Across the Mississippi

In the morning the mosquitos were a little bit less bad, but still made their presence felt. I spent some time cleaning my bike anyway, as a lot of the oil from the chain had accumulated on my exhaust and was generating unpleasant burning odors noticeable whenever I stopped. Then we had some coffee, packed up, and headed off.

As I mentioned yesterday, Taliesin, the longtime residence of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, was in the area, and we dropped by to see if we could see it. Unfortunately, you could only see it via tour, and the tours that didn’t involve us losing a day were sold out. We would have been curious to see Taliesin, but if we were that much Frank Lloyd Wright fans we would have made reservations in advance – as, apparently, most people did.


Frank Lloyd Wright trash container.



Undeterred, we headed on the the so-called “House on the Rock”, which was a kind of Frank Lloyd Wright acid dream. Built by an otherwise undistinguished man known as Alex Jordan during the early and mid 1900s, this place consisted of Japanese gardens surrounding a sprawling residence alternating between winding, cavelike spaces and broad panels of windows looking out on the verdant Wisconsin scenery. A combination of genius and madness if we ever saw one.





Then after a McDonald’s / internet stop we got down to motorcycling. Along the Wisconsin river and then up the Mississippi to La Crosse, then over to the Minnesota side for further travel up until we reached (another) Highway 60 that would take us west across the state. Here however daylight was starting to fail us, and we stopped and camped in Kruger state recreation area. It was slightly less buggy than the night before.

Another thing we noticed was different was the smell of the night. The aroma of the evening air is surely one of the most distinctive features about a place. In the Finger Lakes where we live it is a kind of blend of woody and flowery scents, almost intoxicating on some summer nights. In northern New England the pines take over, while going west the smell remains woody with increasing hints of grass. Now here in the Minnesota evening it is nearly all grass, and that as much as anything is telling us of what is to come..


206 miles.

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One Response to Across the Mississippi

  1. J.B. Robert says:

    Had you mentioned you wanted to see Taliesin I would have warned you about reservations. Toured Fallingwater once. Bobby Knight was in our group. Been to House on the Rock a few times. Fascinating place. Recognized it immediately from P’s picture.

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