The first time you go there, you drive past the sign. Then you back up to locate the driveway and head uphill through a tunnel of trees where in about 150 yards you see a barn and log cabin. The barn is like most of the barns in Wisconsin, in need of a coat of paint to make it the color you see in your child’s book, The Farm. I suppose you could say the color is peeling paint red.
If you look to your right you will see what at first glance you think are Woolly Texas longhorns. Then maybe Yak. They have their heads down chewing almost anything. No not Yaks, they are Scottish highland cattle and they are good at chewing on those nasty thorn bushes that puncture your waders faster than barbed wire.
Arlene who runs the inn, has five and while we were there a truck came and picked up two. They are impressive looking animals with woolly coats that I think you could make some good sized streamers with. There temperament seems good, they didn’t attack me when I walked down to say hello and yep, they moo just like regular cows. And I had heard that their meat was quite lean and tasty. However Arlene has named hers so I don’t think they’re being cut into steaks, just yet anyway.
It was 5:30 am. Arlene had sold off one of the calves the day before and the momma was making a ruckus in the morning. I stole some apples off of Arlene’s trees from her small orchard and walked to the barn where I fed a half dozen to the agitated mother. Seemed to calm her down and I went back to making coffee so that I wouldn’t be mooing.
There are a number of good places to stay when you travel to the Driftless region. This is one of my favorites and I tend to make two trips a year there: spring and fall. Arlene makes a great breakfast and we had everything from a frittata to stuffed French toast always served with juice and a fruit cup and good conversation.
You are a short ride to the west fork and not far from a lot of good trout water. Hunters book the Inn during the winter.
Arlene is a gracious host and the Inn is clean and a quiet place to settle into after a day of fishing, hunting or just getting away from it all. There is a book that she keeps there where people write down what they feel about being there, my favorite line, “I sit on the deck and just look up. The sky has exploded with stars!”
And so one night I sat outside, bug sprayed up, and watched the stars including falling stars, space junk, and those bright northern lights that flash green and blue across the sky.
“Moo. Moo. Moo!”
Even Mary the tan colored Highlander seemed to be enjoying the view.
If you’re headed up there, here’s the website. Call and book a weekend, you won’t be disappointed with the room, the fishing, the food, star gazing or watching Highland Cattle make short work of wild roses.
Here’s the website: http://www.peachtreefarm.com/
Stuart Van Dorn