Had to squeak in a trip before it is time to head back to the daily grind of work. I just returned from my annual trek to the Mississippi River. I'm much more appreciative of nature than man-made, tourist trap attractions. There are two parks I've found that are worth the trip to see and explore. The terrain becomes so different as you travel west and north from the flat land near Lake Michigan. I am always in awe of the huge views, the beauty of row-upon-row of corn, and the significant rise and fall in altitude. I also tried to hit my favorite Wisconsin cheese shops along the way for fresh curds, but the summer road construction was severe and made that impossible. I'll have to settle for some prepackaged less-squeaky supermarket variety.
|Eagle Point Park, Dubuque, Iowa|
A huge, well maintained park with Frank Lloyd Wright style buildings. Lots of stonework throughout the park as part of the CCC public works program. The park has high altitude walkways along a bluff and spectacular views of the Mississippi. You can watch barges go through the lock and dam far below the cliff. Tri-state view: Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois, and the convergence point of the Wisconsin River and the Mississippi River.
|Stonework and Koi pond|
|Pike's Peak Park, McGregor, Iowa|
One of many lookout points on an accessible wooden walkway in another tremendous park. You can see tons of hummingbirds, other wildlife, flora, fauna... it is gorgeous. There is a small waterfall if you are up for a hike with a climb. I counted the stairs: there were 194 down to the waterfall; and then, another 194 back up. My calf muscles are still achy, but it is well worth it for the surrounding quiet and the sound of the water cascading the hill! The sun is blocked by the foliage and the smell of the surrounding forest is amazing.