West 2021:
Day 24 - Trempealeau, WI


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West 2021: [Day 1 - OakdaleI] [Day 2 - Fargo] [Day 3 - Beaver Lake] [Day 4 - Bismarck] [Day 5 - Little Missouri] [Day 6 - Miles City] [Day 7 - Billings] [Day 8 - Missoula] [Day 9 - Steamboat Rock] [Day 10 - Bay View] [Day 11 - Seattle] [Day 12 - Seattle] [Day 13 - Seattle] [Day 14 - Millersvania] [Day 15 - Yakima River Canyon] [Day 16 - Farewell Bend] [Day 17 - Bruneau Dunes] [Day 18 - Craters of the Moon] [Day 19 - Grand Tetons] [Day 20 - Buffalo Bill] [Day 21 - Buffalo] [Day 22 - Badlands] [Day 23 - Jordan] [Day 24 - Trempealeau] [Day 25 - Heading Home]

Wednesday, May 26, 2021: Being just south of the Twin Cities, we got to sleep in and take our time leaving.
We were on the road by 9:00 AM and soon were passing Debbie's old work building in Bloomington.
We crossed the Minnesota River again.
We passed a building we hadn't seen before, but it had the familiar Minnesota Vikings logo on the side.
Our first stop of the day was Newport Cemetery.
As we got out to start looking around, we spotted a turkey at the edge of the cemetery.
We split up to cover more ground, as we always do.
It took less than 15 minutes for Debbie to find the people we were here for, ...
... Kim and her husband, Dale. Kim was a girl with cerebral palsy who Debbie's mother, Irene, was friends with many decades ago. After Irene's death, we didn't know what had happened to Kim, but Debbie had found some clues in her father's belongings after he died and was able to learn that she later married and eventually passed away. Both she and her husband are buried here.
On our way out of Newport, we passed a Carbone's Pizzeria.
There's the Bank with the One at the Top!
We drove into St. Paul and stopped at Scott's Wine and Spirits on St. Clair Avenue, where we picked up six-packs of four different flavors of Schilling Cider. We were surprised that it is available this far east of Seattle, but the website told us it would be here and it was.
Across the street was a Lucy statue from 2002 that we hadn't seen before.
Then, it was off to Snelling to wave at Macalester College, ..
... and a stop at our favorite pizza place on the planet, Carbone's on Randolph.
We sat in the same booth where we had sat 22 days earlier at the start of the trip.
We love this place so much.
Here's the obligatory picture of the Carbone's Special.
We cleared out our freezer so we'd have space for the three frozen Carbone's Specials we ordered the day before.
We asked for official pizza bags for them too.
We headed out of town and got a nice perspective on downtown St. Paul. The cathedral dominates the left side of this picture but if you look closely, the capitol building is peeking out at the very far left.
We passed another Carbone's Pizzaria in Hastings, ...
... where the local high school was also participating in the creepy new tradition of posting senior photos on the fence. At least one photo had already been removed for unknown reasons.
We were in Hastings to see Frank Lloyd Wright's Fasbender Clinic.
It was built in 1959 and has since been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It now holds a financial planning business and is in the process of having its roof repaired.
Today, we chose to drive the Minnesota side of the Great River Road.
You know all those rental RVs with the pictures of pretty places in the US? Apparently, you can rent one of those right here in Hastings!
We drove past the St. James Hotel in Red Wing where we had stayed in 2019.
As always, we looked for eagles and Tom spotted one flying overhead.
We stopped at the rest area in Lake City, which we were delighted to learn allows overnight stops. Noted for future runs up to the Twin Cities in our litle RV!
Speading of little RVs, there was one right by the road as we headed into Lake City. And look at that adorable paddlewheel birdhouse!
There's beautiful Lake Pepin, which is really just a very wide part of the Mississippi River.
We stopped at the going-to-Grandma's Dairy Queen in Lake City. Grandma Schilling is long gone, but we will always stop here even if we aren't going to Grandma's anymore.
At Winona, ...
... we crossed the Mississippi River and were welcomed back to Wisconsin, ...
... where we turned onto the Wisconsin side of the Great River Road.
We entered the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, ...
... then the Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge.
When we got to the town of Trempealeau, we turned down the alley to Debbie's aunt Carol's house, and busted out laughing when we saw her uncle Mark in the alley, ready to direct traffic into the parking lot.
