Tag Archives: Wyalusing

Camping on the Mississippi

19 Aug

Yesterday after leaving Chicago we had to deal with some basics like groceries and upgrading to a 4 person tent (do I really need an apartment in Hollywood?), groceries and some craft supplies so I can make Yogi the coolest collar ever. We hit the road and started North West and within a few hours were in the middle of nowhere (with all fondness). We made a pit stop in this town where they played elevator music in speakers on the main street! This took ook the surreal awesomeness to the next level. Meanwhile this was a Saturday in summer and the town was close to a ghost town, everything was abandoned, shut down, empty, closed. Unusual for me because Florida just seems to grow, never shrink but there seems to be a lot of empty buildings on our journey. Especially barns. A lot of run down barns.
We continued on highway 20 until we reached the Mississippi River (after all all that time learning to spell that bedraggled word and still spell check just beat me to the punch!). We followed The Great River Road scenic byway north along ‘The River’ and the drive was incredibley awesome. Highly recommend it. Just the right amount of “this is America” feeling and wow this is so exotic (from what I know). Once we entered Wisconsin, G made us stop on the side of the road because he saw a sign for “Cheese Jerky” (???) and had to walk back a few meters and within minutes the sheriff drove by and stopped to ask us if he could help us with something. Such service! (or maybe just get the hell outa here buckos).
We passed throngs of bikers because apparently they enjoy that “drive” too and we passed heaps of road houses where the bikers all stopped to compare their babes and goatees.

We passed a crazy mosaic church constructed of broken glass, shells and other interesting debris. We mostly passed miles of corn with signs marking which kind of hybred species they were. We saw a lot of dairy cows too. We took some pretty windy dirt roads at the end stretch, and passed a man and his lady on the front porch playing the banjo which made us happy.. And nervous.
I was amazed that even this far north the Mississippi is a swamp in so many areas. It almost reminded me of Florida; sprawling wet grasses, wet footed trees, Lillie’s and that gorgeous electric green algae that usually has alligator eyes peering out from it.
Finally we arrive at this state park (Wyalusing) nestled in the arm pit of the Wisconsin and Mississippi River just as the sun starts to set. We pay our 25$ fee (apparently only in national forests can you pitch tent anywhere) and are serenaded with information about wild canines and toilet locations by a man with an adorable park ranger uniform pulled up way to high and a thick Wisconsin accent. We weren’t expecting too much but arrived on this epic ridge over looking the river. We broke camp and set up our tent (now fitting a queen size air mattress) and even made a fire ( with a fire starting log) with relative proficiency on which to roast our organic turkey wieners (this is modern day hipster camping at its finest). We drank our bottle of Trader Joes wine and scourged over our new maps (After groceries, new tent and art supply store, I dragooned G to stop for some more guides and books, excellent choice if I do say so myself), even did a bit of star gazing and all in all felt pretty good about life.