Today’s guest post comes from Clyde in Mankato.
When Sandy and I moved from the North Shore, we were glad to have a new area to explore. We had run out of places to go, sights to see, roads to drive in the Arrowhead.
We quickly latched onto the southeast corner of the state, the Driftless Country. The drive along the Mississippi is wonderful, but the back roads provide more adventure: drives across the ridges or through the valleys or from ridge to valley to ridge to valley. Winding roads, abandoned churches, thriving churches, abandoned farms, thriving farms, hole-in-the-wall villages, along the Root River by bike or car, Lanesboro, and and the other villages.
Along the Mississippi two favorites are the village of Old Frontenac and a delightful little cafe, sometimes tea room, in Lake City called the Chickadee Cafe.
I will share with you two quiet gems which you can tour.
The historic Bunnell House, operated by the Winona County Historic Society, which I see now has performances. It sits in Homer, near Winona along the highway 61, The Great River Road.
The Pickwick Mill, which sits in a small village on a winding drive up a valley from highway 61. It is near Winona but is operated by a private non-profit. When we were last there, it was still a low-priced, do-it-yourself tour, which made it peaceful to wander through the several dusty floors of the building and along its bubbling river and still mill pond. The tiny elderly volunteer on duty that day was pure charm. It was near closing time, but she told us to take our time. Her husband kept calling and asking when she would be home. She kept telling him to be patient. We felt pressured to leave. She told us with a smile, “He’s a useless old lump who needs to learn to take care of himself.”
The mill takes its name from The Pickwick Papers, just as a whim.
Are you a wanderer through space and time or are you driven by an itinerary?