Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Month of Orange: Great River Road

We have a personal tradition of every autumn heading out, in the convertible if weather allows, and driving much of the Great River Road along the Mississippi River - Wisconsin's West Coast.  Sunday was unseasonably warm and summer-like, so we filled up the cat bowl, threw some clothes in a gym bag, and took off.
 Our first stop was the Harbor View Cafe in Pepin - best known as the childhood home of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Pepin a a very small town right on Lake Pepin, which was beautiful Sunday, filled with sailboats.  We didn't make it to Pepin until after one in the afternoon, but we still had a wait, so popular is this eatery.  I started with butternut squash soup, delicately seasoned with lime and cumin, and very good indeed.  The main course was fine too, though not orange, so not pictured here.  It was risotto balls filled with melted cheese with a side of roasted vegetables.  Too bad we live so far away from The Harbor View.

We didn't have any idea of how crowded the highways and little towns would be on Sunday.  Apparently everyone with either a convertible or a motorcycle was out, enjoying the blue skies and warm temperatures. It was something of a shock, although everyone was so happy that it was hard to even object to the roar of the Harleys.

After spending the night in Trempealeau, we headed to Lacrosse for some views from Granddad's Bluff.  I had seen the summer view several times, but never the colors of autumn.

After that we cut back across the state, sticking to the small county roads that twist through the hills and coulees of the driftless area of western Wisconsin. 
Our trip home took us to Peck's Farm Market near Spring Green, where I indulged in some time at the petting zoo (I have a weakness for the white deer and the goats), bought some apple butter for morning toast, and gawked at the pumpkins and squash.
It was a fine little jaunt.  Perfect, pretty much, with lots of shades of orange to discover.

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