Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Day 2 - Chesterton IN to Rochester MN

September 2017 - Rochester MN

Day 1 - Toronto to Chesterton IN

September 6

Up early and had a good breakfast courtesy of being a Hilton Gold member. It was a cool drizzley morning.

Got gas and took a quick drive into town.

B-K Root Beer is an independent chain of drive-in fast-food restaurants, distinguished by their draft root beer and root beer floats. A midwestern chain, B-K restaurants are located in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. B-K stands for "Bergerson & Kenefick".

Back to some serious driving we soon hit Chicago and traffic. And can I just say outrageous highway tolls, we spent $17 US before we got to Wisconsin.

We reach the end of tolls and enter Wisonsin.

We stop for cheese curds, Wisoonsin makes the squeakiest!

Sparta has come to be known as the bicycle capital of America, as it’s located in the center of 101 miles of state trails, with the world-famous Elroy-Sparta State Trail serving as the crown jewel.
A post office has been in operation at Sparta since 1852. The city was named after Sparta, the ancient Greek city-state.

"Ben Bikin'" is the name given to this 32-foot-tall sculpture of a Gay Nineties cyclist atop an old high wheel contraption. Because Victorian-era bicycles were so tall anyway, this statue seems less impressive than it probably should. It was built by hometown fiberglass gurus F.A.S.T. Corp. to mark Sparta's claim as Bicycling Capital of America.

And talking of root beer, here is the A&W bear.

La Crosse is lies alongside the Mississippi River, La Crosse is the largest city on Wisconsin's western border.

Originally the G. Heileman Brewing Company Old Style brewery, and later the La Crosse brewery, it was an unknown genius who, in 1969, realized that the six enormous beer tanks at this site, made for a perfect giant six-pack.

Painted as perfect imitations of Old Style beer, the world’s largest six-pack was born. Sadly, the brewery went out of business in 1999, leaving the fate of the six-pack uncertain. But certain ideas cannot be contained and the brewery was bought by City Brewery and the six-pack was reborn as La Cross. 

The tanks contain a total of 22,220 barrels of beer, or 688,200 gallons/7,340,796 cans. If you placed all the cans end to end it would run 565 miles long. The World’s Largest Six-Pack would provide one person a six-pack a day for 3,351 years. And best of all: Starting the day you were born, if you were to drink a 12 oz cup of beer on the hour, every hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you’d have to live to be about 120 years old to finish just one of the World’s Largest Six-Pack cans.

Across the street stands Gambrinus, the “King of Beer,” who stands with a goblet of beer held aloft. According to the affixed plaque, Gambrinus “invented beer” in the 15th century, which is a ludicrious statement since beer is one of the oldest beverages humans have produced, dating back to at least the 5th millennium BC in Iran, and was recorded in the written history of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia and spread throughout the world.

In 1858, Gottlieb Heileman, an immigrant from W├╝rttemberg, joined in a business venture with John Gund, an immigrant from Baden. Together, the pair of German expatriates founded The City Brewery in La Crosse, Wisconsin in 1858.  The City Brewery produced beer at a modest rate, sticking to just local and regional production. The beer produced at the City Brewery primarily went to local hotels and bars. Because hotels and bars were their primary target, Heileman and Gund collaborated on the International Hotel, formerly the Augusta Hotel, which the pair bought and rebuilt after a fire in 1862. The hotel provided them additional income.

In 1872, however, the pair had a falling out due to several factors, foremost among them being Gund’s desire to expand the brewery and Heileman’s desire to stay local. Following the dissolution of the partnership, Gund bought Heileman’s shares of the International Hotel and Heileman bought Gund’s shares of the City Brewery. Gund went on to found the Gund Brewing Company whereas Heileman renamed the City Brewery the G. Heileman’s City Brewery.

Crossing the Mississippi.

Rochester is Minnesota's third-largest city and the largest city located outside of the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2015, the Rochester metropolitan area has a population of 213,873. It is the home of Mayo Clinic and one of IBM's largest facilities.

This giant ear of corn is a functioning water tower, holding 50,000 gallons and measuring 60 feet high. It was constructed in 1931, and stands adjacent to the Seneca Foods Plant. Another large plastic ear of corn in a neighboring Minnesotan town rivals the Corn Water Tower for the title of World's Largest Ear of Corn.
Might be selfie moment tomorrow!

We are in a Hilton Garden Inn once more, using points.

 Hilton Garden Inn Rochester Downtown Hotel, MN - Exterior


  1. Oh my gosh, we were at the brewery years ago. Had forgotten all about it until I saw your pictures. You ought to go to the head waters of the Mississippi in Bemedji (sp) Just a little creek there. Pretty country.

  2. That's a lot of interesting beer history. Cheers!

  3. Terrific shots! I guess to avoid the tolls, you'd need to know the roads past the area, which would involve a lot more distance anyway.


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