Sunday, October 21, 2012

Walking in LaCrosse

Friday morning turned up to be a cloudy, cool day, but no rain. The monitor on the wall of the hotel lobby promised sun by 9 AM, but I surely didn't see that during my day there -- but again, no rain! Got lucky.

After breakfast I left the hotel and headed towards the walk start.
Fall decor in the garden along the hotel walkway
I decided to walk there rather than drive my car just a short distance. Glad I did for I would have missed the Regional Art Center.  A sculpture attracted my attention so I did a bit of a detour.

Here's the first one I found.

Logically the title is Dancer and the artist is Donna Cuta.

I also found "pelicans" here. These appear to the types of sculpture a city picks and then subsequently the figures are auctioned for some type of charity. In any event the pelicans are cute.

This one is called Catch of the Day.

Soon I turned left towards Main Street and then a right turn brought me to the cathedral in LaCrosse. This is St. Joseph the Workman church.

 The route map advised seeing if the church was open, so that one might see the windows. I got lucky. No only was the church open but it was empty. I could wander around as I liked without disturbing any worshiper. And the windows are indeed something.

Here is one.

 I chose this one because the second panel from the top shows Father Marquette. This keeps me with thinking about the Mississippi River. Marquette and Louis Joillet are remembered as being the Europeans who first explored the upper Mississippi.

The view below shows a portion of one side of the church.

Below is a photo of a portion of one of the side chapels.

I turned to leave and saw this.

What's this? Well obviously the door, but when entering one has no clue of what one will see when leaving.

Main Door --Exterior View

The route turned and I walked by a city park and then to a corner that features the Hixon House.

The route map explains this home was built in the Italianate-style. Hixon apparently made his money in the lumber industry. He is remembered with a statue across the street from the hall that explains how he used his money to the benefit of the LaCrosse. The home is now operated as a museum, but is closed after Labor Day so I didn't have a chance to make a visit.

The route took me next through the historic district of LaCrosse. My map explained the building below, the John Vogel, is the oldest building in the district.

The next part of the walk went along the Mississippi River.

I very much liked this sculpture.

I was walking along Riverside Park and when I got to the end of the park, the route turned right to the International Friendship Garden.

Here are some views.

For the sister city in China
For the sister city in Germany

For the sister city of Dubna, Russia

Painting in the dome

 And I loved the trolls in the Norwegian garden.

In a little bit I was walking along the LaCrosse River which enters the Mississippi very close to this point.

The walk here got serious, hiking across a marshland. I was grateful to be doing this part of the walk on a cool October day. This would not have been fun on a hot, humid summer day.

With the dry, dry weather in the Midwest, the marshland is drying up. The interpretative signs along the trail explain this 1100 acre marshland is critically important. It holds water during flood season and releases it during the dry parts of the year. But because of the extreme dryness, this marsh is nearly dry.

I did find something on the trail that was entertaining.

This is a bit hard to read. It says" 50 kinds of laundry powder, 2 political parties, seems legit!" I think I would have written legit?

I did find a bit of water to produce a couple of nice reflection pictures.

The route ended in the UW-LaCrosse campus and I was directed to the clock tower to find the name as proof I was really there. I got to the clock about 11:57 AM so sat down to see if anything interesting happened at 12 noon. When the time past I started walking only to hear the clock begin to do its thing a few minutes after 12:00.

Now I was directed back towards the business district to walk along Cass Street where there are houses built in the late 19th century by the "prominent" families of LaCrosse. It is indeed a wonderful collection of old houses.

And at last I came to a restaurant. Since it was 12:45 and I had walked 10K I was very glad to see it. There is a bottling plant for Pepsi in LaCrosse, so that was only choice. I had not seen the glass below for a very long time anywhere else.

Really enjoyed this walk. Hope you enjoyed seeing LaCrosse. One really learns and sees a lot by walking.

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