Trail of Wine and Food Cedar Rapids and the I States

Spending five weeks together driving across America is a great test of a marriage. We have always done everything together – just not four hundred miles a day for so many days. The results were a stronger relationship, so many more memories together, shared delight in the God moments we witnessed, and a greater appreciation for the beauty of and freedoms enjoyed in America. This was our 2023 journey. We hope you will plan your own…

Driving through Indiana, Illinois and Iowa were miles and miles of corn. We broke the monotony by reading the Wikipedia summary of each little community. It was a long drive with corn as far as the eye could see.  

Aunt Brenda, who was preparing for back surgery on July 7th, was in great spirits and talkative as ever with her captivatingly easy smile. You would never know she was in so much pain. Then as we were leaving her house to continue our journey, our check engine light came on. We called the Cadillac dealer, but they could not see us. Then we called Midas at 2602 Williams Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404. God moment! They fit us in right away and gave great service and took the time to explain the problems and upcoming needs. It was a Godsend for us in a strange place. It was quick in and out and reasonable costs. When on the road and in need, we were blessed that the light came on in Cedar Rapids and that they were the one Paul called. Praise!

In Zumbrota, Minnesota, we stopped and looked at the covered bridge near downtown. It is just off the road and easy to find.

Continuing to Red Wing where we were staying, we dropped off our luggage before continuing to Ellsworth. Ellsworth only has one small hotel, and it was full. Red Wing was the closest town. As soon as we unloaded, we drove to Ellsworth which was about twelve miles away. They host an annual cheese curd festival. Ellsworth is the home of the cheese curd. There is a giant creamery there that makes the curds and ice cream. At the festival you find both. Cheese curds are available fresh and also breaded and fried.

Music on two stages and a wine and beer tent offered tasting events that featured beers and wines from the area and cheese curds.  Food trucks, vendors, and picnic tables filled with people from all over the USA offered a weekend of entertainment. The Greek Gyros and Greek Salad by the Greek speaking food truck were outstanding.

After the festivities we drove back to Red Wing for the night.

The morning started with exploring Red Wing. The Red Wing pottery museum offered a snapshot of the pottery history with photos of the actual pottery. 

A portion of the old original kiln still exists. The museum is supported by the donations and the sale of donated Red Wing pottery items that you can buy in the gift shop.

At the Red Wing Shoe store on main street, they showcase a size 637 ½ boot and museum.

From there we drove to the Farmer’s Market where we met a local maple syrup maker and bought a pint; master gardeners discriminating info about lawns and gardens; and bees wax candlemaker. Beautiful fresh vegetables and rhubarb was just in season. Artists were scattered around the market and waterfront painting to the attraction of the guests.

The community is so well cared for and fun to explore. It is also an endpoint of the Mississippi Cruise ships. They also have a theater there that seems to have a show weekly. For those who enjoy casino’s there is Treasure Island Casino.

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