It was a beautiful autumn day so, after taking care of my parents' dog, I headed off toward the Mississippi River Valley to find some seasonal colors. The landscape starts out pretty flat. As you get closer to the Mississippi River, flat gives way to rolling hills and then, abruptly, drops through the breathtaking bluffs. The first couple of photos were taken from a pull-off along the descent.
Not only steep, the roads are very curvy. Visibility is a bit of an issue, but the ride is breathtakingly beautiful at any time of year.
Here you can see the elevation drop. The river has carved out this valley over millennia, leaving the area in its current configuration. I imagine the first people in the area were surprised when the plain they were crossing abruptly dropped away.
I tend to follow roads like this one, when possible. The black top is easier on tires and offers a smooth ride, but you never know what you'll come across on a road like this. Some of the more spectacular photos of agricultural life can be found along their dusty paths.
A quick stop in the little town of Alma, Wisconsin gives a great view of the area. The fourth lock and dam along the Mississippi is found here. A park atop the bluff overlooking town offers a great place to watch barges pass through, as well as take a few photos like the one above.
Heading home, I had to stop for a few more photos of the fields. It's very much harvest time. This corn is definitely ready to pick! It's also the time of year where one has to be ready to wait for farm equipment on the more rural roads. A huge corn harvester travelling in the opposite direction nearly ran me off the road, and you do not want to hit one of those toothed beasts!
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