Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Great River Road/Week One

The cold has chased us out of our super secret undisclosed location. All for the better I say because colds and flus were running rampant in those parts. But we didn't get away fast enough because Lisa has gotten it and I also. The only good thing about that is is that she has lost her voice.

The Great River Road starts at the headwaters of the Mississippi. Well, we have been there countless times so we skipped that and joined the river road in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Traffic was heavy for Sunday and we found our turn off and headed along the river. The sky was overcast and sprinkling. If it wasn't for that the fall colors would have been wonderful. Speaking of the skies being overcast, we have not seen the sun in a week at least. Maybe more. There is a thing up north here called S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder). It is a lack of sunshine. Just another reason for us to find the sun.

So we traveled down highway 61 through the Minnesota bluff country. Even without the sun it was beautiful. Kind of.
We had the bluffs on our right and the Mississippi on our left traveling through quaint little towns like Wabasha (Grumpy Old Men) and Winona (Home of Red Wing Boots and Red Wing Pottery).
Our first stop was Winona at the Prairie Island City Park and Campground on the Mississippi. It was going to be an over nighter but that turned into 2 nights. Like I said we left Fergus Falls both feeling under the weather. Lisa more than me. So when we woke up she couldn't stand it anymore and said that she had to go to the clinic. So I took her in and they said she had a very bad sinus infection and gave her meds to take care of it. They even gave her a chest xray because there was the possibility of pneumonia, which there wasn't. We were not in the sight seeing mood so we just stayed home and relaxed. I am feeling lots better and am glad that whatever I had wasn't half as bad as her illness.

On to our second stop, La Crosse Wisconsin.The weather is still gloomy, rainy and foggy so the views are not the best. We are still under the weather so that makes it harder for us to get out and explore. One thing about driving through La Crosse is that our route took us through town. There are so many corner bars in the neighborhoods. You can tell they have been there for awhile and I often thought it would be cool to live within walking distance of a quaint little pub like these.

We stayed at a county park just south of LaCrosse. Goose Island Rec area.
Goose Island is very large. Over 300 sites.

Our view of the Mississippi backwaters.
It is an island out in the Mississippi backwaters. the weather cooperated a little bit so we did get out and do some sightseeing. When I say cooperated, I mean no rain and the clouds where actually above the bluffs.  First stop was the Grandad Bluff. This is a 600 foot bluff above La Crosse. It gave us some spectacular views of the city and the river.

My sick little trooper.

La Crosse from Grandad Bluff.

Fall colors.
After that we went to find Lock and Dam Number 7. You can only get to it from off of I-90 going west which took us awhile to figure that out. By the time we got there it was closed because of construction. Damn! Lock and Dam number 8 wasn't to far away so we went there. But there were no boats going through it at the time. There are plenty more of those on this journey.
Lock and Dam number 8.
The cold weather has caught up to us again so we are moving farther south to see what we can see.

Our next stop brought us through Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. Our plan was to visit Effigy Mounds National Monument and then camp at Pikes Peak state park. (No we are not back in Colorado) We stopped at the National Monument and did a quick 2 mile hike. There are over 200 burial mounds located around this area. It was cold and all of the mounds start to look the same after the first one.

Great view of the Mississippi river..
Once back on the road we went to Pikes Peak State Park. The camp ground was small and very compact. If we had the pickup camper it would have been no problem but with the fifthwheel we didn't want to squeeze in there. So we headed down to Dubuque Iowa to the Swiss Valley County Park campground. Or as I like to say it, Debookey. Huge sites and only $17.00 a night for electric and water.
Hardly anyone there because of the cold I guess. It was a very nice campground.We are only stayed one night because we want to get farther south. We are cold and want to warm up.

As I sit here having coffee and looking at the computer, I look at the weather channel and they are calling for snow. The hated four letter "S" word. "Get in the truck honey, NOW!"

We went to the Quad cities as our next destination and yes, we did drive through some snow flurries. The Great River Road has been a fun trip so far. I think this was meant to be traveled in a car is what they intended. Some of the places the road takes you are interesting for sure but not meant for a fifthwheel. Ours stands at over 13 feet tall and we have gotten into some small towns off of the truck routes, which means low hanging branches.
We lost one of our sewer vents to such a low hanging branch.

We are at West Lake County Park. A nice park with full hookups for $23.00 a night. If you should ever stay here, bring lots of sewer hose and water hose. All of the utilities are in the back of the site. We had to make a Wallyworld run for extra sewer hose.

The Great River Road has decided to make the drive for us a little more challenging. Due to the amount of rain recently in the upper Mississippi river valley the river has decided to flood. That will make it a little more difficult to find campgrounds along the river. In fact we talked to the Army Corps of Engineers person who said their campgrounds along the river have closed.

This was the campground we were going to stay at while at the Quad Cities. We are glad we didn't. We stayed there before at a site that backed up to the river. We would have been wet.

What will we find down the road? Stay tuned boys and girls.

No comments:

Post a Comment