Upper Missy II - Memorial Day, 2012

Andrew and the broken heart alongside US-12 at Forevertron in Wisconsin.

A few more photos: Click each thumbnail for a larger image.

 

The Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison.The Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison. Taking a practice swim.Taking a practice swim. Eating a sandwich on the banks of the Mississippi near Lake Pepin.Eating a sandwich on the banks of the Mississippi near Lake Pepin. Waterfowl begging for sccraps on a bluff overlooking Lake Pepin, the widest part of the Mississippi.Waterfowl begging for scraps on a bluff overlooking Lake Pepin. The beach at Hok-Si-La Park north of Lake City, MN.The beach at Hok-Si-La Park north of Lake City, MN. Andrew's taking a dip in Old Muddy where she is cleanest in Minnesota.Andrew's taking a dip in Old Muddy where she is cleanest in Minnesota. At the Sea Life Aquarium in the Mall of America, Bloomington, MN.At the Sea Life Aquarium in the Mall of America, Bloomington, MN. Every Lego you ever lost is carefully filed on this huge wall in the middle of the mall.Every Lego you ever lost is carefully filed on this huge wall in the middle of the mall. A huge, menacing robot made of teeny tiny Legos.A huge, menacing robot made of teeny tiny Legos. The amusement park inside the Mall of America seems to have shed its local Charlie Brown association.The amusement park inside the Mall of America seems to have shed its local Charlie Brown association. Downtown Minneapolis from the Stone Arch Bridge.Downtown Minneapolis from the Stone Arch Bridge. Observing Lock & Dam #2 from the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis, MN.Observing Lock & Dam #2 from the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis, MN. Most of the area around the former St. Anthony Falls was delapidated cereal and flour mills.Most of the area around the former St. Anthony Falls was delapidated cereal and flour mills. mem25The Old Mill Ruins in downtown Minneapolis. As we walked across the bridge, a huge, auick summer storm passed overhead.As we walked across the bridge, a huge, auick summer storm passed overhead. The rainbow of the summer storm, making the flour mill look like a million bucks.The rainbow of the summer storm, making the flour mill look like a million bucks. Minneapolis' old Pillsbury factory on the Mississippi.Minneapolis' old Pillsbury factory on the Mississippi. A great shot of the Minneapolis riverfront along West River Parkway.A great shot of the Minneapolis riverfront along West River Parkway. The Leinenkugel Brewery in Chippewa Falls, WI.The Leinenkugel Brewery in Chippewa Falls, WI. After the tour, you are welcome to free samples from this tiny cup.After the tour, you are welcome to free samples from this tiny cup. You are not allowed to drink the beer from THIS cup, though.You are not allowed to drink the beer from THIS cup, though. While we were sitting around Leinenkugel's Brewery, a Memorial Day parade happened down the street.While we were sitting around Leinenkugel's Brewery, a Memorial Day parade happened down the street. Welcome to Wisconsin Dells, kids!Welcome to Wisconsin Dells, kids! Climbing a huge, wet pillow at Knuckleheads in Lake Delton, WI.Climbing a huge, wet pillow at Knuckleheads in Lake Delton, WI. We visited Brat Fest in Madison twice, despite the prediction of  potential tornados because.... because brats.We visited Brat Fest in Madison twice, despite the prediction of potential tornados because.... because brats. The gates to Forvertron were closed, but what we found otuside really whet the appetite.The gates to Forvertron were closed, but what we found otuside really whet the appetite. These strange garbage-made men beckoned me to return again.These strange garbage-made men beckoned me to return again. Squak! in North Freedom, WI.Squak! in North Freedom, WI.

Statistics:

Dates: May 25-28, 2012

 

Areas Explored: Minnesota's Lower Mississppi Valley and Wetsern Wisconsin

Transportation: 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan

Cast: Jessica, Andrew, & Scott

 

Trip Notes: We had to get away from a rough school year and so headed northwest aimlessly, along US-12, into Wisconsin and into a rainy, stormy Memorial Day weekend.

 

We sailed into Madison in time to enjoy a few brats at Bratfest, which Andrew called, "the hot dog party." The place was packed and there was an impressive lineup of grills working overtime. It was Wisconsin perfection.

 

From here we passed Sauk Valley and past the mysterious Forevertron, which disappointedly was closed. We followed I-90 then through the driftless hills and weathered stone buttes, stopping at Mill Bluff SP.

 

Crossing the Mississippi at Dakota, we headed north along the river enjoying sandwiches at Hok-Si-La Park in Lake City. The park sits on top of a bluff overlooking a natural harbor alongside the Mississippi. Crowds swarmed the beach and swam in the brown water. We couldn't resist and followed them.

 

Soon enough we came to the Mall of America in Bloomington and spent the half-stormy day indoors at the aquarium, Lego store, and riding rides in the amusement park in the center of the massive mall. As the sun began to set, we went to downtown Minneapolis to see the old site of St. Anthony Falls under Lock&Dam #2. The area was striking as a storm blew in quick and furiously. The river is narrow here and is walled on either side by delapidated cereal and flour mills. They sit on top of 19th century stonework which was the inspiration for the name of Old Mill Ruins Park, where we walked halfway across the river, sightseeing as we went.

 

The next morning we sped over to the Northwoods into Chippewa Falls where the clear water of the Chippewa River is used to brew Leinenkugel beers. We stayed for a tour of the small, well-run brewery, since Andrew had become factory-obsessed after yesterday's walk past the ruins of Minnesota's industrial past. After the tour, we watched a parade go by and drank flavored beer and ate pretzels. Life is always good in Wisconsin, it seems.

 

On the way home we stopped at Wisconsin Dells and jumped around at Knuckleheads in Lake Delton before heading one last time to Bratfest to enjoy brats, rides, and music. Unfortunately, the storms returned and put us back on the road where we stopped twice: once to admire Forevertron's road-teasing, huge garbage beasts and once to check on the old family homestead near Lake Ripley.


Photos (c) 2012 by S. Plencner, J. Bezold All other content (c) 2012 by S. Plencner