Just about every year I pull off at least one "Great River Road" ride -- I tend to run up 90 a whisker past Madison, back-road it through the SW Highlands, through the Wildcat Mountain area to LaCrosse and then down the river to PDC (the Best Western is very nice as is the Bridgeport Inn right down the street). Then, home through the highland farm roads through Gotham, along the WI river for a bunch of miles -- That whole part of the state is fantastic.
A few pics from this last spring: http://www.johnscrip.com/html/html/p...ride_2010.html
And a little fall color: http://www.johnscrip.com/html/html/p...ride_2007.html
Makes a great "break in overnighter" also -- I've done that ride about a half-dozen times with a handful (total) of new riders that never pulled an overnighter before -- Not too far, good "get out of town" speed on 90 and then lots of scenery and laid-back sweepers on the way home. Two thumbs up. Good "state tagger" also -- You can hit IL, WI, MN and IA and be in PDC having dinner by 5.
Was going to make the same run a couple weeks ago but switched to Hannibal MO at the last minute because of the cold & wet coming into WI at the moment --
Lemme tell you something... If you've never ridden the IL River Road down to I72 and then through Springfield into Hannibal, do yourself a favor and ride as fast as you can in another direction. Bumper-to-bumper boredom like I've never experienced on any ride I've ever been on. I don't think I've ever felt like "Geez, can we just freaking *get there* already?" before. Nothing to do, nothing to see here, move along, these aren't the droids you're looking for.
Sorry - Didn't mean to change direction... But in any case, just don't go. But sure - Make PDC (Meadow of the Dog in case anyone was wondering the translation) a regular. Makes a great "circle" route if you bounce between PDC and LaCrosse -- 35 has a totally different personality depending on the time of day so it's easy to change up the same route.