Ruth and I traveled the Great River Road from La Crosse to Prairie du Chein, Wisconsin’s second oldest city this weekend. And what a great trip it was. On Thursday I gave a keynote talk to the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education (a great group) in La Crosse. Then on Friday we headed south along the river, with huge bluffs to our left and the Mississippi River rolling along to our right, on our way to Villa Louis where on spoke on Saturday. The views across the river are absolutely magnificent—with Minnesota first and then Iowa, each crowding up to the river, as does Wisconsin. Wildlife everywhere. Ducks, herons, I even saw a bald eagle soaring above us.
Through the little river towns of Stoddard and Genoa, Victory and De Soto, Ferryville and Lynxville and onto into Prairie du Chein. The occasional tow boat lumbered north, some pushing as many as eight barges in front of them, moving slowly, but never stopping. Fishing and pleasure boats scattered as the tow boats approached, and then reappeared once the tow boat moved on.
In places the mighty Mississippi was so narrow one could throw a stone across it (well maybe half way across). Other places, near the locks and dams, the river was a half mile wide.
Oh, how busy was the river. Boats of every size, outboards, inboards, fishing boats, house boats, pleasure boats. Little boats. Big boats. Even a kayak or two and once in awhile a canoe.
The Great River Road, a National Scenic Byway, is celebrating 75 years—it officially was officially established in 1938. This famous piece of U.S. history is nearly 3,000 miles long, touches 10 states, 33 river towns and boasts 70 nature interpretative centers. Want a great trip—give the Great River Road a go.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: It’s good to leave the old home place once in a while, and see something new.
August 18, Chicago Public TV. A Farm Story. Live in Chicago
August 24, Egg Harbor Book Festival, Alpine Resort, 10-11:30. How I became a writer. Book signing 1-4.
September 7, Milwaukee Public TV. A Farm Story. Live in Milwaukee
September 9, Byron Historical Society, Eden Community Center, 7:00 p.m.
September 10, DTS Banquet talk, Deer Valley Lodge, Barneveld
September 14, Mineral Point Book Festival. 8:30-9:30 Writing Workshop, Mineral Point Library.
September 15, 10:00-1:00 Book Signing, Machine Shed Restaurant, Waukesha.
September 16, Winchester Academy, Waupaca Public Library, 6:30 p.m.
September 18, Riveredge Nature Center, Newburg, WI 7:00 p.m.
September 23, 6:30-7:30 Mount Horeb Public Library.
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Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division St. PO Box 305
Wild Rose, WI 54984
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