V&R@5: Five Favorite Roads

Where Carver County Highway 40 becomes Sibley County Highway 6 - Photo by Randy Stern
Where Carver County Highway 40 becomes Sibley County Highway 6 – Photo by Randy Stern

The Fifth Anniversary Celebration is on! In doing so, V&R will have a series of posts counting down some Five Favorites of a particular subject matter.

Five Favorites? Didn't we do this before?

It seems appropriate that V&R brings this back again. Five years, five favorites…the number five is limiting, but it now signifies the best of a period of time.

Where shall we start? Oh, yes, how about the Five Favorite driving roads of the V&R Era?

One thing I always try to convey on this site is the experience of driving. Most of this is done on every day roads, but on that oft occasion, the sea legs need to be stretched. That means finding a road that satisfies the driving soul.

Over my driving life, there had been plenty of these routes. To compact five of these over the five years of Victory & Reseda presents a challenge beyond just a timespace.

CARVER COUNTY HIGHWAY 40/SIBLEY COUNTY HIGHWAY 6/MINNESOTA HIGHWAY 93: As part of a cruise group, I discovered a road that reminded me of places I have been back in California and Virginia. It is a winding road that ties rural landscapes and the bed of the Minnesota River. In all, it is a stretch where some of the better vehicles get a workout. Going south from Carver, Minnesota, the road bends and twists with some stretches of straights to get in the miles. One is rewarded with riverside curves and elevations. If one gets a sports car to drive, they should take this road head on.

US HIGHWAY 52: Usually, this is the way to Rochester, Minnesota. However, if you continue past the Mayo Clinic and Interstate 90, it gets real interesting. It is simply a rural two-lane that gets very entertaining the further southeast you go. It includes some surprising elevations the closer one gets to the Iowa border. Once you reach Decorah, the landscape changes. It is a beautiful drive that rewards the driver handsomely. If one wants a bit more adventure, there is Fillmore County Highway 16 south of Preston, that heads off to Lanesboro and Rushford. That looks like a lot of fun…

WISCONSIN HIGHWAY 35: Along the mighty Mississippi River are elevations that are breathtaking and exhilarating. Along these bluffs are roads that separate drivers from everyone else. The starting point for these roads are on the Wisconsin side of the river. Highway 35 is best enjoyed from across the Saint Croix River north of Hudson down through and along Lake Pepin. It feels like a mini-California Highway 1 at spots. Of course, there are more adventurous roads to be had, including Pepin County Highway SS, mockingly called "Highway Super Slow." If you dare, add that to your Western Wisconsin excursion.

NORTH CAROLINA HIGHWAY 751: Somewhere south of Durham…and west of Apex…is a classic country road that eventually straddles Jordan Lake. Just minutes from the Duke and University of North Carolina campuses and of the state capitol in Raleigh is a road that is smooth, relaxing and gentle on the mind. This road was part of a media drive last year with the 2016 Lexus RX. One would think that it would require something sportier, but the RX 350 F Sport driven on this route seemed just perfect for a wet drive just outside the city.

TEXAS HILL COUNTRY, WEST OF AUSTIN: How could I forget all of the road names and numbers from this area? These roads were part of my first media drive event as the 2013 Dodge Dart was introduced to us. Our starting point was downtown Austin and we headed west into the Hill Country. Looking on the map, we were somewhere framed by Austin, Bee Cave, Johnson City and US-290. Inside of this quadrant was some amazing pieces of tarmac. Just absolutely splendid!

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