Reconnoitering


Is there a place we’d like to settle down?  Well, Thursday & Friday were partially devoted to doing a little investigation.  And seeing as I was a few days ahead in my blog it was easy to goof off and let some of those written ahead entries give me a few days off from writing.June 26

It’s highly unlikely that we would pick the area we’re in right now for a semi-permanent settling place — it’s a bit more remote than either of us would want if we wanted to call a ‘place’ home for a few years.  But, we did do a little circuit just to reassure ourselves of that face.

This is such an amazing and beautiful area.  If you are unfamiliar with the “Driftless” area in S.W. Wisconsin you have missed a treat.  Let me borrow from Wiki:

“The Driftless Area or Paleozoic Plateau is a region in the American Midwest noted mainly for its deeply carved river valleys. While primarily in southwestern Wisconsin, it includes areas of southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa and extreme northwestern Illinois.”

TypicalDriftlessHere’s a shot from Wildcat Mountain State Park.  It’s a typical view of the region, perhaps with the exception that there are a lot of farms, farmland, and a whale of a lot of corn grown in this region.

contour farmingContour farming is huge in this area and I grabbed a file picture to illustrate what I mean — the area has been so hazy that I’m not bothering with photos for now.  It’s pretty amazing to see the bold patterns of various crop fields carved into the hillsides and appreciate both the beauty of design and the wisdom of scientific farming at the same time.

We’re also in an area well known for Craft Cheeses and nearby Belmont is a great stop for your tastebuds.  Producing both cows’ and sheep’s milk cheeses my tastebuds water every time we go through or near the little town.

Dscn2771 Shot Tower DiagramThis is also an area where lead mining had been big in the early settlement days.  And strategically, it was huge for the Civil War.  Both a boom for the economy at the time, and a health hazard for the workers there are still reminders of the old days. The lead was melted at the top of large towers and then drizzled through a perforated pan from which it fell a goodly distance (cooling slightly & forming into a ball) before dropping into a water bath at the base of the tower — creating lead musket balls and lead shot.

We’ll do more of these short jaunts around the area as the summer passes — probably moreso when we get to Eastern WI — in search of possible RV parks that might be suitable (to us) for a summer seasonal stay.

I’ve been writing long posts it seems lately so today I’ll cut it short right there.  Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

 

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10 Comments

  1. Peter, we really enjoyed Cliffside Park near Racine. It is actually in Caledonia but just a few miles to Racine and about 20+ to Milwaukee. It is a beautiful park. Plenty of trees but enough open space to get satellite reception, large spaces and you can stay almost as long as you want, just have to keep extending your stay. Wvwould definitely stay there again. Karen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll have to check that out. I think I’ve been past, but in our pre-retirement life I didn’t pay much attention to campgrounds for the past 20 years. I think someone else has mentioned it too (not recently but some time ago).

      Thanks for the suggestions. >

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  2. We stayed at the Grant River COE in Potosi several years ago quite by accident. We couldn’t find an RV park in Iowa convenient to the Field of Dreams Movie Site so we stayed in Wisconsin instead. The park is on the Mississippi River and was close to the Good Old Potosi Brewery. We enjoyed our stay but unfortunately missed the Driftless area.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Potosi Brewery has a little resto there now. They used to have the most interesting appetizers, wonton skins wrapping sauerkraut and sausage — but I see they are off the menu now. Must not have gone over too well. And not as many cars there this year.

      Right now the BNSF is doing some major signaling project and there are plenty of things to watch if we get bored! 🙂

      > >

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      1. We enjoyed lunch out on their patio one day. It was during their first annual brewfest. We loved visiting the Field of Dreams from there and also stopped at the Grotto in Dickeyville.

        It’s funny I saw your post today. I just watched the last part of the moving “Field of Dreams” the other day and was thinking about our visit there.

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      2. Isn’t that the greatest part of traveling! You see something and years later something happens to trigger memories: visual, auditory, even aroma memories. I can still smell those sauerkraut wontons. And the smell of newly mown grass. The aroma of a freshly cut watermelon at a family picnic thousands of miles from home.

        We too have seen the Grotto. I blush to admit that we didn’t visit the Field of Dreams — not being a sports person it wasn’t of interest to either of us, but we enjoy our visits to landmarks, and gardens, and some of the touristy things. When we at-the-spur-of-the-moment remembered that this place was here (we’d planned on being at Rathbun Lake in IA) and that it made more sense than driving out of our way the ‘fond’ recollection I had here was, of all things, the noisy trains. Now I know that doesn’t sound like a ‘fond’ recollection but in fact it was. Our first stay here was our first year of RV’ing, in our first coach. It was ungodly hot out, and demonishly dry (poor corn that year — or almost none in this quadrant of WI), the A/C on our Winnebago could not keep up with the heat and … yet… it’s a fond memory of something Peg and I lived through and enjoyed in our own way.

        There’s no understanding the human brain, is there.

        > >

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  3. My daughter and I stayed at a BnB in Cassville one year and visited the Stonefield Historic Site. Like you said, lots of train on the mainline there.

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