electric train adventure

Sunday morning we drove up to Wisconsin to ride an electric train. The East Troy Electric Railroad runs from East Troy to Mukwonago in southeast Wisconsin. It was built in 1906-7 by the Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company  as part of their 200-mile system of streetcar and interurban service.  It’s a 10 mile ride round trip from the depot in East Troy to Mukwonago, which took about 20 minutes in each direction. The scenery features forest on one side of the tracks and small town USA on the other. We rode in a restored train car on the way out to Mukwonago. It has the original ratan seats from the 1920s, which were a bit small but pretty comfortable. On the way back we took the open air trolly car, which we rode facing backwards. We were late getting back to the station so we squeezed in the in the back with the second conductor, a trucker from Alabama who stopped by to visit a friend while out here on vacation and was quickly put to work as a volunteer conductor for the weekend.  The train line is owned and run completely by volunteers.

At the end of the line in Mukwongo is a market/deli/bakery called the Elegant Farmer, best known for their award winning apple pie baked in a paper bag (voted best apple pie in america by the Wall Street Journal). We stopped in for lunch and shopping – the brats are excellent by the way and the strawberry rhubarb apple pie with ice cream was a wonderful summer afternoon treat. The market has everything from fruits and veggies, to fresh baccon and eggs. They also have a lot of specialties like raspberry rhubarb apple sauce, frozen apple cider on a stick, pickled watermellon rinds, and chocolate chip cookies as big as your face.

The train runs by Kettle Moraine State park so the scenery is great and the small towns out that way are full of country charm. It made for a really nice day trip and we’re looking forward to going back – hopefully when it’s not so hot and I’m not so pregnant that I instantly puff up like a balloon.

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