It was still too blazing hot to ride bikes or even hike on Memorial Day so we drove backroads from our lovely airbnb in Mount Horeb through southwest Wisconsin into Dubuque. We arrived in the pretty town of Mineral Point, WI just in time to catch the annual Memorial Day parade marching down High Street, which is lined with beautifully preserved old stone buildings. Classic Americana.
Mineral Point looked different from when I last visited (about 9 years ago) in part because we went to Cornwall, England last summer — Mineral Point claims to be the most Cornish town in the U.S. — and because the town seems to have spruced up and is now full of more galleries, vintage shops and newcomers (a new shopkeeper said the latest residents include people from Palm Springs, CA and South Africa). We ended up doing some shopping — at the new shopkeeper’s furniture/housegoods shop (The Board Shoppe) and at a Main Street store that sells “rescued home good from the early 1900s to the 1960s” (Retromantic Emporium).
We drove on to the Mississippi river town of Potosi, WI (the shopkeeper suggested) which has a popular National Brewery Museum that we didn’t visit but a lot of bikers did. The rest of the town looked pretty worn. We drove to a lowlying area/boat launch on the Mississippi that is famous for birding. It was very windy. Felt like we were almost in the river. From there we drove along the Great River Road briefly until crossing over the bridge to Dubuque where we picnicked at Eagle Point State Park — high on a bluff overlooking Dam and Lock #11. Very dramatic scenery and we couldn’t remember if we’d been there before. We also marveled at the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired park shelters — lots of cool old stone and wood buildings.