I ALMOST DIDN’T DESCEND the stairs to Cascade Falls in Osceola, an historic community of some 2,600 located along the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway in Polk County, Wisconsin, just an hour from the Twin Cities.
Peering over the edge at the labyrinth stairway to the falls, I hesitated. First, my fear of heights caused me to pause until I realized the stairs simply hugged the side of the Osceola Creek gorge. Then concern about ascending the 156 steps kicked in. In the end, down I went.
And it was worth the laborious climb back up to listen to the rush of water over rock, to stand mesmerized by the falls, to imagine the history this place holds of mill and brewery. The falls were the reason this river town was founded in 1844.
To find a waterfalls in the heart of a downtown, along a state highway (35) is a bit of a surprise. I expect if my husband and I had explored more of this downtown, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, we would have discovered more surprises.
However, after delighting in the waterfall, photographing a folk art version of Seminole Chief Osceola after whom the town is named, and perusing the cavernous Osceola Antiques, we headed to the next river town.
What now, I wonder, was our hurry on that Wednesday afternoon?
© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling