Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Touching the Buffalo

In the spring of 1993 I took, what I thought would be, the final road trip in my 18 foot long station wagon. It was through the back roads of Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois to a small town named Quincy. It was a nice adventure to a wedding in a small rain drenched town on the Mississippi that had the only bridge for thousands of mile that had not been washed out by the flood a week earlier.

As I drove across US-12 to Chicago, the only way to get to Chicago before the invention of freeways, there was a sign that read “Touch the Buffalo for a dollar.” It was a well weathered sign. But I did not have time on this trip to go touch buffalo, even though I did have a dollar.

Later that year I started college again. It was a glorious Saturday morning in the fall that I made the drive back. It’s only an hour down US-12 from the university through the Irish Hills to Moscow Michigan. Turn right at the flashing yellow light, left at the cross roads, and take the first right.

There you will find a brown sign cut in the shape of an American Bison that states “Buffalo Meat Sold Here.” What the sign won’t tell you is that the horseback riding in this area is exceptional. You can book a group picnic in a covered wagon and cowboy barbeque. Rock and Roll legend (at least around these parts) Ted Nudgent also has hunted here.

So on my first visit donated a dollar and went to watch the smelly hairballs eat their food and stand in poop. It is not the destination, but the journey.

I try to drive back every two years at least in the autumn. The colors here are usually brilliant. Getting a few pounds of buffalo or other wild game is a nice change for grilling occasions.


  1. Dang, this is close to home. I grew up in Jackson, and raced my brother's Turbo Probe down Moscow and other roads on a Thanksgiving Day back in the 80s. I do miss that area, it is a beautiful spot.

    Nice pictures too. Thanks for taking the time to share this one.

  2. I am always surprised by just how similar Minnesota and Michigan look. Great pics, Paul! Sounds like quite an experience. The covered wagon and barbeque sounds really fun!

  3. I think that Buffalo is red meat and therefore off limits to me. Alas, you shall have to have some for me.

  4. Its true, they do. Its a very lean red meat. This group does other wild game and bird as well.

    When I went last weekend I couldn't find a parking spot it was so full of trucks.