It was a single-spot parking lot, but we appreciated his assistance.
Carol's yard was filled with many beautiful blooming plants.
We stopped at Carol's just for a few minutes, then hopped into Carol's car with Mark at the wheel for a tour of Galesville.
Our first point of interest was the factory building that Debbie's grandfather, L. John, had built for his company, Schilling Electric Co., a major Galesville employer back in the 1940s-1960s.
There's the entrance, which is relevant only if you've seen a hundred pictures of this factory like Debbie and Tom have.
Around the corner is the entrance to what used to be Schilling Industries Inc., which was L. John's next company after he left Schilling Electric.
Next, we headed to the Gale College Historic District, commemorated by this historical marker. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
This building is Old Main, and was one of the buildings that made up Gale College, which closed in 1939. This is where Debbie's grandparents met in 1933 while they were both students here.
Here's how it looked back then.
The college was founded by George Gale (1816-1868), who also founded the town itself. He is immortalized in a sculpture by Elmer Peterson, the man who created the World's Largest Buffalo sculpture we had seen three weeks ago.
This building was the Ladies Hall back in L. John and Alette's day.
The exterior hasn't changed a whole lot since then.
Behind Old Main is a small cemetery where George Gale is buried along with his family. The huge evergreens around the cemetery ...
... were less than six feet tall back in 1934.
The gate and fence look exactly as they did in the old photos we have of Gale College, ...
... but it was significantly less shady back then.
... except that they're now covered with spider webs for a spooky effect.
Here's George Gale's monument, ...
... and his wife's name is engraved on the other side.
Two more headstones are inside the fence. The engraving on this one was partially visible: Father George Gale. According to the Internet, this belongs to George's son George (1845-1937).
This one couldn't be read, but it belongs to a third George Gale (1907-1928). Since the second George is noted as "Father" and the third George Gale is noted as "Brother," these stones must have been placed by the second George's son, William.
After Gale College was closed, it was purchased and renamed Marynook. This building was added in 1963.
Our next stop was the large house where Debbie's father, Bob, and his seven siblings lived when they were growing up in Galesville.
L. John added on to it over the years, and since selling it in the late 1960s, it has been turned into multi-family housing.
Debbie has lots of vintage pictures of this house but no memories of being inside, unfortunately.
We said goodbye to the big white house ...
... and headed off to Zion Lutheran Church next. This big back yard was the site of two extended family portraits (in 1976 and 1986), ...
... plus several weddings and funerals that Debbie remembers.
This historical marker notes that the Ridge Avenue Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
Here's one of the beautiful homes in the area, ...
... and here's another. Mark and Carol knew the histories of many of the homes, having grown up here.
We drove down 4th Street, ...
... along the shore of Marinuka Lake.
This snowmobile crossing sign has taken a beating over the years and it missing some of its outline. And why is that helmet hovering so far up?
We drove past Arctic Springs Supper Club ...
... and got out to see the sights, including the Trout Club ponds.
Chief Decora's grave is here but sadly, the headstone had toppled over.
The nearby pond was home to ...
... a large Canadian Geese family. Look at those adorable goslings.
Inside a nearby shelter was a sign for the Galesville Volunteer Trout Club. One or two of the names were familiar to Carol and Mark.
We headed back to the car ...
... and on to the road, where this gigantic rolling farm equipment was headed our way down a narrow road. After having an entire house come down the road at us the day before, we weren't as impressed as we should have been.
After going around the lake, we returned to Galesville proper, which welcomed us.
Here's the Galesville high school, where Bob and his siblings attended.
We headed to Pine Cliff Cemetery, up the steep road.
We parked and walked the rest of the way to the back corner where the oldest monuments are.
Here's 28-year-old William Bidwell's resting place, who died in 1870.
E. H. Bidwell's wife Leonora died in 1881 at the age of 22.
