Following the mighty Mississippi

We spent the night in La Crosse WI, which does indeed have a large bronze statue of two Indians playing lacrosse at the start of the town. It looked like a nice city, though, frankly, any town compares favorably to Paris after you’ve done time in Wisconsin Dells.

Our hotel was on the river, and the views  – albeit through glass – were lovely.

We headed up the river and stopped at one river town to get an idea of what the river must have meant as a lifeline in the old days. This was Trempealeau, with a hotel in operation since 1871.  How did we miss that one? The main street was short but sweet.

And then it was on to more of the Laura Ingalls Wilder story.  Her first book was about the little house that her family lived in near the town of Pepin WI.  This recreation is just like the description in the book, and we had it all to ourselves. Her father had to move because a road was put through in front of the house and he just couldn’t stomach being around that many people. I think two or three wagons passed through a day, but he took that as a bad sign. He should have stayed there – knowing what we know about the awful dugout house they lived in when they were in Minnesota. We also saw her school, about a mile down the road.

Next, we finally left the great Badger State – and all the Scott Walker posters – and crossed over the river to Minnesota to the town of Red Wing. It is famous for several reasons. One local product is Red Wing shoes, which are favored work boots around the world, and have been worn on every huge high-rise project in America. Nothing there that we needed, but it was fun to see the town and their museum.

Red Wing is also known for its pottery. Guess all that Mississippi mud is handy for something. It was famous for about a century, and some is still made today. We toured the museum and admired some – not all – of their styles. Known originally for their crocks, they produced more decorative work, including a line of Eva Zeisel’s pottery, which you can also buy at the Metropolitan Museum.

And then we got shallow and went to Target, always a thrill for me. Can’t help myself.


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