Seen — through the fisheye lens — from the overlook as you drive into town from the east on Route 171:
(Enlarge to see the town.)
There is a historical marker right there telling you about the establishment of the apple orchards in this valley alongside the Kickapoo River. The landscape is so dramatic because it's driftless — the glaciers didn't make it this far. I drove all the way out here today because the cabbie who picked me up at the airport on Thursday told me that the apple trees will be in bloom along Route 171, and it's a great drive. (We'd been talking about flowering trees in Madison.) Go out past Gotham and Boaz to Gays Mills. He was right about the trees and the drive. There were great curvy roads for my Audi TT Coupe to get some exercise after all these long months sitting in my driveway when I was living in New York. There were almost no other cars out on Route 171 — mostly motorcycles. You could tell that everyone driving there was driving to drive. Propitiously, the radio played "Radar Love."
And here are the mills:
I was out traipsing about on the bank of the Kickapoo, trying to get a good shot of the water rolling over the dam. Took a picture of this sign that I didn't bother to read.
Because these things can't apply to me. I'm lucky. A cabdriver tells me about where to find flowers. And — also last Thursday — as I hoisted my two big bags off the luggage carousel at the airport, I was talking to a nun and, when I turned to leave, she said, "God bless you." I was reentering Wisconsin, and everything seemed propitious.