Day 1: Our destination is the Annual Cranberry Festival in Warrens, WI. As we leave central Kansas, we travel to Clear Lake, IA, for night.
2: This morning we travel east to Spillville to visit the Bily Clock Museum. The museum houses the collection of hand carved time pieces of Frank and Joseph Bily including the 10-foot tall American Pioneer History Clock with 10 bas-relief panels depicting pioneer life. Later we continue on to Decorah, a community settled by Norwegian immigrants. Here we visit the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum which chronicles the culture of these early pioneers. Following we travel to Wisconsin Rapids where we spend the next two nights.
3: Today we get our first look at Wisconsin Cranberry production at the Glacial Lakes Cranberry Farm. Here our guide shows us how cranberries are grown, harvested and prepared for transport. Next we visit Wisconsin Dairy State Cheese Company where we can observe the cheese making process and visit their retail store. Later we visit the Russet Potato Exchange to see and hear about the processing of potatoes and onions in the region. Dinner this evening is included and has a cranberry theme.
4: After a full breakfast at our hotel, we are off to Warrens, WI, the “Cranberry Capital of Wisconsin”, for the day. A guide will meet and tell us about Warrens and the cranberries raised in the area. This afternoon we take part in the activities of the Warrens Cranberry Festival. Night in Rochester, MN.
5: We start the day with a tour of Rochester with a local guide. The tour will include opportunity to view the campus of the Mayo Clinic. Next we travel to Austin also known as Spam Town, USA. Hormel Food Corporation began as a small butcher shop in Austin and has its flagship plant and international headquarters located here. A local guide will join us to show and tell us about how Hormel has helped to shape this community and some of the related industry it has created and encouraged. Later we travel into Iowa to spend our last night in Des Moines.
6: As we drive toward home we think about the new and interesting things we have seen and experienced along the way.
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