90 just south of Janesville.

You bet I made Acr0nym stop for this shot!

We'd take I-90 to the southern end of Madison - isn't it interesting that we didn't care about stopping anywhere near the state capitol? - and then cut across along US 18 to Mt. Horeb and its "World Famous Trollway".

I was particularly excited about this Roadside Attraction because YAY! Trolls! Awesomely, horrifically, cute trolls!

Mt. Horeb, WI - the World Famous Trollway

Mt. Horeb, WI - the World Famous Trollway

 What we didn't know before we pulled into town is that we were catching the very tail end of their 9th Annual Thirsty Trolls Brew Fest...happening right along our Troll Route.

Road closures, police blockades, firemen doing...I don't know what? Dismantling something or other. There'd been a parade. There'd been beer drinkers. There'd been controlled chaos and mayhem for 2 days before we'd gotten there. None of the revelers gave one cursory crap about the fact that we'd just driven 1,500 miles to see their trolls.

So...not only did we miss most of the trolls? We missed all the beer. *sigh*

We'd head back out west along US 18 where we'd spot a motorcycle ride - the largest I believe I've ever seen - taking a break at a little road side bar, in honor of September 11. It was September 11. Somehow, I'd forgotten that we were looking for America over a weekend that would be forever remembered as the day America changed...and not for the better. Those motorcycles - at least 150, I'm guessing - struck a strange, poignant chord in my throat. I'm glad they were there. I'm glad I was not a part of them.

We'd follow US 18 until we got to US 23 where we would turn north toward Spring Green, WI and the House on the Rock...the #1 reason for this entire journey's choices in destinations. Neither of us were thinking particularly about timing beyond the fact that the afternoon was starting to wax into soft, golden, late afternoon hues and we might want to get there sooner rather than later to capture the day's best light.

Just south of the turn off to The House, we'd spot this...

Whoa! Seriously!

This Fun Hole is Closed

But we knew that couldn't possibly be the Droids we were looking for (OMG! I'm such a nerd).

Soon though, we'd spot this...

Entrance to House on the Rock
And we knew we were "home".

After a 1/2 mile tree-lined drive full of like-minded sculptures and statues, we'd arrive in the parking lot of the House on the Rock.

It was 3:56.

We parked, walked down to the doors of the exhibit hall...

House on the Rock Welcome Center

To be promptly told that we'd only be able to see 1/3 of the House on the Rock's exhibits...and only if we bought tickets within the next 2 minutes.


House on the Rock closed promptly at 5. We'd arrived at 4. We had an hour to see what there was to be seen of the Gatehouse, the Main House, and the Infinity Room. The rest of it? Would not be made available to us no matter how much we'd like to plead our case.

We'd pay our tickets and we'd tour the exhibits available to us (next post). But both of us would come away disappointed in ourselves - disappointed that we'd not thought to plan our time just a smidge better to see the one thing we'd come to see.

I guess we'd found America after all.

Procrastination - like Masturbation - can be fun...until you figure out you've fucked yourself.


bete-noire said...

you're kidding. ALL THAT WAY. D:}


Just Jane said...

Seriously. Whoa.