28.08.2011 - 28.08.2011 78 °F
Very late start today as we had to drive south 30 min into La Crosse to get breakfast. Breakfast was a 2hr affair because I had to update the blog while I was there. Our hotel last night did not have internet. We finally got on the road around noon.
We have now put about 1000 miles on the rental vehicle. The days, towns, times etc are now starting to blur. We are forgetting what towns we saw what in, and today we tried to stop at a post office twice to mail a postcard. Both times we were reminded it is Sunday. We also find that we continue to want to do too much and run out of time, so we have decided to start doing the most important to least so we can hit the things we really want to do.
Our day today was dominated by river views most of the way. We were able to find several large bluff's that provided stunning panoramic views of the river. In addition a good stretch of our drive today was right along the river. We were able to see several very large trains today as well.
We started our journey today by visiting the worlds largest six pack in La Crosse, WI. This is an active brewery. However it is no longer a Heilemann brewery as the pictures show. As you can see from the sign in the picture, this six pack has enough beer to fill over 7 million cans! Our next stop was to the Fransiscan Sisters church in La Crosse. As you can see from the outside the church is beautiful. It is even more stunning inside, but the only day they don't do tours is on Sunday... Go figure.. We were kind of bummed because we really wanted to take the 1hr tour with one of the Nuns.
Further down the river in a tiny little town name Lynxville, I saw a small road sign for fried catfish, fried cheese curds etc. I was so excited that i found fried cheese curds again because I passed on them, on Saturday as I was to full from lunch. I ordered a batch and let the lady know I was a first timer. I am sure that made her day. I asked her if I should put anything on them. She said, "don't ruin my cheese curds with any type of condiments." They were absolutely delicious! The taste kinda like a mozzerella stick but with a little seasoning on the breading. Amy loved them as well. Mia did not like them. She has been unusually finicky with food on this trip and I am worried about her as we go further south.
While in Lynxville we visited Lock and Dam #9 on a whim. We were so happy we did as we got a chance to observe how the whole lock and dam system works. 4 boats pulled in to the lock and they closed the doors behind them. The then lowered the water about three feet, which took about 7 minutes. Then finally they opened the doors in front of the boats and let them out. You can see the video i uploaded of this. It's about 1 minute long.
One of our last stops was Effigy Mounds National Monument. This place was a very cool place. Native Americans thousands of years ago buried their dead in mounds. Some were conical shaped, while others were shaped in the form of animals like bears. We were able to hike about 1 1/2 mile round trip and see several of the mounds. I did not post pictures though, because they look like mounds of weeds. Not the most awe inspiring pictures. It's one of those, "you have to be there" things. Anyways, was very proud of my wife who somehow made it up steep switchbacks with her MS. It was unbelievable, but she was determined!
We made on final stop before speeding through farmland to Dubuque. About 5 miles from the Effigy Mounds is a small town named McGregor. The downtown looks like something out of an old west cowboy movie. That was nice, but the real hidden gem is a place on the edge of town called Pikes Peak. It is a really nice park high atop a bluff that gave us the best views yet of the river. I think so far this is my favorite place. The views are probably at least 180 degrees and there is a nice large park there with BBQ pits etc. It is also attached to a campground.
We arrived at our hotel at around 10pm tonight completely exhausted. Tomorrow it's off to Davenport, IA which is one of the of the Quad Cities straddling the river between Iowa and Illinois.
Pikes Peak Overlook
Boats Going Through Lock