In the wilds of Wisconsin, eating the native food.

Sometimes getting to the party in a car just isn’t an option. In my drinking history there have been times where nobody had a working car (college) or the logistics of parking and driving just didn’t work out (downtown events). Sometimes it simply boils downs to the fact that nobody wants to be the driver (often). That’s the way it went down at the New Glarus Bacon, Beer, and Cheese Festival. There were only two of us out in the wilds of WI for the festival and neither of us wanted to be the sober cab. Hey, it happens! In this case we both wanted to SAMPLE ALL THE BEER!  Plus, we had taken the SUV for the trip, which is a manual transmission. I can’t drive a stick. This is a vehicle decision that the husband has regretted from time to time, usually on a sunny hung over drive home in the AM. Oh he could teach me, but then I’d be the one steering my throbbing head through the bright sunlight. I’m in no hurry to learn.
So where exactly did that leave us? Since we’d already invested a fair amount into gas to get to the other side of Wisconsin, we didn’t feel like paying for a cab ride. Don’t worry though beer lovers! There are options besides motorized ones, so don’t cancel your plans out for the night! Among them we have biking (we had no bikes), travel by beast (there were no available beasts to ride), or the most awesome of all sober car-less methods – the piggy back ride. (The piggy back ride method should be used only in extreme cases of drinking fun however, as it is likely to lead to the loss of the knees in your jeans and a very sexy case of forehead scrape.) Surprisingly,Andy didn’t want to partake in the most awesome method, so we were stuck with something more mundane – walking.

Hear me out. First off, walking your intoxicated self home can be quite fun. In this case, we were walking from our campground to the festival, and back again, and we happened to pass the New Glarus brewery on the way.  We decided get a head start on the festival with a couple of Serendipity’s on the gorgeous patio outside their tap room. If you’re walking to some place to drink beer, in which you’ll pass other places to drink beer, there are simply more options to drink beer. It’s very simple reasoning really.  When you’re walking you have the ease of stopping in someplace for a quick patio beer that all parties involved can partake in.

Hello, it’s nature, was it me you’re looking for?

There’s also nature, if you’re into that sort of thing. And why wouldn’t you be? There’s nothing better than taking a stroll through a shaded forest path and hearing the birds sing. As our hiking path led us through the woods and straight into downtown New Glarus, I was reminded that the destination wasn’t the only thing to look forward to enjoying. The journey can be just as fun, especially if you like your companions. (This is key to any beer event or night out really.) Part of the appeal to walking to and from an event is the ability to enjoy your surroundings and your company at your pace, without the worrisome distractions of traffic lights and…pedestrians.  Plus, exercise, right? Hey, take it where you can get it, especially if you plan on consuming massive quantities of bacon and cheese with your beer.

The walk back to campsite, sweet campsite, was even more fun because beer. We drank our fill at the festival and began our summery stumbles home, stopping at Ruef’s Meat
Market for a campsite dinner. We grabbed a package of their beer and onion brats, made with Spotted Cow beer. Hitting the local grocer up the street, we added a smoked cheddar cheese and a bottle of New Glarus Strawberry Rhubarb to our evening picnic. Once we got back to our site, Andy set about grilling the most fabulous brats I’d had to that point in the summer. I set about drunkenly scavenging things to finish our picnic, such as this wonderful New Glarus cutting board I discovered.  We dined to our hearts content and fell asleep well exercised under the stars.

 

Cutting board  – patent pending.

But don’t forget to be safe my fellow walkers! Don’t fall prey to dangers that can come with a drunken walk home, mostly dangers due to being drunk and walking home. Be smart about it – don’t walk in places you shouldn’t (like a freeway), don’t stumble in and out of traffic (like…a freeway), obey any signs you see (stay off the damn freeway!), and for beers sake look both ways before crossing a street. Finally, you should follow the buddy system whenever you can. Your buddy will help you stay on track to make sure you get home, and the right home at that. They also can provide a landing mat in the event of a fall, which may occur when you’re walking and drinking. I myself had to use my buddy as a landing mat during a memorable walk home with my college roommate. While supporting ourselves in a manner similar to that of a three legged race, we somehow managed to trip ourselves. With our dexterity compromised, we rolled around on the sidewalk on top of each other, vainly trying to get up. It was just enough of an effort to cause us to struggle for a few minutes, a heap of giggling hair and limbs. As a passing truck full of frat boys hooted their enjoyment at watching two drunken twenty something’s play invisible twister on a WI sidewalk, we managed to pull ourselves up. We stumbled and giggled the next 15 feet to our dorm without further incident. Inside…well was another matter.  But we followed the rules to drunken walking and made it home safe, minus a few bits of denim on our knees and some elbow skin.

We need this to help recover from the exercise.
That is medicinal cheese.

So don’t forget my fellow beer drinkers, that walking home is an option. Trust me, it’ll be a blast and the buzz will make your forget that you’re exerting yourself physically. Luckily Andy and I managed to stay upright during our walk. But had I fallen, I would have pushed him first. Remember, your drinking buddy is your friend and companion, but they make a great landing mat as well.