Along the Mississippi: Perot State Park, WI

I have to thank my friend Louie for this one.  We were looking for a place to peep fall leaves and he suggested this State Park.  Does not matter the state, the Mississippi river side is almost always one of bluffs, hills, and tall vantage points.  In the Midwest this brings welcome change from the flat countryside although the un-glaciated or “driftless” regions of Wisconsin also have elevation respite (the glaciers moved laterally through much of the Midwest and flattened the landscape my beloved Southern Illinois and large swaths of Wisconsin escaped this treatment). 

Perot State Park is a little north of La Crosse near the town of Trempealeau.  We saw little of Trempealeau and were pretty disappointed with what we saw of La Crosse.  The Great River State Trail (an old train track converted to a bike trail) passes through this area and maybe some day we will get a chance to ride on it.  Louie said he liked it.  He also said he once saw a bear on a different bike trail an hour or two north of that one  (I’m assuming not on a bike).  Perot State Park has a great campground and many trails leading to views of the Mississippi and its valley.

We have seen much of the Mississippi, but in an altogether disjointed and segmented way (kind of like the movie Pulp Fiction).  I do not want to ruin the ending for anyone but (spoiler alert) its endpoint is New Orleans and Corey I saw it spill into the Gulf prior to getting married.  A few years later we were newlyweds and saw its beginning in Lake Bemidji.  We have also crossed it many times, usually by bridge but also by ferry both large and small (the small was a little barge that could not take more than two or three cars from St. Genevieve, MO to a corn field outside of Chester, IL.)  And it was just a couple of weeks ago we caught up with our old friend at is midway point in Cape Girardeau.  The old lady was looking good, her waves gently lapping onto the bank just east of the city sea wall.  There have been other meetings of course, some of them mentioned in earlier posts.  Don’t be too surprised if you hear us mention this friend again because each time we go over the mighty waterway we feel the pull of her power and a hint of her history.

Blue Mound State Park

Took a small road trip to the highest point in southwest Wisconsin.  O.K., you cannot see the curvature of the earth from the top of Blue Mound.  We also did not need Sherpas and really had no trouble acclimating ourselves to the altitude.  But the views were nice and a good time was had by all.  Only regret is that we did not bring bikes (there are miles of bike trails in the park and easy access to bike trails that extend maybe a hundred or so miles out).  The campsites were large and pretty, but the park is off a highway and the constant roar of traffic got a little on my nerves.  But this is a cool state park and is definitely Hennacornoeli approved.