Our dog Riley has been promoted from couch potato to coon dog, having treed a raccoon on our last trip up to the ridge top. Golden retrievers do not fit this job description, but work is scarce and the job got done.
“Nice car,” he offered to no one in particular as we passed. A 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible with the top down still qualifies as a head-turner in these parts. So does the stunning scenery we saw that day from our bucket seats.
June arrived like an old friend; unannounced. You look up and suddenly she’s standing there. Most of May, cold and uncooperative, gave us no warning of summer’s approach. But Memorial Day was a scorcher, dropping a hint for what lay around the corner.
I was driving home the other evening along the Mississippi River and suddenly realized how lucky I am to live here in Driftless Wisconsin.
May has finally arrived, and like the ever-optimistic baseball fan yearning for opening day, we are waiting for the summer season to begin. May 1 is after all, the unofficial start of summer; the preseason prelude to evening walks, weekend excursions, and summer vacations. While the weather seems hesitant to leave winter behind, the rest of us are ready for summer’s first pitch.
For most of the year, the Mississippi River remains an impressive yet quiet neighbor, content to stay the course on its perpetual journey to the gulf. In some springs, however, the river becomes a restless traveler, quits its banks and comes calling on its neighbors. She visits parks, streets, back yards, and even sneaks around the back way into bluff-side fields. 2011 is one of those years.
In my last blog, I left you wandering along County P through Amish Country, a route that winds through the very heart of Driftless Wisconsin, now in the midst of springtime’s renewal. Traveling east toward Highway 131, it’s easy to get lost in the landscapes that watch over the valley as you drop toward the Kickapoo River. The Kickapoo Valley Reserve borders the river and serves as an introduction to the timeless beauty of the valley.
By any acceptable standards, roads in Driftless Wisconsin have no purpose in life other than our visual pleasure. A road wanders from attraction to overlook like an aimless sightseer, occasionally doubling back on itself as if it had forgotten something. If you plot a course from Prairie du Chien to Viroqua, your GPS navigator will always choose the “most scenic” route.