The Mississippi

South of St. Paul, there are scenic roads on the Minnesota and Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River.  When we first got on the road over the state line from Minnesota the river was a deep blue.  Stopped at a red light in Prescott I wondered out loud, where would the river turn that murky brown.  Well, one block later, the MN side of the river was brown divided by a definite line to be blue on the Wisconsin side.  Maybe 1/10 of a mile later the river was all brown.  Steve made a joke about me speaking and parting the waters.  Yesterday, I found out we were actually on the St. Croix river at first and then it joins the Mississippi in Prescott.  Now we know.
The drive along the river is peaceful with very little traffic and the little towns are so neat and tidy.  Several have little municipal campgrounds along the river but we were warned away that there would be 50,000 bikers along this road the next day causing massive traffic jams.  So we kept going south and passed by 23 miles long Pepin Lake:
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There are several state parks along this route, but when we stopped at one, we found out non-residents pay $10 a day to enter the park and then $21 for camping.  So our GPS took us back to Minnesota and the town of Winona and this was a great find.  The city has a huge, all grass campground right on the river.  Winona is a university town that is almost entirely surrounded by water.  There are two big lakes on one side plus the river on the other side of town.  Lots of beautiful churches and big old houses too.  The picture below was taken at the campground.
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At an overlook above Winona. The other lake is just to the left of the road that passes by this lake:
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We left Winona this morning and crossed back over to Minnesota for a while, driving on some country roads.  Just a glimpse of the barns and silo’s tells me we will be back someday for major exploration.  Tonight we are at the Veterans Memorial County Campground near La Crosse.  Ever since we entered Iowa, it’s common that there are many municipal and county campgrounds that are in nice grassy parks as opposed to the privately owned RV parks where you park 10 feet from your neighbor and have nothing but concrete or gravel.  Nice! 


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