We were spoon deep in our booyah at Jen’s Knaughty Pine when the flier caught our eyes.
“Roadkill Party. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.”
Naturally, we decided to check it out. So, we hopped in the car and headed northwest from Angelica to Zachow and the Bourbon Creek Saloon.
According to some new friends we made there, Road Kill parties are not uncommon in that part of the state. They’re actually handy little events, offering the opportunity to cull the late winter freezer meat, socialize with like-minded undiscriminating carnivores, and raise funds for a worthy cause.
This one supported Mark Mitchell’s fight against pancreatic cancer, a particularly brutal cancer with which we’ve had some recent experience.
So, we bellied up and I watched Vince fill his plate.
“It’s really good,” he said as he worked his way through buffalo, bear, wild boar, elk, caribou, duck and venison.
“Looks great,” I said, mostly for fun.
“Where’s you plate?” asked Rick, one of our brand new friends.
“Aww, jeez, I’d love to,” I said. “But we just ate booyah and I’m still full.”
Eventually, though, I got curious. I asked for a taste of the bear and, because everyone was raving about it, the wild boar.
I’m not sure if it was the quality of the game, the amateur cooks, or the amiable company, but both dishes tasted delicious. In fact, I went back for my own small bowl of wild boar.
Believe you me, it was delicious, ya know?
While that spontaneous stop remains a highlight of our weekend, we enjoyed many other cool only-in-Wisconsin moments. A cheerful young bagger toted our groceries to the car at Don’s Quality Market in Seymour, where we also took an obligatory, though wind-whipped and frosty, picture in front of the Hamburger Statue in the center of town. Happily, I noted that someone had added knit leggings, a head band and matching scarf to Hamburger Charlie.
While Vince parked the car, I popped into a No Name Bar in Advance and brightly asked the assembled patrons, “Hey! What’s the name of this bar?”
“It’s last chance,” the owner/barkeep Delores said. “Last Chance in Advance.”
“I’m surprised you took another step,” said one particularly garrulous fellow who, once he warmed up to us, turned out to tell great stories.
As is his habit, Vince whipped out his cellphone and passed around trail cam pictures of the bobcat family currently living on our land, and we all became friends.
Later, we tramped through the woods, watch ice flows glide down the river, and built a big fire to warm up our cabin (a balmy 48 degrees when we first let ourselves in).
Clearly, though, the highlight of this particular weekend in Wisconsin was one of its greatest natural resources — its people.