Day 13 – Cliffside Park. They weren’t lying.

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.

1 - Town Center

The town center was very picturesque, seemingly straight out of a movie about the south – complete with swinging door saloon!

1b - Town Center (Pano)

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.

2 - Effigy Mounds

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.

2a - Effigy Mounds

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.

2b - Effigy Mounds

After about a mile of mounds (and climbing up hill), we were rewarded with gorgeous views of the Mississippi River.

3 - View of River3b - View of RiverThe 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.

3a - View of River3c - View of River (PANO)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.

4 - Waterfront Warehouse

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!

5 - Lake MI

Next up was setting up camp.  We drove the half-hour north to Cliffside Park and checked in to our reservation.

6 - Campground

One of the few reservations we’ve actually had this trip, we found our site ready and waiting.

6a - Campground (Sign Post)

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.

6b - Campground (Area)6c - Campground SetupWe enjoyed a relaxing afternoon, with Ally continuing her ukulele practice in the sunshine.

7 - Ally with Uke

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.

8 - Hike8a - HikeAfter 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.

8c - Hike (Power Plant)

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.

8g - Hike (Ally)8d - Hike (PANO)

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.

9 - Dinner

9b - Dinner

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.

10 - Fire

Tomorrow we’ll make our way to Michigan!

McGreggor, IA to Racine, WI – 210 miles (3.5 hours)

-Ally and Patrick

One comment

  1. Looks like you guys are having a blast!! Couple of good podcasts: Mortified, 2 Dope Queens and Snap Judgement.

    Been busy with the house here. Kitchen demo is done and finalizing our cabinet order! Very exciting. Can’t wait to have you two over.
    Enjoy the rest of your trip. XO Steph

    Liked by 1 person

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