Thanks to a solid staking job, the overnight winds did nb ot cause a problem. The walls of the tent did not flap at all and our sleeping bags kept us plenty warm! We packed up and headed to downtown McGreggor for a coffee.
The town center was very picturesque, seemingly straight out of a movie about the south – complete with swinging door saloon!
Next, we stopped at a random National Monument that we had passed the day before. This place, “Effigy Mounds National Monument,” protects mysterious earthen mounds that are at least 1,500 years old.
We checked out the Visitor’s Center, learned a bit about the prehistoric, “pre”-Native American cultures that created the mounds, and then set out on a short 2-mile hike.
The “mounds” were quite confusing to us because they were very non-descript. (Leading theories are that these mounds are ancient burial grounds for the Native American ancestors, the Woodland Culture.) If the trail and signs were not there, we would have been unable to distinguish a “mound” from the surrounding terrain.
After about a mile of mounds (and climbing up hill), we were rewarded with gorgeous views of the Mississippi River.
The strange mounds notwithstanding, this was an excellent way to start our day. Getting a few miles in before hours of driving ended up being a great decision.
Back at Bullseye, we crossed over into Wisconsin and drove towards Kenosha. Although our campground is in Racine, Patrick’s cousin used to live in Kenosha (and actually just moved to Georgia, about a month ago) and had recommended a particular restaurant for beers and lunch.
After the delicious lunch stop, we made our way the half mile down the street and checked out the shore of Lake Michigan. So blue!
Next up was setting up camp. We drove the half-hour north to Cliffside Park and checked in to our reservation.
One of the few reservations we’ve actually had this trip, we found our site ready and waiting.
For a municipal park, this campground was beautiful. Very spacious, well-manicured sites, and just overall very clean. Lots of fifth-wheels and other large campers, but Turtle held his own.
We enjoyed a relaxing afternoon, with Ally continuing her ukulele practice in the sunshine.
As the sun started to set, we decided to explore the park and find its namesake cliffs. A trail through some lovely meadows lead us to the coast.
After the fields, the trail quickly became much narrower and followed the edge of a cliff overlooking Lake Michigan. Right up the coast was a power plant that looked like a picture against the setting sun.
We hung out there for a little bit, taking in the scene, commenting on the super blue water, and enjoying the waves lapping at the shore below.
We made our way back to camp before completely running out of sunlight and began cooking up dinner. Tonight’s sides included grilled broccoli and sweet potatoes.
While Ally was grilling, Patrick was busy splitting logs for a fire. After dinner, we set up our chairs and put the meticulously sorted wood to use. The fire smoldered until about midnight and then we were off to bed.
Tomorrow we’ll make our way to Michigan!
McGreggor, IA to Racine, WI – 210 miles (3.5 hours)
-Ally and Patrick