Friday, June 17, 2011

Minnesota - Along the Mississippi

The next day I decided to do a day trip along the Mississippi. I was staying in LaCrescent, Minnesota and drove north to where the next bridge crossed the river. This was in Winona, Minnesota. There I crossed over into Wisconsin. From there I drove south through LaCrosse which is across the river from LaCrescent to the next bridge to the south. This was at Lansing, Iowa. I then turned north and returned to LaCrescent.

Kings Bluff, where I hiked the first day.

Overlooking Winona.

In the distance, you can see a Tow moving up the river. This is what a tug and it's barges are called apparently.

Looking north up the Mississippi from south of LaCrosse.

An old nuke plant. This was built to show that a small nuclear reactor could be feasible for smaller communities. It has since been converted to a coal fired power plant.

The bridge crossing the Mississippi at Lansing, Iowa.

Railroad tracks.

Railroad tracks along the river.

Here some work is being done on the Mississippi. Because of the Lock and Dam system, many of the islands in the river have disappeared. Work is being done to create new islands for the wildlife in the area. These barges are working on that project.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Minnesota - The LaCrosse Queen

I decided to take a trip up the Mississippi on the LaCrosse Queen out of LaCrosse, Wisconsin. The LaCrosse Queen is a stern paddlewheeler. The trip took 3 hours and proceeded through Lock and Dam 7 on the Mississippi River.

The view up the Mississippi as we leave the dock.

A swing bridge over the Mississippi. We had to wait for a couple of trains to cross, the the bridge opened. This is apparently one of the oldest and largest swing bridges on the river and is due to be replaced in the next few years with a lift bridge.

The bridge opening.

Some of the bridge workings.

A view up the Mississippi.

The lock after passing through.

The bridge on the return trip.

LaCrosse from upriver.

The twin bridges that link LaCrosse, WI to LaCrescent, MN.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Minnesota Trip - Great River Bluffs State Park

On the recommendation of the friends I was visiting, I stopped at Great Bluffs State Park. There was a nice hike along the ridge through the woods out to a point overlooking the Mississippi River.

The Mississippi River.

Here you can see a houseboat making its way up the Mississippi River along with a train in the foreground on the tracks the parallel the river.

At the end of the trail.

From along the trail.

An early part of the trail through the pines.

Minnesota trip

I took a trip to Minnesota at the end of May. Rather than blast down the highway, I decided to take Michigan Avenue across the state. I did that until it crossed I-94 near Lake Michigan. At that point I got on the highway and continued on. It was a nice drive, but it added a couple of hours to the trip.

The twin towers in the Irish Hills. I love the Irish Hills, but think it is sad that so much has changed and that the attractions that were there are, for the most part, all closed.

This is a bridge somewhere along US-12. I don't recall what town it is in, but it is the largest of its kind in the state. Here you can see the footing for the previous railroad bridge.

The bridge only carries foot traffic now.

North Bay Park - May

These pictures were taken in May, but I haven't gotten around to posting them until now.

The entrance to the park was under construction so I went to another place a bit further away and walked in from there. The first couple of pictures are from that walk.

One of the bridges.

The observation tower.

A pair of swans with their nest.

Along the trail.