Sunday, August 17, 2008

August 17, 2008 - A weekend away

Last weekend I felt the need to get away. The creative brain needs new input every once in awhile. I headed west to the big river then up to Viroqua, Wisconsin. Viroqua is a typical Wisconsin town with a progressive bent and it seemed like a good home base for the weekend. A friend had recommended Lanesboro, MN as a great place for biking and escape. Lanesboro is about an hour west of La Crosse and the photo above shows the hilltop with the old school and church that look out over downtown Lanesboro. The school is currently being converted into coop condos and I envy the amazing views of the Root River Valley. 

Lanesboro is a mecca for family and group biking, canoeing, kayaking, and tubing. This is the center of the 60 mile long Root River Bike Trail that follows the Root River through the valley. The trails  are converted railroad tracks and features many bridges and great views. And if you're in the mood there's a great pie shop about 5 miles east of Lanesboro where just about everyone stops for a treat. You can't help but notice the mass of bikes parked outside the shop.
The photo above was taken on the deck of a restaurant where I had a Cajun Catfish sandwich. I had a great view of bikers on the bridge and tubers on the river below. Below is a typical bridge crossing along the Root trail. The trail is very gradual so you can take your time and not worry about big hills. And did I mention the weather was perfect. I highly recommend Lanesboro. Their web site boasts many awards like "Best small town in America" if that gives you a hint. I also noticed many restaurants and even a theater company. "Harvey" was the latest production but I had to get back home. Next time.
On my way home I took a trip to a little town called Ontario and the home of Wildcat Mountain State Park. At the top of a steep ridge the park offers an unprecedented view of the Kickapoo River Valley where many a canoe enthusiast has enjoyed a leisurely ride on the winding river. Sorry to sound so much like a travel agent but what can I say. It was a great little trip. Ciao.

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