“Hey, Magic, you updating your blog?”
“Yes, just finished downloading the photos and thinking of a title…”
“What title did you decide on?”
“You know, something about dogs on a prairie, I was thinking of a colony of Border collies controlling fur trapping and trading along the Mississippi River in the 17th century…”
“No, wait a minute, we talked about this…Prairie du Chien was named by the French fur trappers who named the town after the Fox native American chief, Dog. It meant Prairie of Dog, and Dog, the chief, lived on the prairie at that location…”
“Wouldn’t it be more interesting if Border collies had settled the prairie, or, maybe, it was a prairie full of prairie dogs…”
“Prairie dogs are NOT dogs! They are burrowing rodents, like squirrels or chipmunks.”
“Mmm, OK, I’ll stick to the Border collies controlling activities around Prairie du Chien, we’re pretty good at running the show, controlling things, keeping creatures in line. Why don’t you make a salad? And thanks for dinner. I’ll finish up here. Wow, My Dad forgets whose is writing the blog…”
Yes, yesterday morning we were up and on the road by 6:00 am. It was still dark when I jumped into the back of the Scion xB. My Dad said we had a (secret) mission to Wisconsin, about a 4 1/2 hour drive from our home. With a bathroom stop for each of us in Dodgeville, WI, we drove across Wisconsin on U.S. 18 and pulled into downtown Prairie du Chien about 10:40 am. My Dad soon discovered that the “target” of the investigation was not working until tomorrow. So, instead of completing our assignment and driving right back to Chicago, we would have to spend the night in Prairie du Chien.
We found a Country Inn located just north of the Cabela’s headquarters. My Dad introduced me to the staff and I walked around checking everything out – the breakfast room, the maid’s closet, some garbage cans, the back office. I, too, have a bit of investigator in me.
My Dad said we were going to the Yellow River State Park, just north of Marquette, Iowa.
On the backpacking trail along the Paint Creek, Yellow River State Park, Iowa
I stole My Dad’s right glove…I get pretty clownish after I steal his glove.
Getting a drink of water after our walk on the trail.
The view from the highest point in Marquette, IA, a dead-end street. U.S. 18 is the blue-arched bridge. We also met the Mayor of Marquette, Larry Breuer. Larry said that if anyone has any problems that they want to call him about, his phone number is…JUST KIDDING, LARRY!
Running along the west shore of the Mississippi River is a single track managed by the Canadian-Pacific RR. This image is just outside their crew building in Marquette. The train in the background was awaiting a crew change. Stretching off to the north was it’s load, at least 100 flat-black tanker cars carrying oil from North Dakota.
On our return trip today, we stopped in Dodgeville, WI, named for Colonel Henry Dodge who made a pact with the Winnebago Indians, and formed the town with 40 miners who built a smelter and mined lead. I bet they wouldn’t be allowed to open a lead smelter now days….just sayin’.