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Galena, Illinois Shamrock Tour®

Text: Caleb McInturff • Photography: Marisa McInturff

We woke to clouds and drizzling rain. We waited and studied the forecast to see if it would relent. No such luck… Marisa and I decided that — since we were riding Can-Am Spyders with wind protection comparable to a convertible—we’d hit the road despite the precipitation. Our quick theoretical aerodynamics calculations were dead on. As long as we kept the three-wheeled touring machines moving, they provided us with a dry pocket as we made our way to Kaladi’s Coffee Bar in Galena, IL. The rain broke just as we finished our coffee and walked to the Spyders. Perfect timing.

Quit Your Whining

Nestled in a green valley just off a dead-end road, we arrived at the first winery on our list—Sinnipee Valley Winery in Cuba City, WI. The sun had warmed the air that was still saturated from the morning’s rain, causing the humidity to skyrocket.

The next winery on the list was the Whispering Bluffs Winery in Potosi, WI. Smack-dab in the middle of a small town, it offered a different atmosphere. They have a small shop that sells sweet treats to pair with a glass of wine and a comfortable lounge area. As is usually the case with small businesses, we again received a warm greeting.

Whispering Bluffs names all their wines after local birds. Each label has prints of paintings for each bird done by a family member. I enjoy seeing family businesses that draw on the family’s talents and add a unique touch to the product. On the topic of uniqueness, the acidic soil of the region gives the grapes a unique tart flavor that shines through. I began to see why this area was known for its excellent wines.

After the winery, we rode toward Cassville Car Ferry in Cassville, WI, where we rolled to Prime St that ends at the ferry slip. As we waited for the ferry, a light drizzle began to fall—a welcome relief from the heat. The ferry chugged its way up the mighty Mississippi to pick us up. The rain over the past few days meant the water was up and the river was flowing. The ferry captain fought the current to hit the slip straight on, missing it the first time. The second attempt was successful and we were signaled to board the vessel. We were the only people waiting so we pushed off immediately. The middle of the Mississippi marks the division between Wisconsin and Iowa. Iowa greeted us with a well-groomed dirt road where we were happy to test the Spyders’ capability on dirt. You know, for science.

After we departed the ferry, we followed country highways to PromiseLand Winery. They offer tastings and have a beautiful garden and fountain in the back with seating. This area abounds with some incredibly scenic riding. While we weren’t exactly shredding twisty roads, the farmland is gorgeous in its own right. To be frank, had I been on twisties all day, I wouldn’t have liked the Spyder nearly as much. The Can-Am is definitely built for touring.

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For the complete touring article, including facts & information, map(s), and GPS files, please purchase the September/October 2021 back issue.