Steve the owner of Ardy & Ed’s Drive In
June 30, 2018 – Oshkosh, WI – One of the benefits of traveling by bicycle is you’re going slow enough to stop and take in the sights and second you’re burning tons of calories so you can feel free to indulge in whatever comes your way.
Friday’s leg of the Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s took us 55 sweltering miles from West Bend to Oshkosh with plenty of adventure in between.
My niece Audrey, 15, who is my sidekick on this tour is a lover of animals including rodents. She left behind two guinea pigs; Sugar and Katie. On the Eisenbahn State Trail it didn’t take her long to find some new friends. Actually, on first account she pedaled right past them.
This first sighting were some baby thirteen-lined ground squirrels, also known as striped gophers. They were no more than a small bundle of fur. I saw it first. Thought it was dead… but it blinked.
Audrey pedaled back around and found four more.
We were surrounded.
They were like adventuresome punks who left the nest while mom wasn’t paying attention and next thing you know they were baking in the sun on the trail and couldn’t find their way back home. We did the best we could with friendly, gentle nudges. One was extremely stubborn and seemed to feign death just so we would leave it alone and go away. That, eventually, was our endgame and we left Mother Nature to take its course.
Following the Eisenbahn Trail through Campbellsport and Eden we fielded quite a few reminders from passersby to “hydrate.” Temps creeped up quickly to the lower 90s.
Into Fond du Lac around 11 a.m. and we took a break at a place I’ve driven past for years but never bothered to stop.
The Historic Galloway House & Village is a step back to what life was like in the 1800s.
The nearly 16 acres is just to the north of E. Pioneer Road and Old Pioneer Road. The majestic Galloway House is surrounded by historic buildings that have been relocated from across Fond du Lac County.
There’s the Law Office and Court Room “built in 1842 on land owned by Governor Doty, the structure was used as the Taycheedah Community building and it was the county’s first schoolhouse.”
Our docent said women would gather at the community center and make uniforms for men during the Civil War.
Another interesting note: Taycheedah was originally spelled “Tee-charrah” and it was an Indian/Native American term for “camping place.”
Our docent said Taycheedah was once bigger than Fond du Lac but the railroad didn’t go to Taycheedah so it eventually “died.”
The Old Courthouse Bell was a big attraction.
Cast in 1900 the 3,000-pound bell was removed from the old Fond du Lac County Courthouse in 1965. The clock and bell were a gift from famed local artist Mark Harrison.
The Fond du Lac County Historical Society is tasked with keeping up the buildings and grounds. They’ve made a very interactive display including a rotary phone system and switchboard in the Springvale Town Hall. The docent filled us in on the once-common ‘party line’ and some of the seniors in the group recalled their numbers in rings.
“We were two long and 3 short,” said one woman. “We were six long,” said another. The comment was made, “That was a lot of long listening and counting for that number.”
Can you identify this at The Galloway House?
Audrey and I started playing the marble game before our tour started. The large marbles were a bit bigger than a quarter and the colors were brilliant.
After a couple breaks in the shade we coasted into Oshkosh… weary and flat worn out. The sun had taken its toll. I cheered at the first sight of Ardy & Ed’s orange sign.
Ardy & Ed’s Drive In began in 1948 shortly after the end of WWII. At that time it was known as the Southside A&W Drive In.
Steve, the current owner, has 41 years on the job pouring root beer floats and dishing out Blue Moon ice cream and sundaes with a ladle full of marshmallow and a cherry on top. The roller-skating car hops add to the retro feel of the place.
Photo courtesy Ardy & Ed’s
On a side note: Audrey and I were getting ready to take off from a rest break in Campbellsport and I said, “Ready Tonto?”
She said, “I don’t know what that means.”
Time for some cowboy summer school.
The 2018 Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s is raising money this year for a rickshaw for seniors at The Samaritan Campus, a 501c3, so all donations are tax deductible.
Thanks to the sponsors below for supporting this year’s tour including: Elm Grove Woman’s Club, Gruber Tool and Die, Horicon Bank, Alliance Services, American Commercial Real Estate, The Sign Shop and Pizza Ranch