Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Eagles and a Rock

July 27, 2009, am - It was a quiet April morning in 1995. Maxine Anderson had just finished taking some pictures of the remodeling project inside her home along the Great River Road through Fountain City, Wisconsin. Suddenly she heard a noise similar to a freight train coming from the steep bluff behind her house. Before she could move, the house shook and the walls shuddered and groaned.

A 55 ton boulder had broken lose from the bluff above and rolled into the bedroom right behind her. Many of the other walls cracked, but only one window in the rest of the house broke. Unfortunately, all of the doors shifted so that frantic Mrs. Anderson couldn’t get out until a man who worked across the road at the Corp of Engineers broke his way in. Similar to the more famous family from the Amityville Horror, the Andersons moved out immediately, fearing another boulder would roll into their house from the steep hill. Not a bad idea, since a woman was killed in the house just next door when the same thing happened in 1901.

Maybe not a must see stop on everyone’s list, but my husband and I thought it was interesting. And admission was only a buck, on your honor. Our next stop that morning was a wee bit more expensive.

Wabasha is known for its Eagles. Along this stretch of the Mississippi River, bald eagles live year-round, but during the winter hundreds frequent this area, catching fish where the river doesn’t freeze over. The National Eagle Center features Angel, Columbia, Harriet, Donald and Was’aka, eagles who can’t fly so can never be released into the wild. Watch them for a while and you know where the phrase “eagle eye” comes from.

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