Yesterday was a very full day for a bunch of oldsters. We biked into Decorah along a lovely paved trail. Once downtown, we wandered the main street a little and then visited the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum. This great place includes four floors of artifacts and stories about the second largest group of immigrants (next to the Irish) in the 1800s to this country. Both of my great -grandparents Hermanson were part of this group. The ship shown was sailed to the US in 1933 by a pair of Norwegian brothers.
Beautiful woodworking, silver, and needlework are emphasized, including a special exhibit right now on the renowned Norwegian sweaters. After all, those folks had to have something to occupy themselves during the winters. The carving on the furniture pieces and the rosemaling are exquisite.
After a quick visit to a great knitting shop at my request, we biked back to the campground for lunch. This campground is named for the nearby Pulpit Rock, which we can see from our campsite. So we decided a visit was in order. But when you bike to the base of this bluff, the rock is obscured by the trees so we climbed the trail "a ways" to get a better view. But that necessitates going all the way up: slopes mined with loose rock and narrow stone steps between limestone walls with crevices that look perfect for snakes. Being a little afraid of heights, I opted to guard the last set of stairs from marauding invaders while Butch and Harriet went on up. Obviously, I did not take this picture.
We chose to use the truck for our next explorations. First to the south side of Decorah and the fish hatchery. This spot has an added attraction--the nest that has been the site the last several years of the Decorah Eagle Cam. The nest fell a short while ago and the DNR just got it back up last week and are hoping the eagles will return to it. Then we drove through town to Dunning's Springs and a 200-ft waterfall. Photo ops were somewhat limited because the high school volleyball teams were there for team pictures.
Finally, we braved the roadwork on Highway 52 for a trip down memory lane to the tiny town of Bluffton. For over twenty years we were part of a canoe float from Kendallville to Bluffton on the Upper Iowa River, camping behind the Bluffton store. The first year we did this (early 70s), campsites were only $1 because they were shared with the cows in the pasture. That was in our tenting days. The only disappointment was that the bluffs have become quite over grown with trees, as evidenced in the photos below. They need a haircut.
Some random thoughts about writing, camping, and eating.