Early in the month 5 of my (Red Hat) friends and I drove across the state to take a ride on the Mississippi River on the LaCrosse Queen.
Originally I planned on taking a bus trip, but I waited too long to make the reservations so we decided to drive....from the easternmost part of the state to the Mississippi on the west, a 4 hour drive. Unfortunately we had to take 2 cars, we kept in touch and 'rested' at a planned gas station.
take from their website:
The La Crosse Queen is a modern-day replica of the grand river boats that plied the Mississippi River in the late 19th Century. Cruising out of LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN, she is one of the few authentic Mississippi River paddlewheel river boats still in operation in the United States today. In keeping with early traditions, she was built with sternwheels that are her only means of propulsion. The La Crosse Queen has a split sternwheel and each is run by a twin diesel engine that powers hydraulic motors which turn the paddles. This is in contrast to most Mississippi River paddlewheelers in operation today that have a "free wheeling" paddlewheel at the stern of the boat for visual effect, but have traditional screw-type engines hidden for their real means of propulsion. The La Crosse Queen is U.S. Coast Guard inspected for safety and is licensed to carry up to 149 passengers.
Lunch was buffet style and very good, except I heard that the coffee was very strong and instant. Guess that is not good if you are a coffee drinker.
We really had a good time! The weather was nice, so we did not freeze when we stayed outside to see the sights. The captian (correct term?) explained things to us.
The colors were beautiful on the drive over, but the closer we got to LaCrosse the more green they were. Everyone said the color was very late this year.
Going through the locks. That was very interesting, I've never done that before. The boat (s) is tied as the water is raised or lowered.
As I often do I wandered away. I was on the upper deck while the rest of the group stayed below.
(does anyone need a root touch-up?)
The American Queen was getting ready to leave when we were there. It's a huge, beautiful ship. The smoke stacks fold down when they cruise (so they can get under bridges).
Water, water, water everywhere.
The scenery in the western part of the state is so different than here in the east. Love the rocks!
I'm sure the flowers are long gone now, but the garden was beautiful.
Riverside park, where the cruise line is located, has a beautiful garden and lots of other things to see. A person could spend a good part of the day walking/relaxing in it.
I'd like to see these mums by my front door.
We saw some huge Koi in this pond.
Seven gnomes were placed in the garden....we hunted to make sure we saw them all.
Beautiful scenery, good friends, warm weather....yes, it was a good day.
If you haven't been there you might want to check out this area.