Road Trip Part 3: Robert Horwich Sculpture Garden, Ben Bikin & Seven Suns Vintage

Tough to think that we were only gone for 30 hours because we saw so much. After the Charlie Parr show last night, we stayed at a Church AirB&B in Readstown. And today we wound our way home with various stops.

First Pro Tip: Many shops in Wisconsin are closed on Monday. Just saying.

We started out checking out the murals in Viroqua with a plan to check out Driftless Music and Books. Unfortunately they weren’t open but that led us to walk around to the back where we found the Robert Horwich Sculpture Garden. He was an animal behaviorist. One of the things he did was create life sized puppets to raise orphaned cranes so that they wouldn’t imprint on any one human. The garden was a retirement project. He used scavenged items to create this incredible art – it was a study in human behavior in a way. I had to take a video.

Couldn’t leave the area without a quick look at the World’s Largest Bicycle in Sparta. You can hear all about it in the video on the chat box that told on site at the park that told the story of the cyclist (Ben Bikin) and the local town. I love thinking of the focus group that came up with that night – and wonder what they were drinking. ANd thanks to a wrong turn we got to see Deke Slayton, astronaut from the area.

Finally, our last and planned visit, a trip to Seven Suns Vintage – Wisconsin’s newest vintage shop owned by Savannah Smith (of Turn! Turn! Turn!) and Jonah Lemke. You can see from the video above, we got a great tour. The place is lovely (and located at 305 S Barstow St, Eau Claire, WI 54701). There is a biker (Harley Davidson, not Ben Bikin) corner, a boot wall, a moosey hat wall, racks of gorgeous dresses, vintage t-shirts, belt buckles – you name it, they have it. Savannah and Jonah have been collecting rare finds for years and finally (just a few months ago, mid-pandemic shutdown) got the word that they could open. It’s a good excuse for a road trip from the Cities.

And one final personally important visit to the former local of St Bede’s convent, a place where I spent a few afternoons at family reunions and/or visiting my Great Aunt Sr Leone. It’s not part of the Univerty of WI – Eau Claire.

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