"Mississippi Crossing at La Crosse" Top 5 Page for this destination La Crosse by yooperprof

La Crosse Travel Guide: 51 reviews and 45 photos

Life on the Mississippi

As the Mississippi saunters its way southward to the Gulf of Mexico from the northwoods of Minnesota, there are places where it broadens out into wide basins that resemble lakes. How much of this is due to the Army Corps of Engineers, and how much to the Mississippi's own lassitude, I can't say.

Mark Twain passed through here in 1878, as he was undertaking the riverboat journey that he transformed into "Life on the Mississippi." There's some wonderful writing in it. I recommend it if you are planning to spend anytime along the Big River.

"We added several passengers to our list at La Crosse; among others an old gentlemen who had come to this northwestern region with the early settlers, and was familiar with every part of it. Pardonably proud of it, too. He said, 'You'll find scenery between here and St. Paul that can give the Hudson points. You'll have the Queen's Bluff - seven hundred feet high, and just as imposing a spectacle as you can find anywheres; and Trempeleau Island, which isn't like any other island in America, I believe, for it is a gigantic mountain, with precipitous sides, and is full of Indian traditions, and used to be full of rattlesnakes; if you catch the sun just right there, you will have a picture that will stay with you. And above Winona you'll have lovely prairies; and then come to the Thousand Islands, too beautiful for anything; green? why you never saw foliage so green, nor packed so thick; it's like a thousand plush cushions afloat on a looking glass. . ."

  • Last visit to La Crosse: Aug 1998
  • Intro Updated Feb 9, 2004
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Reviews (8)

Comments (5)

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo
    Jun 21, 2007 at 2:43 PM

    Love the old Victorian houses. Great quote about the Mississippi River.

  • zrim's Profile Photo
    Oct 26, 2005 at 7:00 PM

    Great old victorians, but no tip on the world's largest six-pack?

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2005 at 9:18 PM

    What great pages, Chet...all the elements I love. Architecture; quotes from great authors, quaint places to eat, and intelligent, enticing introduction.

  • EllenH's Profile Photo
    Jul 26, 2004 at 4:59 PM

    "mosquito island " and the big six pack! nice memeories. It was really called "goose island state park"

  • JetlagCity's Profile Photo
    Jul 26, 2004 at 4:47 PM

    How very nice to see LaCrosse represented here on VT! I spent one semester here in college many moons ago!

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