July 26, 2009 - For several years now, I have thought that the coolest thing would be to type my travel journal directly into a laptop as I traveled. I love my paper journals, but I think that they are becoming obsolete. Well, maybe not. It is still great to page back through them to read what everyone’s thoughts were in their own handwriting and witness the chocolate stains or French fry grease. But I still feel that, today, on this trip, I have moved on.
I am typing into my new used laptop, maybe not as it is happening, but at least the same day, having returned to the vacation home of one of Himey’s friends, after a day of bumming around. And now I will type in our trip so far, and thus save it for all posterity, or at least until this laptop crashes.
Himey and I are in Alma, Wisconsin, to spend a couple days at the vacation home of one of his friends. The house is small but perfect for a vacation. It sits on the bluff above the Mississippi River and has a fantastic view of the river and the dam and lock.
After we arrived and unpacked, we drove up to Buena Vista Park and Overlook. What beautiful views of the river and Minnesota. Then rode around Alma a bit. Being built on a small stretch of land between the Mississippi and a bluff there isn’t much room to spread out. Pioneers to the area weren’t evidently daunted by that, they just built up the side of the ridiculously steep hill.
For dinner, we tried Julie’s Fin and Feather Inn. The name doesn’t sound so appetizing, does it? Makes me think “pet store”. I imagine chickens being plucked and fish being gutted on the patio behind the restaurant. And these animals all have names like Cluckers and Speedy and Sid. That’s why we went with pizza.
After dinner, we drove to the lock and dam (lock and dam number 4 to be exact – there are 29 of them on the Mississippi between the Twin Cities and St. Louis and 11 of them are in Minnesota). We watched several small boats go through the lock, but no barges. I can’t believe that they move that much water – it has to be tens of thousands of gallons - for just any little boat that comes along.
Back at the house, the only excitement of the day occurred. Around nine, Himey went out on the deck to check the evening weather. I was about to follow him out when he came charging back in. “Bats.” Which was way more than he should have said because then I was all paranoid that bats would sneak in and get stuck in my hair.