Tour 2015 – Day 33: Decorah to Winona

Trout Run Trail, Decorah

On Tuesday morning, we got on the trail early, stopping for breakfast at Java John’s Coffee downtown, then riding out past the fish hatchery to milepost 6, where the Trout Run Trail begins to climb more steeply, making a fast return through the city for a 25.6km ride.

Downhill is faster than uphill. This run of 25.7km/hr (16mph) raised the average speed to 17.4km/hr (11mph) for the 27.4km (16 mile) ride.

We left the campground after our ride and headed east to continue our tour of the Mississippi River Valley into Minnesota, where the nearly deserted two-lane scenic road turned into a 4-lane highway, US 61, connecting La Crosse, Wisconsin to Duluth, Minnesota, following the Mississippi to Minneapolis. We stopped at the Winona visitor center and were directed to the city campground, on Prairie Island. Unlike the well-groomed city tourist campground in Decorah, Prairie Island is a frequently-flooded riverfront camp with a fair complement of semi-permanent residents. Nevertheless, we had a pleasant evening, with the nearly-deserted tent camping area lit by a full moon.

Mississippi River, near the Iowa/Minnesota border.
Mississippi River, near the Iowa/Minnesota border.

Tour 2015 – Day 32: Madison to Decorah

DSCF0699Monday, we bid adieu to family and headed back toward Iowa.  We decided we needed a tour  of the Mississippi River on the way, so we drove to Dubuque, then north on the scenic route, including a stop at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lock and Dam #10 to watch barges pass through the locks on the way upstream to be reloaded.

DSCF0698Arriving at Decorah, we grabbed lunch and then scouted out the city campground, which was conveniently located on a spur trail near the famous Trout Run Trail that we came to ride.

DSCF0697We decided that early  morning would be better, when we were fresh, and turned in early, our first tent camping adventure since August 2013.