Staycation - late Summer 2009 travel blog

Goose Island

golf along the railroad

La Crosse River Bike Trail


We're camped in a county park just south of La Crosse on Goose Island in the middle of the Mississippi River. We've camped here before in a driving rain and vowed to return with better weather. It doesn't feel like we are in the middle of the river since we are surrounded by sloughs and marshes, but the main channel is a short boat ride away. The campground is huge and quite empty; it's a joy to have the place to ourselves. It does appear that we are the only ones here who do not have a boat. During the night the relatively cool night air hits the summer warmed water and we awaken to a thick fog cover. But about the time the coffee is consumed and we are ready to get going, the sun burns it off and the picturesque bluffs high above the river valley come back into view.

This is an outdoorsy area and we have been enjoying the outdoors getting some exercise. We rode part of the La Crosse River Bike Trail along the Mississippi. While it had some nice views of the river, we spent most of the ride going over bridges through marshes and swamps. That part of the ride reminded us of many trails we have at home. Round trip we rode about thirty miles, a bit more than normal. We saw many other geezer couples like us doing the same thing. We baby boomers do not want to admit that we are getting older! The highlight for lunch was walnut burgers from the Trempealeau Hotel as we overlooked the lock. These burgers are a local delicacy and are even available for purchase online. Crunchiest burger I've ever had.

We also enjoyed the public golf course in La Crosse and for $11 played the front nine. Much of the course borders the railroad and I can blame some of my poor performance on the trains rumbling through as we played. This course is old with well established trees which hugged the fairway and inhaled many more of our balls. The lessons we learned at golf camp have not been integrated into our performance thus far. The course was busier than anticipated, half geezers and half young men who must have been on a local college team. Their balls were as wild as ours, but went much farther. Only under the trees were we safe from balls whizzing by.

Although it feels like summer, some trees are starting to display the vivid reds and oranges that signal the arrival of fall. It would be fun to head north to look for the color line, but a Staycation should be close to home so we'll head south tomorrow. Maybe the fall colors will come to us.

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