The Heart of Cheesy Land

Middleton, WI loves its condiments. At least the yellow ones. So much so, that they host the National Mustard Museum, and make a pretty big deal about it. I spent an hour there today and now know more than I ever thought there was to know about mustum ardens. Originally, mustard was considered a medicinal plant. Mustard has been used to treat everything from toothaches to scorpion stings and excelled as poultices for reducing swellings from injuries.

So the next time your desert picnic is interrupted by an angry scorpion – fear not – a cure is right next to the ketchup.

Mustard Mecca

Of course, we all know it today as that marvelously slatherable treasure that we love on just about anything. Little did I know how many kinds of mustard there were or how many ways to serve it.


Regular People Serving Jars

Rich Folk Serving Jars


After my visit, I went to the diner behind the museum for lunch. They had a marvelous chicken salad sandwich made with grapes and walnuts. UMMMM…as my lovely bride will attest, I love my food with lots of added enhancements and condiments. Bring on the mustard!


I settled into the Black Hawk Motel in Wisconsin Dells for the night. The Dells is, in my opinion, the Gatlinburg of Wisconsin. The streets are lined with music theaters, magic shows, water parks, houses of horrors, all-you-can-eat buffets, and lots and lots of motels. We’re talking the old, before there were Interstates, motels. The Black Hawk is reminiscent of that time.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. After all the chain motels I’ve stayed in, I thought it would be nice to take a trip back in time.

There were some very good reviews on an independent travel website so I took a gamble. I was pleasantly surprised. The room is clean and cool (it was 95 degrees today) and the bed is comfortable. The receptionist was very nice and they even assigned me to room 1 (I guess my blogging fame precedes me).

However, there was one interesting aspect to the room.

This is not a retouched photo. The bathtub is about 2 1/2 feet long.  It’s set up as as shower so at least I won’t have to shoehorn myself into it.

I did see an Irish restaurant up the street with leprechauns on the roof. Do they do porcelain?


Went to the World Famous Ho-Chunk Casino and Nail Salon for a while.

400 Handicap/Elderly Parking Spaces and they were all full

I quickly dropped $50 at the black jack tables to an evil troll who took great joy in dealing me 12 every hand. As I walked away from the table, my eyes fell upon the loveliest thing I had seen today. She was beautiful. Tall, glamorous, well-lit. It was a 1 cent Hee-Haw slot machine.

When my wife and I were in New Orleans last year, she won $100 at the same kind of machine.This was providence, lady luck, karma, kismet…uhh…good stuff.

I eagerly inserted my $20 and began to play. Sure enough, in just a few minutes, I had won back all of my previous losses plus another couple of bucks. And, with the sounds of Buck Henry and Junior Samples ringing in my ears, I bid adieu to my Hee Haw Honey and departed the World Famous Ho-Chunk.


Today’s Travel:  219 miles

Total Travel To Date:  1264 miles


3 responses to “The Heart of Cheesy Land

  1. Hey! You’re taking advantage of my Hee Haw Lucky Streak!!! Just don’t use it all up…I might wanna use it again sometime soon! I think I’ll buy the new Yee Haw Cricut cartridge to celebrate & memorialize our good luck 🙂 !!!! I would’ve gotten my pic taken with the security guard at the mustard museum…he needs some dark sunglasses & a bluetooth!

  2. Boss, this site is awesome. Do you have a pre-mapped route? I’d love to plot you along the way and see the distance covered, versus whats left in front of you. Also, a visual of how many turns and swings you take would be cool too.

    • Actually, the best thing is that I don’t have too much preplanned. As long as I’m in Anchorage when the family flies up, I’m golden. For instance, after spending a couple of days in Chicago, I was surprised that Milwaukee was only about 80 miles away so I couldn’t pass that up. I will be turning north at Great Falls, Montana to make the trip through Canada. Until then, if something unexpected pops up, I’m going to check it out. Thanks for following along, Chris…

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