Never covered by ice during the last ice age, the Driftless Area lacks glacial deposits known as drift. Its landscape is characterized by steep hills, forested ridges, deeply carved river valleys, and karst geology with spring-fed waterfalls and cold-water trout streams. Ecologically, the flora and fauna are more closely related to those of the Great Lakes region and New England than those of the broader Midwest and Central Plains regions. The steep landscape of both the Driftless Area is the result of early glacial advances that forced preglacial rivers that flowed into the Great Lakes southward, causing them to carve a gorge across bedrock,
thereby forming the modern upper Mississippi River valley.
Thursday, September 12, 2024, 7:30 am - Depart Watertown Plank Park and Ride in Wauwatosa heading west with an additional pick-up at the Pewaukee Park and Ride on Golf Road. We enjoy lunch (I).
After lunch, explore the history and education of the beautiful Driftless Area on our tour,
including the following:
An educational lecture of Viroqua by Jacob Hundt
(geography, establishment, and growth of Viroqua)
Historic Sherry-Butt House: Lt. Col. Cyrus M. Butt built one of Viroqua’s oldest homes in the Federal style in 1870 after his valiant service in the Civil War. He and his wife, Margaret raised their five children in this home and left it to their daughter, Jane. Many original pieces remain with the house, including a Rococo square grand piano. Many of the Colonel’s Civil War artifacts are also on display. Lt. Col. Butt went on to distinguish himself in his law practice and public service. Lt. Col. Butt was a progressive thinker and a step ahead of his time.
Vernon County Museum: Exhibits include the teaching classroom, archaeology, military history, a general store, the Astronaut Mark Lee Space exhibit, and agricultural exhibits such as the tobacco exhibit, which was an important agricultural product in Vernon County for many years.
Old St. Mary’s Church: St. Mary’s Catholic Church was dedicated in the summer of 1908 on this original site. St. Mary’s was a mission church attached to the Rising Sun – St. James parish for forty years and became independent in 1947.
Foreaker School House: James Mankin built the Foreaker School in 1888 for $395. It was located in the Town of Liberty, southeast of Viroqua. The one-room school operated until 1960 when it was closed due to low attendance.
After our historical tour in the afternoon, we visit St. Mary's Distillery in Cashton, WI to sample rum and brandy. We have dinner at the distillery. After having dinner, we checked into a bed and breakfast for the night. The Viroqua Heritage Inn is designed like a small-town boutique hotel and consists of two 1890s Historic Landmark
Homes, each named after local distinguished founding residents - Eckhart and Boyle. These award-winning, five-star properties are built in the Victorian-era style and are situated on large, corner lots directly across the street from one another, both of which are within two blocks of downtown.
Friday, September 13, 2024 – After breakfast (I) at the hotel, we tour New Forest Farm. Appropriate footwear is required for walking on the farm. New Forest Farm is a diverse Restoration Agriculture research site in the Driftless Area of Southwestern Wisconsin.
Founded by the Shepard family for over 20 years, the land is one of the country’s most ambitious large-scale conversions of former degraded corn farms into a perennial agricultural
ecosystem. We sample some farm fare for lunch (I).
Spend the afternoon and evening at the Vernon County Fair. Enjoy and celebrate Vernon County’s agriculture, crafting, horse shows, livestock sales, music, and good food. This is the last county fair of the season in Wisconsin.
Saturday, September 14, 2024 – After a continental breakfast (I) you can relax at the bed and breakfast or enjoy the hustle and bustle of the farmer’s market, the indoor year-round Public Market, the Viva Art Gallery on Main Street, and more in downtown Viroqua. We gather for lunch at The Driftless Café, owned by Chef Luke Zahm, host of Wisconsin Foodie on PBS.
From 1 pm - 4:30 pm, we learn a new craft at the Driftless Folk School (I). Pick what piques your interest! Pysanky Egg Painting, Candle Making, or Beginning Chip Carving. Class options are subject to change upon availability.
It’s time to bid the Driftless Area goodbye and head back to our original pick-up points with
dinner along the way.
TRIP PRICE & INCLUSIONS
Includes bus, driver tip, Hotel, All Admissions, classes, 2 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Cost (per person)
$1,199 Double Occupancy
$1,399 for Single Occupancy.
Balance due August 12, 2024, No refunds after August 12, 2024
Be prepared to get a quote for trip insurance at the time of sign-up. Once Profit For You Tours enters the information into the insurance company you will receive an email from them with two quotes which you can choose from. You will deal with the insurance company from that point.
Stair climbing, super above average walking, getting on and off the bus many times during the day. Uneven surfaces and standing in one place, being in a crowd.
Venues on the tour are subject to change.
For more information and to reserve your spot, call Lori at Profit For You Tours, (414) 477-0155