27.08.2011 - 27.08.2011 78 °F
We are on day 4 of the trip and finally finding our groove. Staying the extra night without having to drive on Friday was a good pick me up.
We started out this morning on our way south towards La Crosse. We finally cleaned the windshield but the front grill as seen below is a lethal bug killing machine. We happened upon Lake Pepin early in our drive. The lake is about 38 Square miles and hugs the river road for many miles. The lake was created by too much debris and water coming down the mississippi during the glaciers melting. The river couldn't accomidate all of it. The lake was absolutely breathtaking and looks like a great place to have a home.
From Lake Pepin we wound our way around the river and passed through several small towns. We checked out antiques in a very small town in Stockholm, WI. We stopped and had lunch at a cheese factory in Nelson, WI (pop. 395) called The Original Cheese Factory. The locals call it The Creamery. And it is a very popular spot, there were so many motorcycles there!. The Creamery has all types of local Wisconsin Cheese and a very large wine section. They also make great fresh sandwiches with their own cheese and we thoroughly enjoyed those. We were going to try a local favorite the "Fried Cheese Curds" but we were too full. Hopefully we will have a chance on Sunday.
Our next stop was a drive straight out into the cornfields of WI on some very winding roads away from the river. We were on the hunt for the Laura Ingalls Wilder house. For those of you who don't know, she was a famous author who wrote about growing up in the midwest and was famous for the, "Little House On The Prairie"
We then crossed back over to Wabasha, MN where Grumpy Old Men was filmed to check out the National Eagle Center. We saw our first signs of the flood damage from late spring along the Mississippi River Area. They were rebuilding roads and making them higher. There was water on both sides of the road.
We arrived in Wabasha, MN and went to the National Eagle Center, which Mia really wanted to see. The building is right on the river and has a nice observation deck overlooking the river. They had 4 eagles at the center that were injured. All were hit by cars at some point and can no longer fly. They have a huge room with all glass so the eagles can be perched and watch out over the water. When we walked into the room, the biggest eagle took quite a liking to Mia. He kept looking at her up and down and cocking his head. There was another eagle in there that was close to 30 years old.
After a long day we arrived at our hotel. Well kind of anyway. See this isn't a traditional hotel. This is an old hotel, restaurant & saloon. It's from before 1888 and was the sole survivor of a horrible fire that burned all of downtown that year. The room was actually pretty nice and large, but had no internet or free breakfast which we have become accustomed to. We decided that we wanted to cap off our day with a ride on the river
We decided to do a sunset cruise on the Mississippi at 6:30PM. It was a great 2hr cruise with a beautiful sunset & tons of wild life. This was the favorite part of our day as it gave us time to unwind and relax. Mia actually go to be a Jr. Environmentalist and help show off skeletons of animals that live on the mississippi. She did a great job
Down to Dubuque Iowa on Sunday!