7.17.2013

A drive through the middle of Wisconsin.

Most people, when needing to drive from the Northwoods of WI to Minneapolis, MN would take a direct or fast route. Google says this proposed route is 288 miles and 4 hours and 37 minutes. But, everyone knows my middle name is "adventure", so I took the road less travelled. Google also lists an option of a small two-lane highway labeled as US-8. I've come to find out this highway is also known by Wisconsinites as their "8 Mile".
 
In any case, I did something of a mix of two options, going down on Hwy 51 to US-8, cutting through WI solely on US-8, and going all the way to Minnesota's I-35. This route is listed as 285 miles, but jumps to 5 hours and 33 mintues.
 
The decrease in mileage (3 big miles) and increase in time is due to the fact that US-8 is two-lanes all the way and enjoys a maximum speed of 55mph (which seemed as though everyone went about 60mph without issue). Every 10-20 miles, you get to slow down to 45mph, then 35mph, and then 25mph to pass through small towns all along the way, with populations to match:
Tripoli, ~110
Tony, 113
Bruce, 771
Ladysmith, 3383
Cameron, 1784
Barron, 3425
 
But this doesn't take into account the real close up look that you get at small town America and the farmland that makes Wisconsin the dairyland powerhouse that it is. Though I will admit  I may not choose this option everytime, it really pays to take it some of the time. There are just some things you can't see at 70mph.
 

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