Sunday, June 24, 2012

Peaks and Mounds

Sunday, June 24, 2012. Today was a hot one. We are still camped at the Blackhawk Park just outside DeSoto, WI. We drove 30 miles south to Prairie du Chien and had a great visit with a good friend today.
Where We Are On the Mighty Mississippi
We went to Pikes Peak! Pikes Peak StatePark, Iowa, that is. It's named after the same Zebulon Pike for whom the western Pikes Peak is named. He did a lot of the early exploring and mapping for the US Army in the westward expansion of the United States. Pikes Peak State Park is on the Mississippi River with gorgeous views out over the river from very high bluffs. It is located right at the confluence of the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers near McGregor, IA, and across from Prairie du Chien. After looking off the bluffs and over the rivers, we took a walk in the woods to the “Crows Nest” (another lookout) and Bridal Veil Falls.

Confluence of the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers from Pikes Peak SP, Iowa

Bridal Veil Falls, Pikes Peak SP, Iowa

After our visit to Pikes Peak State Park, we drove into McGregor, IA, and had lunch at the “Old ManRiver Brewery (and Restaurant)” where they promised brewery tours after church on Sunday. We passed on the tour and went straight to lunch. It was a good thing too, since it too forever and a day to get our meals. The service was prompt from the wait staff taking our order, but there must have been only one cook in the kitchen since we had a LONG wait until our food was served. I guess it was worth the wait, however. I had a pulled pork BBQ sandwich that was quite good, but I have to say it did NOT compare to Whitt's BBQ in Murfreesboro, TN, which will always be the standard against which I measure all BBQ. Mary has some kind of Salmon sandwich and our friend had a Philly. Both reported that their food was good.

From lunch, we drove just a little north to Effigy Mounds National Monument. Effigy mounds are the earthen mounds built by early Native Americans in the shape of animals which had special significance to them. Effigy Mounds has a number of bear mounds and some bird mounds. There are also other kinds of mounds to be found.  The real highlight, however, of our trip to Effigy Mounds was our relative close encounter with a very young fawn (deer). It was so young that it still had its spots. We were within ten feet of it. We spooked it into running but it only ran a few feet and then tried to hide. We walked on and later, as we returned on the same piece of trail, managed to spot the young deer as it lay where it had tried to hide from us. Can you see it? Its eyes are visible in the center of the photo and you can see its body in the left center.

Fawn in the Bushes
After seeing some of the sights of Prairie du Chien (second oldest city in WI), we headed back to the campground and a slow evening. Tomorrow we'll head east, planning to get to a campground south of Rockford, IL, which is about halfway to our Tuesday destination of Goshen, IN.