Gladstone, WI, to Mitchell, SD

Gladstone to La Crosse, WI

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunny and warmer to rain later

We need to speed things up a bit so miles were a bigger priority today.

Highlight #1 was a stop in Green Bay to see Lambeau Field. Not that we are big fans but it is sort of cool to see some of these places and the downright reverence many folks who flock to visit seem to have for them. The souvenir shop was kind of cool; yellow and green everything with an antique Chevy pickup truck load of cheese head hats.

Truck Load of Cheeshead Hats

The drive across the state was nothing to remember save the flat, straight roads. The glaciers that carved other parts of the state into such interesting landscapes missed this area. Somehow I think we’ll see a few more flat, straight roads later in this trip. Nearing our destination the hills returned and it was beautiful as we approached the Mississippi River.

Complimentary Mississippi River Bridges in La Crosse

Highlight #2 was camping in the middle of the Mississippi River! Yes, La Crosse, WI, is right on the river and there are a number of islands. There is a municipal campground on one island and that’s where we camped. The place is called Pettibone Park Resort (it’s operated for the city by nearby RV dealer, Pettibone). The Mississippi flowed right behind our little camper. It was moving right along, too, since it was just about two feet below flood stage because of recent heavy rains.

Mississippi River Behind Camper at La Crosse

Dinner was out, at the Hungry Peddler that is, in town. Good food, cozy atmosphere; we liked it. On the way back we stopped at the local boating club. Well, more a bar, actually. Who’d a thunk? There are tons of houseboats in the local marina and the public is welcomed at their clubhouse. There were only four others in the bar but we had a good time. One couple was retirement age golf-gear reps making their rounds from Florida; the other couple was local. But we found lots to talk about in a friendly atmosphere.

La Crosse to Mitchell, SD

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dreary and overcast morning with rain to clearing late pm

We crossed back into La Crosse and up Main St to Granddad’s Bluff Park. It must be a splendid overlook but fog obscured the view. The park started out as a quarry and the rock used to build the pavilion and other structures in the park was quarried right there. We then followed the Great River Rd to Winona, MN. Views of the river were very pretty. Winona fell a bit short of expectations.

The hills soon gave in to flat. But it was a lush, green farm fields flat as far as you could see. And those weren’t the only kind of farms we saw. There must be thousands of wind generators in southern MN and many of them are along I-90. At many times they stretched as far as we could see. Of course the wind was pretty calm in the rain so most of all that investment was idle that day.

We spent the night in Mitchell. “Mitchell?” you ask? Yeah, home of the Corn Palace. I remember reading about it as a kid and there it was, or at least it’s third, or was it fourth, oh, well. Decorated on the outside with murals constructed of various colors of corn, it is said to be the world’s largest bird feeder. Indeed, you can see lots of evidence that’s the fate of the murals. So they require periodic replacement meaning new murals are always under construction.

Mitchell Corn Palace

We camped in another municipal campground just on Mitchell Lake. Nice, inexpensive but kind of noisy with a busy highway next door.

Oh, yeah, dinner? The last of the ham and bean soup from the freezer at home and the last container of homemade applesauce.