Day 9: Merrill, WI

As today marked my first time ever in Wisconsin, I was hoping for a better day. While the temperature was still fairly mild – mid-40s to mid-50s – the rain began in Illinois and never let up. It could have been worse, of course; at least there was no snow.

I mentioned last time that this would be a fairly long route, and it was. Here’s the approximate route:

Since the route was long and the weather crappy, I didn’t have a lot of opportunity today for sightseeing. I did catch sight of this one B&B near Harvard, Illinois, called RavenStone Castle.


No, I didn’t stay there. I just thought it looked cool.

When I finally got to Merrill, upon checking into the cheap hotel room, I discovered that it’s tornado country:

I guess #4 is in case you end up in Oz.

Well, I don’t think a tornado is the weather phenomenon I have to be most concerned about right now.

Wisconsin also does something I’d never seen before: county roads are given letters, not numbers. I don’t know if other states do this, but there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the road labels. Since most of the roads follow the common midwestern grid pattern, the off-interstate route to get here became an exercise in making 90 degree turns in the rain, like a wet Pac-Man – and I don’t know if I was on the same road several times, or if different counties used the same letter for different roads. Probably the latter. I couldn’t possibly retrace my route without the GPS.


About Waltz

An international man of mystery, Waltz is a puzzle wrapped in an enigma. Kind of a puzzle burrito, actually. With conundrum cheese and secret sauce. And a side of Riddle Rice.

Posted on November 26, 2011, in Travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Yes other states in the mid-west do use letters for street names for instance, Missouri where I lived for seven years. I seem to remember that the letters are county specific in Missouri but the numbered roads are state specific.

  2. Missourah also letters its county roads.

  3. Wear shoes . . . I think you must be right. Otherwise you could end up with some sparkly ruby slippers stuck on your feet.

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