Yesterday morning once the driveway WAS plowed, I took a drive, in an old minivan......to some favorite places that often get ridden to rather than driven to and it felt good, really good. Peg was invited but chose to stay home and do what many Minnesotan's do in winter; knit.
I needed to get away and I still haven't learned how to run the needles.
Being very much in the mood to 'take a little trip down the mighty mississipp', La Crosse Wisconsin was my planned destination; that city's B and N Bookstore specifically. In a previous post I mentioned my affection for the books of Kenny Salwey, known as "The Last of The River Rats". He's written a new book and the store was hosting the author for a book signing, more than excuse enough for me to head down river.
I didn't Direct Route down nor did I Direct Route home. It was a very wintery March 1.
Things were very quiet at the Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge, though the roads were all plowed, plowed well enough anyway. I've visited numerous times on the bikes and shared the place with friends, a place they now frequent and I'm happy about that.
Quiet road on the way to the island in the Refuge.
A really good place to walk and to see as well as feel the river.
Backwater of the Mississippi river, a weakened snowman sentinel watching over Kiep's Island in the distance.
These bright colors will return.....someday; that's how this Nature stuff works.
After leaving the wildlife refuge, it was on to the book signing in La Crosse. It was still snowing in town and every single resident must have been out shopping; the streets and parking lots were full. I'd have guessed that it was Black Friday based on traffic.
Kenny with another autographee; Julie was right behind me and knew the books better than I.
The latest publication.....
The last time I'd visited Midway, an almost-island in Lake Onalaska (very wide spot in the Miss. river just north of La Crosse) had been many years ago. Roads don't go through, only circle around what may more accurately be called a penninsula and for nothing more than possibly habit, I'd not ridden out there since the 70's. Today seemed like a good day to do some more exploring. I was very surprised to see this almost new facility, only a couple of years old. I stopped and looked around, wanting to go inside but arrived minutes before 3PM and saw that it was nearly closing time so I didn't even bother. I'll be back.
On my way home though still in Wisconsin, I circled back through the town of Trempealeau, another river town absolutely clinging to the bluffs and just north of the town is Parrot State Park. I took the road that goes through the park, the rules are that if you get off of the public road, a permit or State Sticker is required, no matter the season. I mostly stayed on the road.
Chris, you know where this one is.
This was as close as I could get but down below in the open water along the bank there are 3 large white birds that look very, very swan-like to me. I wonder if they decided that Chesapeake Bay was going to be too big of journey last fall??
Almost back home, I drove down to the beach to see how many ice houses there may still be out on Lake Pepin. In southern sections of Minnesota, the rules are that ice houses must be off the lakes by this last weekend in February. One of the "dots" here is a small portable ice fishing house. There are 4 other "dots" that are snowmobiles that zoomed out across the ice just as I was getting out of the van. In only a couple of minutes these guys were across the river and climbing up onto the Wisconsin river bank, certainly at least 3 miles away since they didn't head directly across which is how wide the river is right here.
A pickup truck and another small ice house a bit further 'upriver'. We've spent a lot of time swimming on this beach.......yes, swimming happens here in June's, July's and August's and did for us back when the kids were small. Coop girls have been known to splash here with their horses as well.
A really fine day out; in-season motorcycle haunts visited, a few new places explored too. There were a few books brought home that jumped into my bag after I put Kenny's book in. Last night those books were perused. Hopefully winter will last long enough for me to get through them :)