Who likes road trips?

If we were all sitting in a classroom together–or even connected via a ridiculous CoVid-era zoom meeting–I believe we would see everyone’s hand shoot to the sky and frantically wave, “Pick Me! Pick Me!”

Perhaps we can even add some gorilla “ooh ooh” sound effects to increase the intensity of the answer. (“Ooh Ooh! Pick Me! Ooh Ooh! Pick Me!”)

So I repeat my question…Who likes road trips?

Ooh Ooh! Pick Me! I know the answer to this one. Ooh Ooh!

The answer is WE ALL DO….or at least dive bar-seeking Iowa Roadie readers do. (All two or three of you.)

So when loyal Iowa Roadie reader Joel recommended I take a trip across the border to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin…AND provided me three pages of dive bar notes…I felt it my DUTY to follow his suggestion.

It’s all about making connections with readers.

And if we had some Spotted Cow and cheese curds along the way…that was a bonus.

Iowa Roadie reader Joel suggested going to Ferryville, Wisconsin. Wikipedia describes Ferryville as a “village” with a population of 176 people. Joel described it as a town with three bars. I prefer those demographics.

Unfortunately The Wooden Nickel was closed temporarily, and it was not yet operating hours for The Sportsman. That left Swede’s Swing Inn, a lovely bar overlooking the Mississippi River and serving locally raised & processed beef. In fact, Swede’s motto is “the best meat you’ll put in your mouth.”

The Iowa Roadie now owns a pink camo koozie featuring that slogan.

While we did not order a hamburger, we did enjoy two other delicious appetizers, three beers and two cocktails. Our bill…$21.

That is not a typo. $21. (Insert gorilla “ooh ooh” here!)

Next on Joel’s map was Lynxville, a “village” of 132 people…and three bars. However because of the season, only Hoochies II River Road Resort was open. (Ironically Joel has never visited Hoochies II.)

That did not stop us from entering however. Hoochies II is not just a bar/restaurant. It has a small motel and camping area as well. Patrons told us rooms rent for around $40/night.

(Again…not a typo.)

A bar with its own lodging is a win-win.

Fun fact about Hoochies II…The original Hoochies is located in Evansdale, Iowa, a mere 60 miles from the Iowa Roadie’s home. Not so fun fact… the original Hoochies does NOT have adjoining accommodations.

It is at this point that I feel the need to extend a heartfelt apology to Reader Joel…. because the next several stops we made were NOT included in his very thorough three pages of notes. Please understand that this is NOT a reflection of Joel’s extensive map making & trip planning abilities.

It was simply that he underestimated our livers.

Therefore, it is with deep shame that I confess my own notetaking ability about our adventure evaporated somewhere between Bars 5 and 6. (Or was it Bars 7 and 8? 10 and 11?)

I also believe this timeframe coincided with me wiping out on an icy sidewalk and crushing my pinkie finger. (The pinkie finger is a highly under appreciated appendage that may or may not be essential when using the iPhone “notes” app.)

Liberated from the pressure of documenting our evening, I could simply enjoy all Prairie du Chien had to offer…like the pudding shots served at the New Spit & Whistle neighborhood tavern.

Ironically we had met Kirk & Pat, owners of the New Spit & Whistle, at a different bar earlier in the evening. (The Spring Lake Inn…also not on Joel’s list) So it was lovely to reunite at the couple’s own establishment and enjoy Pat’s homemade pudding shots.

And my feelings were only a teensy bit hurt when I was mocked for using a spoon to consume my pudding shot. According to Kirk, the secret to pudding shots is “all in the tongue.”

Perhaps I need a pink camo koozie with THAT motto.

I was also offered a shot that tasted like ghost peppers on steroids. This means it was Very Very Hot. And Very Very Evil.

Unfortunately I do not remember the name of this shot because the pinkie finger debacle left me without the ability to take notes.

Also… the pudding shots and adult beverages maaaay have contributed to some general overall fuzziness about this particular Iowa Roadie adventure.

What I DO remember is that Prairie du Chien has a pub for everyone. From the private Eagles Club Lodge (that I may have crashed) to live music and hand-breaded cheese curds at The Blackhawk to old school vibes at the Sawmill Saloon & Fraziers Old Faithful Inn. (Both of which came highly rated in Joel’s meticulous Prairie du Chien itinerary.)

Besides Wisconsin staples like Spotted Cow & bar dice, Prairie du Chien bars offer a free safe ride program. This prevents a variety of unfortunate incidents involving local law enforcement.

PS…Dear readers,planning a future pub crawl? I would like to offer up the travel services of the Iowa Roadie and Reader Joel. We are more than happy to provide thorough notes and/or guided dive bar tours for your enjoyment.

Please note that the following forms of payment are accepted:


And pudding shots.

No further caption needed.
Book your room here!
Pudding Shots served here!
Thank you Iowa Roadie Reader Joel for your notes! You rock!

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