First Day’s Take-Aways

We grabbed that cash with both hands and made a dash. Not quite Pink Floyd’s line. But we took the Camaro convertible and hit I-90 from O’Hare. No ether or other intoxicants were involved, only the automobile and the general middle-finger-to-the-world of Metallica’s Enter Sandman at a conversation-quelling volume. When leaving the rental garage we asked the young lady checking us out into the Great Wide Open the question that motivates our quest: “What do you think comes after Trump?” She gave us a laugh and then gave the question some thoughtful consideration. She wanted Hillary to run in 2020. She said Hillary was Bill’s rock, and that she deserved another chance. We teased her and asked if she thought Bill was Hillary’s rock. She didn’t think that was the case, but affirmed that she wanted Hillary to run again.

Later, after rain and lightning and large trucks closer than Louis Chevrolet was to his wife, we arrived in Mauston, Wisconsin. We drove around a while and found the Juneau County War Memorial. Mauston is the seat of Juneau County, named for Solomon Juneau. Solomon founded the city of Milwaukee, which is not in Juneau County. Solomon, a fur trader, is the uncle of Joseph Juneau, who founded the city of Juneau, Alaska. Both Juneaux were Canadians, but they left their names on the United States.

Juneau County

After that bit of local history, we stopped in at Carl’s Bright Spot. Carl’s doesn’t have a rating on Yelp. When we walked in and asked the bartender what bourbons they had, she didn’t know. She was friendly and starting rummaging around behind the bar to find the bottles and gave us our choices. A pair of guys at the bar laughed and commented that we must not be from around there because the locals drank beer. Or Sambuca. The place was friendly and folks asked us about our trip. We learned that professional rodeo is the only professional sport where you do not get paid just for showing up. That was an interesting perspective on the other major professional sports. That meant we had run into some cowboys, and not some Packer fans.  We were only talking to a small group, so that does not mean the attitude was representative of the town. There were Packers and Brewers signs and schedules all over the bar.

We asked a woman who had grown up in the town if it had changed. She said it really hadn’t, except there were more druggies now. She liked her town. The older of the cowboys, who had lived all through the Midwest, told us that 2016 was the first time he had voted. He was so upset at the notion of Hillary Clinton being commander-in-chief that he voted against her. We didn’t ask who he had voted for, but he didn’t seem like a third party guy. “You guys aren’t Democrats, are you?” he asked us. We were told that ranch where the cowboys worked got a lot of business from people coming up from Chicagoland, for fishing (norther pike, bass, and bluegill) and for horseback riding. We also learned that the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee is an excellent place to visit, even for non-fans of Harleys. That was our time in Mauston.

Juneau Sign


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