On a gorgeous winter day in February, my husband and I set off on a day trip to the western Wisconsin town of Viroqua with a couple of our friends. Kickapoo Coffee Roasters was having a tour and tasting event, which attracted the coffee aficionados (the guys) in our little group like bees to honey. The non-coffee drinkers (the gals) were lured by the promise of a tasting of Del Sol Chocolate. And yarn. No visit to this area would be complete without checking out the wonderful array of fibers at Ewetopia.

Our friends mentioned that there was an excellent restaurant in Viroqua that we might want to check out called the Driftless Cafe. As we got closer to our destination, I noticed this word “driftless” appearing more and more frequently on signs and in business names. If something wasn’t named “driftless,” it was named “Kickapoo.” My curiosity was piqued. “Kickapoo” was a no-brainer—it is due to the proximity to the Kickapoo River, which was named after the Native American tribe that used to live in the region. For “driftless,” I called on my trusty sidekick Google for help. 

I’ve always thought “driftless” was someone having not a clear purpose or just roaming around. According to Merriam Webster, the first definition is “having no aim or direction.” The second definition “free from glacial drift” is applicable here. As a Michigan native, I wasn’t raised on Wisconsin geography/history. But now, thanks to a quick visit to Driftless Wisconsin, I know that there are parts of the state where a glacier went through and other parts that are “unglaciated.” There is something about this gorgeous countryside that harkens back to simpler times. Gently rolling hills, sprawling farmland, natural prairies and wetlands—it’s easy to see what draws artists to Viroqua to pursue their creative passions.

The Driftless Cafe was certainly a pleasant surprise. Big portions, low prices, and farm-to-table goodness. On the way home, we stopped at Culver’s for a sweet treat and The Shoebox for a great deal on summer sandals.

Friends, food, fibers, fun. Chocolate, coffee, and custard. What a perfect Wisconsin outing.


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