Blue Highways Motorcycle Lodge Review & Story Behind It
I had ridden past the sign four or five time, not really picking up on what it said.Finally one day, as I exited state highway 82 in Vernon County, Wis., on CTH V, I took a better look as I went by and noticed it said “Blue Highway,” but not the line below it and there seemed to be the design of a rolling road in hill country.
I made a mental note to really slow down and read the sign the next time I was in the area. I finally did and much to my surprise, I found the sign actually said “Blue Highway MOTORCYCLE LODGE!”Now that piqued my interest. I hadn’t really heard of a motorcycle lodge, let alone one in my neck of the woods. This time I made a vow to ride up the driveway the next time I was in the area.That day came on August 26, after spending part of the morning on a fast ride from Baraboo, Wis., to New Lisbon with a gregarious group of riders from Finland in the states for the Harley-Davidson 115th Anniversary bash in Milwaukee coming up on Labor Day weekend.I turned my Triumph in and up the drive was another sign with a miniature motorcycle mounted atop. That sign confirmed it, saying, “Welcome, Riders.” Later, I’d note a sign saying “No cages allowed, unless towing a motorcycle.” This is a serious, dedicated motorcycle haven, if there ever was one!I rode in, dismounted and uncased my camera for a look around when, Brandy Vuich, who is co-owner with her husband Dan, greeted me in the yard.I admitted to having taken quite a while to get around to turning up the drive and that I was pretty surprised at finding something as unique as a motorcycles-only lodge in the heart of Wisconsin’s Driftless Area. I wondered out loud at how long they’ve been in the business.“We moved up here from Illinois. We had thought about this kind of business for years and when we found the right spot, we made the move. We’ve been in business here for 13 years and we are usually pretty well booked up most of the riding season,” she explained.“My husband got back into riding in 1991 and I started riding in 1992. In our travels, one thing that we noticed was the lack of really good accommodations that meet the needs of motorcyclists. Typical places aren’t always that good, don’t offer much privacy and your bikes almost always sit out in the weather. Camping can leave you waking up in the morning stiff and sore with almost everything damp. We figured we could do better by creating a place that is designed for motorcyclists,” she continued.We hopped into the lodge’s John Deere Gator and rode up the hill on perfectly paved lanes to the cabins that are quaint, but modern, well-spaced for privacy and quiet, and well-equipped.The unit she showed me had a king-size bed, but two extra-long twin beds are an option, flat-screen TV with DVD player (they even have a DVD library you can borrow from if you didn’t pack your own), a nifty galley kitchen, whirlpool tub, gas fireplace, gas grill, a firepit and screened porch outside and a covered slab attached for parking two bikes under roof. The place is clean, secluded, quiet and amounts to the perfect launch pad for days of riding in the spectacular Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin.For more on touring the area, see our coverage here:
In addition to the cabins, the facility features quiet walking trails and an open-air pavilion that serves as the facility clubhouse that is equipped with two large gas grills, picnic tables, other amenities.The old saying is that the three most important factors in any business are location, location and location. On that score, Blue Highway checks all the boxes. It is situated on what author William Least Heat-Moon would call classic “blue highways.” William Least Heat-Moon wrote the book “Blue Highways” back in 1982 and it is now in its third printing; look for our upcoming review in our Rider’s Library.Blue Highways are, in Heat-Moon’s book are those secondary, low-traffic roads that take you off the interstate and into the heart of the country and its people. They were the roads that showed up on his roadmaps in blue, where the major highways and interstates were printed in red.Just off of state highway 82 on County Highway V, no matter which way you turn leaving the lodge’s driveway, beautiful, well-paved, lightly traveled roads wind out among the hills and valleys of Vernon County.An easy ride away are destinations like:
Pier Park in Richland county with one of Wisconsin’s two natural bridges
Wildcat Mountain State Park (located on a very cool, technical part of STH 33)
The Great River Road (STH 35) that skirts the Mississippi River on the Wisconsin side
The soaring heights of Mount Hosmer in Lansing, Iowa
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!