Mississippi Road Trip – Part 1
We love road trips especially the ones where I don’t have to drive. Living in Chicago area, I have always wanted to drive next to the Mississippi. We did something close last weekend. Gladly the weather didn’t play much of a spoilsport as you’d expect Midwest weather to. We didn’t want to do the whole trip so we decided to do the Prarie Du Chen, WI to Winona, MN and back to Dubuque IA. This of course, like many of our plans, was left open to explore good views.
We started from Chicago area and drove to the little town Sauc City in Wisconsin. This place had a lot of fresh foods and Amish markets. Then we started driving along the Wisconsin River mostly on Wi-60/US-14. I wish there were better ways of driving along the river but never the less, the stops we took, and the number of times I misguided Gurpreet, made me see the river in all its beauty. Oh! The extra miles we would go for that perfect view.
With small stops in between, we drove to Wyalusing State Park at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin – one of the oldest towns in America. There we witnessed the confluence of Wisconsin River with Mississippi River. To be honest, I wanted it to be clearer than it was. Like two color meeting to become one. But as Gurpreet would say, I have high expectations.
After this, we wanted more. So we drove on the Great River Road (WI) to La Crosse. La Crosse is a small quaint town with lots of students and off-the-road travelers who stop there. During our stay, we got to see few music bands playing on Pearl St. (in downtown). With lots of people there, it was like a small party. Oh, and the food and drinks were just too good.
We stopped at a bar Bodega, that claimed to feature over 500 beer. And they indeed had a great selection, even on tap. It was a fun place with everything from food to drinks really cheap.
For dinner, we decided to go Southern. Buzzard Billys Flying Carp was a good place to calm our food lust. It was okay food; I have had better. After a fun night, we crashed at our hotel room facing Mississippi. (I told you we’ll do anything for good views)
Next morning, we started with a cup of coffee from Cabin Coffee, La Crosse and drove to Great River Bluffs State Park in Winona, MN. So this place is not meant for cars like ours. It has rugged road but we still did manage to drive to the top and it was worth it.
We then started driving back to Dubuque, IA. Now I am a big IL fan, hence not a WI/IN/IA fan and hence the impartial judgment. WI has done a commendable job in maintaining roads and especially the scenic ones. Anyways, with numerous stops later, we reached the town of Dubuque. After some wandering, we knew Galena was calling us. So we crossed the river on Hwy 20 and were in our fav. natural historic downtown. With tons of art galleries, food places, Victorian decor, this place is a must. We visited the Galena Canning Company for some fresh supply of Jams and Sauces. Don’t forget to get a bottle of Fire in the Hole, Gurpreet says everyone should try ghost peppers once in their life. After the dawn at Galena, we decided to drive home.