Archive for September 30th, 2008

Day 2 – Anniversary Trip

(As usual, click the pictures to open them in a bigger format)

As much as I tried, I didn’t sleep in on Sunday but Phil did until 8. (JP slept in too but that was OK, the pigs were still there when he got out for chores.)

Phil & I had a brunch buffet at a local restaurant and then at 11:30 headed to our “cruise”. We took a 2+ hour boat ride on the Mississippi River.
After we had checked in & paid, we walked a bit along the river. It is really a nice park and along the walkway, they have marble signs telling some of the history of the river & area. (One read: “In times immemorial….” Wouldn’t that be “times immortal”? I should have taken a picture of it for you… or Jay Leno… but that made me question a bit!)

This is an old railroad hotel that the local billionaire is restoring.
I’d love to stay there!!

I’m not very good at these self-portraits….

How’s this?

We left from an island (didn’t really realized it was an island until the Captain said so) just off of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. The boat could hold 100 but there were only 25 of us on Sunday. Several sat out in the front, but we were inside where it wasn’t quite as drafty. We were able to wander around in & out for better views.

Here we are getting our introduction and met our guide for the day, Captain Annie. Mississippi Explorer was our host.

It was cool (63′) and cloudy so the breeze with the boat was chilly with my 2 shirts & a denim jacket.
Because this was advertised as a Fall Foliage Tour but the leaves were barely starting to turn, it became more of a Wildlife of the River Tour. Phil thinks he gets enough wildlife here at home and would have been more interested in the story & history of the barges and other boats on the river.

The railroad depot, now a bar & grill, and the railroad hotel from the boat.

Villa Louis

loading barges

Our first eagle sighting!!

And he landed, near another eagle. Annie said these were young ones yet, possibly born this year or last, as their color hadn’t developed fully.

The best part for me was seeing many Bald Eagles! We think we saw at least 10!! I have only seen one in a zoo before so this was quite fun for me.

Captain Annie actually said it was good that it was cloudy & cool. If it had been warm & sunny there would have been more boats out disturbing the wildlife and the eagles would have been hiding in the shade.

This was on the bluff near our hotel but we could see it from the boat. (well cropped!)

And then….

PELICANS!! I really didn’t expect to see pelicans!

We got this close to one.

Cropped shots:

A blue heron

Pikes Peak in Marquette, Iowa
(the first peak he named after himself)

Fall Foliage… not quite

And then we came upon this flock of pelicans! Annie would shut off the engine when we’d be near birds like this and just let us sit and watch them. We really thought they were moving around like they were going to fly off but they didn’t.

Heading back, this is the Prairie du Chien bridge, smaller than the Lansing bridge.

After our cruise, we drove through town and I wandered quickly through a downtown fabric store. They are redoing the downtown streets & sidewalks with brick crosswalks and accents so it will be quite beautiful when they are done. (It is a mess now!)

The store I visited is just like an old style fabric/craft store. She had quilts & quilt fabric and offered classes. Then in another section there were basic yarns & crafts supplies. She also had gift items. I didn’t “have to have” anything so didn’t stay long.

Besides, we were looking at a 3+ hour ride home yet.
We headed back and chose a route through Platteville and then on to Shullsburg. I had read about their Creamery and thought that would be a good place to walk around and maybe get a bite to eat.

Of course, I didn’t have exact directions but we made it to the downtown, just from the back side. A beautiful little town and the downtown is old-style narrow and well-kept! All the windows had beautiful displays and most of the buildings were full. Some for tourists, others just local insurance office or the dentist.

We stopped at the Shullsburg Creamery (no tour) but saw the gift shop, cheese shop (got some clearance blocks!), and then had an early supper (we hadn’t had lunch) in the Brewster House restaurant. Yummy!! A great choice!!

After that, it was the final stretch home. Passed the new wind farm and it was quite fascinating to see the parts in various locations ready for assembly.

We got home just after 6 p.m. Great fun!!
I was thrilled to NOT be exhausted and in a lot of pain on Monday. Yeah – I keep getting better!

JP kept the home under control and did chores for Phil. A few sows decided to farrow over the weekend instead of starting on Monday when they were due. JP handled it fine.

On the counter when I got to the kitchen: 1 plate from pizza, 2 small plates from breakfast pb & j’s, 2 milk glasses, and 3 ice cream bowls. (He had Sat lunch w/ Gma & they took him out for Sunday noon.) https://i2.wp.com/img108.exs.cx/img108/5527/i1lsmile.gif


Read Full Post »