Chester Bidwell's wife, Eliza Adams, died in 1899 at the age of 93, so not everyone died young back then. Chester, on the right, didn't last quite so long, dying in 1860.
We walked to the highest point in the cemetery ...
... where the French family had a very large area all to themselves.
The views from up here were beautiful. There's downtown Galesville, ...
... and let's zoom in on the building that was the original site of Schilling Electric Co. It overlooks Beaver Creek.
Looking further north, there's a nice view of Marinuka Lake.
We haeded back down the hill ...
... to the portion of the cemetery that lies on the lower level, even with downtown.
Carol's lifelong friend Rhonda's parents are buried here.
With all the headstones facing one direction on a gently sloping hill, it would be very easy to find any grave you might be looking for here.
This monument carved like a log was very unique.
There's a peek at Beaver Creek. High Cliff Park runs along it but it was closed.
We drove past Galesville's town square and looked at all of the vintage buildings.
They're in beautiful condition.
There's the Garden of Eatin', which is a cafe named after the town's nickname of the Garden of Eden.
Here are Mike's and Tom's.
There's the Phoneco building. It houses a vintage phone equipment sales company, but it is used to be Schilling Electric Co. and the construction was overseen by L. John himself over several expansions of the company.
We had been fortunate to be able to see inside when we toured Phoneco in 2008.
Here's a sculpture of Reverend D. O. Slyke, who decided that Galesville was the location of the Garden of Eden and wrote a booklet explaining why. This was also sculpted by Elmer Peterson, who created the George Gale, World's Largest Buffalo, and two Gambrinus sculptures featured elsewhere on this site.
Here's a cute bike rack.
We drove down to the lower level and got out to see where the Swinging Bridge used to be.
It was a suspension bridge that was taken out by a flood in 2017. You can see a twisted piece of metal here that gives you an idea of how powerful the water flow must have been to break the bridge loose.
Across Beaver Creek, the other side of the bridge support is still visible.
A few hundred yards away is Beaver Builders Supply Company, where Debbie's dad worked when he was in high school.
Here's a closed but still beautiful service station building.
There's the Little League park where Debbie's father and uncles used to play.
Here's the canning factory where some of them worked.
This treacherous road was known as Lovers Lane.
Here's the space-age sign of the Sonic Motel, ...
... which is next door to Wason's Supper Club, a place often mentioned in Debbie's grandparents' memoirs and newsletters.
It was our first visit here.
Cheers!
Mark ordered delicious cheese curds as a starter then we were too busy eating entrees of pasta or fried shrimp with sides of applesauce or coleslaw to take any pictures.
Meanwhile, cousin Heather was in Trempealeau and drove past Carol's house to see our rig, then texted Debbie the picture she took.
When we returned to Trempealeau, we went to Vet's Bar & Lounge.
Yes, that's a KISS pinball machine in the corner.
The bathroom had a paper towel dispenser that was voice activated. Or was it?
A good time was had by all ...
... and several Spotted Cows were consumed.
Tom demonstrates his confusion upon hearing that someone accidentally drove into this window after leaving the bank across the street.
Apparently, Trempealeau is a bird city.
Back at Carol's house, she showed us one of her cool birthday presents from Mark, ...
... a series of vintage coins that added up to the number of years old she was.
It had been her birthday two days earlier, so she put out a platter of goodies she had received as a birthday gift, then opened her card and gifts from us.
We had a great time hanging out and having another drink.
Then we said our goodbyes and headed to our RV for the night. There's the view of the alley from our bedroom window.

Day 25 >


West 2021: [Day 1 - OakdaleI] [Day 2 - Fargo] [Day 3 - Beaver Lake] [Day 4 - Bismarck] [Day 5 - Little Missouri] [Day 6 - Miles City] [Day 7 - Billings] [Day 8 - Missoula] [Day 9 - Steamboat Rock] [Day 10 - Bay View] [Day 11 - Seattle] [Day 12 - Seattle] [Day 13 - Seattle] [Day 14 - Millersvania] [Day 15 - Yakima River Canyon] [Day 16 - Farewell Bend] [Day 17 - Bruneau Dunes] [Day 18 - Craters of the Moon] [Day 19 - Grand Tetons] [Day 20 - Buffalo Bill] [Day 21 - Buffalo] [Day 22 - Badlands] [Day 23 - Jordan] [Day 24 - Trempealeau] [Day 25 - Heading Home]

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