Hi All –
Sorry for the quiet spell there…we have had 4-5 days of dreary weather – ranging from cold, wet, drizzly to stormy and windy with just a few breaks in between. AND – I’ve caught a doozie of a cold, the details of which I’m sure you have no interest in! I’m hoping today will be the day that brings a shift from the yuckiness both inside and out! But, our little raindrop pays no mind to such things and just keeps flowing along. There are still interesting people to meet and even in this weather this part of the river and the land that surrounds it is gorgeous. I’ve been exploring the area between Hastings, MN and LaCrescent, MN, hopping back and forth between Minnesota and Wisconsin. The river flows through a dramatic valley with huge bluffs on either shore and the towns nearly all have well-preserved, historic districts on the riverfront, like this one in Hastings.
This is not the land of fast food franchises, but cafes with their own bakeries, like the wonderful Bogus Creek Café in Stockholm, WI, and creameries that make their own ice cream. I’ve had Walleye served broiled, baked, fried, on a sandwich – and every time it is fresh and wonderful! It’s apple orchard country here and the apples are just ready to be harvested. And, oh my, nothing feels quite as healthy as biting into a just-picked Honey Crisp apple – I can just tell that is chasing these nasty cold germs away!
Hastings is also the point where the Vermillion River enters the Mississippi and at least this last stretch of it that comes through town is wild and beautiful with rapids and an impressive waterfall.
I’ve been a guest in the gracious home of Joan and Joseph Francois in LaCrescent, MN, for the past two nights. Joseph grew up in Belgium and Joan has been a teacher of French and Spanish. They have traveled much of the world and have a lush botanical garden for a backyard, and it has been a relaxing pleasure to be with them. The town was buzzing all weekend with the Apple Fest.
The sky lightened up just in time for the Kiddie Parade and the 500 apple pies that Joan helped make at her church were mostly sold before the event even opened! On the midway, the usual array of “fair food” was available – but I will say I passed right on by the Fried Oreos!!!
There’s more to tell from these last few days, but the raindrop is poking me in the you-know-what and it’s time to move on – just wanted to be in touch before someone sent the Marshalls out looking for me!
Have a great day! Gayle