THE BRISK MARCH AFTERNOON WIND did not lend itself to standing atop a bluff. So I thought. I pulled on my hand-knit stocking cap, buttoned my wool coat, wrapped a plaid scarf around my neck and tucked my hands inside gloves. I was ready to face the fierce winter wind of Wisconsin.
But I needn’t have concerned myself about the cold. Exiting the van in Grandad Bluff Park, I found the air still, no brutal wind slapping my skin as it had along the Mississippi River in downtown La Crosse. We—my husband, second daughter and her husband—were all surprised. We expected uncomfortable temps that would send us scurrying back to the van shortly. Rather, we found this spot 600 feet above the city to be calm. How could that be? I still have not figured it out.
The city’s landmark Grandad Bluff—the highest bluff in the La Crosse area with views of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa—teemed with visitors.
A haze hung over the distant landscape as I surveyed the scene of gridded streets, buildings exposed by naked trees, slips of water tracing through the land, distant river valley bluffs rising.
It took me awhile to assimilate, to edge near the solid fencing overlooking the city. I am a flatlander, an embracer of prairie and horizontal lines, not at all a fan of heights.
But with my camera for comfort, I could view the scene far below. For awhile.
FYI: This concludes my six-part “From La Crosse” series.
Click here to view a story and photos from an October 2015 visit to Grandad Bluff. Autumn is an absolutely beautiful time to view the river valley from this scenic overlook.
© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling