Like on some stages of Camino de Santiago in Spain, I found myself in wine country on DAY TWO of the Wisc Way. I stopped at Parallel 44 Winery after passing a thought-invoking rogation shrine.
START: Wisconsin Way Albergue, Luxemburg | END: Parallel 44 Winery, Kewaunee
11.9 mi/19.2 km | 3h 53m | Farm Section | Services: Janda’s Bar and Grill, Krohn Cheese Store, Parallel 44 Winery
This is one of the trickery stages of the Farm Section since there are few places to stay in this wide open farmland. AirBnb.com revealed the historic Forst Inn in Tisch Mills. However, the inn is 7.2 miles past Parallel 44 Winery.
DAY TWO in Pictures: The Wisc Way
This is one of the trickery stages of the Farm Section since there are few places to stay. AirBnb.com is how I found the historic Forst Inn in Tisch Mills. However, the inn is 7.2 miles past Parallel 44 Winery.
In a pinch, you could walk the extra distance to Forst Inn, making it a 19-mile day. Or you could beg a ride from one of the winery’s patrons or employees. Fr. Kurz blessed me by meeting me at Parallel 44 Winery and spending time discussing the Wisconsin Way pilgrimage. He then drove me to Forst Inn, dropped me off, and then picked me up in the morning. He shuttled me back to Stangelville, which is only 1.2 miles west of Parallel 44 Winery.
Other options include having a support vehicle, as discussed in the introduction to the Beginner’s Guide to Walking the Wisconsin Way . One person in your party could drive the support vehicle while the others walked. The driver could meet you at Parallel 44 Winery and then guide you all to a hotel or motel in the area. Booking.com is a great way to find nearby hotels when you use the map search shown below.
Services on this Stage of the Farm Section
Since I walked this stage on Sunday morning, Janda’s Bar and Grill and Krohn Dairy Store were closed. Make sure to call ahead to check on opening times during this time of COVID-19 if you plan to provision at any of the places mentioned in this guide. Krohn Dairy Store is a full-service cheese shop offering over 100 Wisconsin cheese styles. The local establishment reminds me of the roadside shops on European pilgrimage routes.
Picnic Spot at St. Paul Lutheran Church
St. Paul Lutheran Church at Church Road and County Road AB makes a pleasant lunch stop. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a bench to sit on. The graveyard reflects the long history of the area, with people born in 1818 buried there.
Rogation shrine at County Road AB and Pine Grove Road (AKA Rustic Road)
Don’t miss the rogation shrine at County Road AB and Pine Grove Road, also known as Rustic Road. This is the last of four such shrines located one mile east, west, north and south of St. Lawrence Church in Stangelville (we’ll visit that church on DAY THREE.) The priest would lead the Bohemian parish from the church to a shrine such as this one. During the processional, the faithful would pray the rosary, sing the Litany of Saints and ask God to bless the fields and recently planted crops. According to the sign at the rogation shrine on Rustic Road, “several ethnic groups practiced this custom in northeastern Wisconsin.”
The term ‘rogation’ comes from the Latin word rogare
The term ‘rogation’ comes from the Latin word rogare, which means to ask for God’s blessing and mercy. In the Roman Catholic Church, during rogation days on April 25 and the three days before Ascension (40th day after Easter), prayers are lifted for the fields and crops.
As I paused to read the sign, I somehow felt closer to the early settlers who farmed this land. I walked the same byways that they trod during their own prayerful processionals. I looked forward to visiting their historic church the following day.
Parallel 44 Winery
Parallel 44 Winery grows wine grapes in the 10-acre vineyard located on the Wisconsin Way pilgrimage route. As I said earlier, Fr. Kurz met me at the winery that overlooks the lovely rolling Wisconsin farmland.
Parallel 44 Winery lies within the Wisconsin Ledge AVA (American Viticultural Area.) Ancient glaciers formed the topography of Wisconsin Ledge, and the hills that slope towards Lake Michigan have been causing the ups and downs of my pilgrimage so far. Hikers may not thrive in this undulating landscape, but grapes do. Our proximity to Lake Michigan helps moderate temperatures for wine grape growth and root protection in the winter. Read more about the Great Lakes as temperature moderators for wine grape growing.
My Parallel 44 wine flight
For my Parallel 44 wine flight, I chose:
Parallel 44 Itasca: a semi-dry white similar to classic white Bordeaux.
Parallel 44 Bubbler: taking its name from the Wisconsin colloquialism for ‘drinking fountain,’ this sparkling wine was also semi-dry.
M 2019: recommended by Brenda, one of my new Green Bay friends, had me saying, “Mmmm.” Made from Marquette grapes, a cold climate varietal developed by my alma mater, the University of Minnesota.
Pink Frosting: a sweet rosé with lively acidity and powdered sugar notes.
At Parallel 44 Winery’s shop, I purchased a bottle of wine, cheese and crackers for dinner later that evening. Fr. Kurz drove me to Forst Inn where I settled into an evening of contemplation and examination of my day.
DAY TWO Walking Route
I walked for almost one mile on the Ahnappe State Trail as I left the Wisconsin Way Albergue. But then it was back on country roads. Even though traffic was light, I was happy that the distances during these first days were shorter since they were on hard surfaces.
For Meditation: How is pilgrimage like a “mini life?”
For DAY TWO meditations, think about how pilgrimage is symbolic of a “mini life:”
- The excitement of birth,
- the awkward momentum of teenage years,
- the even pace of adulthood, and
- coming to an end: the reality of death.
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