La Crosse, Wisconsin

La Crosse, Wisconsin

June 4th-11th, 2022

We had just spent weeks in Iowa and Illinois with Monica's mom, other friends, and family. We weren't ready to leave the Midwest just yet. We had a week to spend in La Crosse, Wisconsin and it would prove to be yet another really cool area.

The most interesting part was the geology, because La Crosse is in the Driftless Area. This section of Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Illinois didn't get the drifts from glaciers, so it looks completely different. Instead of flat farmland, there are big bluffs that look like small mountains all over the place. It also has the coldest, deepest rivers around. It's really very cool.

It looked very different than our most recent visits in the Midwest

We were staying on the Mississippi River again, in a campground that didn't allow dog fencing (on Goose Island). The island itself was really cool, and Margot could launch her kayak from across the street. They even had a canoe trail to follow, all in the water.

We had Site 1, which meant a lot of extra room for our stuff

We'd heard about the cheese in Wisconsin, of course, so our first mission was to find a farm and fresh cheese. That took us to Wehling Farms and Farmer Danika, and we loved every minute of it. She took us for a tour of the farm, including a trip to get muddy to look at the cows and chickens. We bought a lot of stuff from the farm store, including some amazing cheese (it really does taste better here!) and meats from a farmer's collective. Yum!

Now that we've been living full-time in an RV for almost a year, we're finding that a lot of people ask us if we still love it. They look concerned for us when they ask. We've happy to report that we are 100% happy!

We see a new location every week or three, with new water to boat or kayak, new campgrounds to experience, and new national parks to check out. If there is a negative to it at this stage, we're often exhausted from seeing so many things so quickly. At some point, we'll visit the same places again and we'll have more time to relax.

But what about Lacey, is she enjoying it (queue the concerned look again)? Yes, she is! She isn't an anxious dog, and she loves meeting new people and other dogs. She gets new paths to walk, new smells, and new experiences. Then we come home, and she sleeps on a familiar bed and nestled in familiar pillows on her couch.

We're still blissfully happy with no regrets.

Monica was working all week, so Margot got out on the water on her own a couple times. First, she took the boat out, and it was really nice. The best part of this video may be the sound of the birds -- but the trip is awesome. She went out to the main river and back.

Margot also got the single-person kayak out on the water, though not all the way out to the main river. There are islands of grasses here and there near the campground shore that tame the currents a bit. She saw lots of birds, including eagles.

She also took her kayak around the canoe trail, and it was a pretty special trip. The water was like glass most of the way. Unfortunately, when she told the GoPro to stop recording her trip, she turned around to find it wasn't there anymore. She went back to where she'd changed its battery, thinking that was where it fell out, but it was gone. It was a bummer to lose her trip that way, but we replaced everything soon after and we were good as before.

We were focusing on visiting National Parks, which was working out well. We were really learning a lot about the areas we were visiting. This trip, we went to the Effigy Mounds National Monument, something we'd never heard of before. The mounds themselves were very interesting, but the highlight of the trip was a short hike above the marshy water on a boardwalk-style trail. It was gorgeous, lush, and fun. Lacey loved it! We ate at a place overlooking the water that wasn't very good, but the views were awesome.

When the weekend came, we took the boat to Lake Onalaska, a big bay off of the Mississippi River. It was really cool how there was so much water they could make a lake out of it. We cruised around, and then went out on the river proper. The "driftless" nature of the geology around the water made it a very interesting trip. We went to the next lock, turned around and headed back. We went by a line of boats on the shore with a person standing at each one. Then, in a couple minutes, we found ourselves dead last in a motorboat race! They all tore around us and beat us back to the dock. It was pretty funny.

Perhaps the best part of La Crosse was going up to the top of Grandad Bluff to look down on the town below us. It was a quick drive to get up to a location that felt like the mountains of Colorado and into cooler weather. The scenery was amazing, and we still couldn't get over the coolness of the Driftless Area. Of course, it was Wisconsin, so we went to Ranison Ice Cream & Candy for some of the best ice cream we've ever had.

We were only in Wisconsin for a week, and then we had a long weekend drive to Rapid City, South Dakota. We spent a night in Minnesota at Blue Mounds State Park. It was an awesome place to stay, but we were only there very briefly. We did get there in time to go over to Pipestone National Monument. It was a special trip for us, because we'd seen pipestone relics when we went to the Alibates Flint Quarries. Native Americans traded in that area for the flint that came from that special place in Texas, and we saw relics from Pipestone. Full circle! We were going to miss the Midwest, but we planned on being back in 2023.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu