Across the Mississippi

We woke up this morning to a fresh snowfall in Wabasha, Minnesota, on the shores of the Mississippi. And there it is, the Mississippi River, out our bedroom window here in Jenny and Steve’s apartment above a shop on Main Street.

snowy morningThey’ve moved in here for a year, between houses, and putting us up for two nights—that’s the plan, anyway. The weather may have something to say about that. We’ve been watching the snow clearing operation out their front window, which looks onto Main Street.

Here, they plow all the snow to the MIDDLE of the road, leaving no snow banks, and then come along with a blower, pick it up and dump it into trucks, leaving the street and sidewalks amazingly clear.

Yesterday, we left Escanaba early – earlier than we thought, in fact, since the motel room clock was half an hour fast, and then within an hour of leaving we switched to central time. Most of yesterday’s drive was in Wisconsin, which conjures up images of the Big Woods and dairy farming. We saw evidence of both, old and new.

logsInterestingly, the “big woods” seemed to be planted in rows much of the time…evidence of serious reforestation. Logging is obviously a big part of the economy in this part of the country.

The day started sunny, but became dreary as the afternoon wore on, with a grey mist hovering low most of the time. Probably because the air was warmer than the ground. It’s obviously been colder here than at home; at one point we saw an ice fishing hut set up on a good-sized lake. I don’t think anyone’s doing that at home yet.

ice along shoreAs we approached the Mississippi, the land became hillier and we saw a bit more snow on the ground. We stopped to walk a little along the edge of the river–which was frozen along the edge.

And then, following Jenny’s advice, we crossed the Mississippi at Red Wing and drove down highway 61, right along Lake Pepin (of Laura fame). In fact, for awhile we weretravelling on the Laura Ingalls Wilder highway.

We’ve never crossed the big rmore ruggediver this far north and were surprised at the rugged topography. Beautiful.We stopped along the river, close to Wabasha, and were excited to see a bald eagle perched on a tree close to the water’s edge. Then, not a minute later, we passed a road sign telling us about the National Bald Eagle Centre here in Wabasha.

This evening, Jenny’s brother—our nephew—Dave and his wife and two kids (well, young adult children) are coming here for dinner. We haven’t seen them in at least ten years. Looking forward to that.

A few miscellaneous photos from the drive between Escanaba and Wabasha.

snowy roadside

gun sign

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