Getting Away

Nicole Rogers

Getting Away

4 mins
September 28, 2020

This week, Travis and I traversed the beautiful rustic roads of Wisconsin to enjoy the brilliant autumn colors. Our favorite destiny for such a reflective drive is the bluffs and valleys of La Crosse. My parents grew up in the hills of Cashton and Sparta and, even though I have never lived in that area, it feels like home. 

That home sweet home feeling might have to do with my Norwegian/Swedish heritage or the many fond memories of visiting my grandparents and cousins in the Coulee area. We took a long way to La Crosse following 35 South and hitting many quaint little towns. Those tiny towns hugging the Mississippi such as Maiden Rock, Pepin and Alma, to name a few, were bright and colorful and chock full of personality. We arrived at our destination and sat on a park bench overlooking the Mississippi River and watched the sky turn soft orange and yellow as the day drifted peacefully away. I thought to myself… I am so blessed.

It felt so refreshing to just get away for a day. 

Another nice reprieve from the same old-same old happened at another beautiful spot on Saturday. I met some wonderful old school friends at Munson Bridge. Last weekend was supposed to be our class reunion so one of my friends had already booked a trip back to Wisconsin. Since we wanted to be COVID-considerate, we made it an intimate gathering of four, sitting outside and enjoying the awesome Munson Bridge surroundings. 

Ahhhh, there is nothing like getting together with old friends! We all played sports and band together at O-W HS and shared some pretty crazy non-curricular activities as well. We laughed about old times and shared memories that we all kept dear to us over these many years. Even though we took different paths in life, and there has been much time and distance between most of us, there was no awkward silences, wondering what to say; it was like no time had passed and we were back in school. Good friends are like that, aren’t they? The kind that you just know will always be there and have your back no matter what. They are to be cherished, and I sure do. 

Travis and I rounded off the weekend with another very short excursion to soak in the autumn colors and calm the nerves. This time, we invited our labradoodle Audrey along with us to enjoy nature at Sportsman’s Lake north of Owen. We like to take Audrey down by the boat landing which is far enough off the road that we can let her run free. The lake is shallow and full of stumps, but it is serene and, like all bodies of water, evokes endorphins which brighten the soul. 

A serene view of Sportsman's Lake north of Owen. (Photo by Nicole Rogers)

Audrey was full of happy energy, as well. The first thing Audrey did was sniff and munch on all the new and interesting varieties of grass. I soon found a sturdy stick and we had a rousing session of go fetch. The old gal soon tired of running around like a maniac and was ready to load up and head back home. [So, was Audrey. ~Travis] Dog and owners returned refreshed and ready to face another week. 

I noticed many people posting pictures of the beautiful autumn colors in our area. One place we would have yet to visit is Tim’s Hill in Taylor County. I am told there is a watch tower that provides a perfect bird’s eye view of a menagerie of breath-taking fall colors of which we need to explore. 

Keep on the sunny side everyone, until next time.

This article was orginally reported by
Nicole Rogers

Nicole Rogers, lives in Owen, WI, and is the co-editor for the Sentinel & Rural News.