Quaint Mississippi River Road Towns
ARVY, our RV motor home, had not been driven in well over a month, the gas in its tank was getting old, and we needed to mix some fuel additive + gas stabilizer into the fuel mix for the winter. Having noticed that Eagles Landing Winery was having a free wine tasting event so we decided to take a trip on the first Sunday in November to McGregor and Marquette Iowa to give our motor home the needed exercise and visit the Winery plus take in a late fall hike at Effigy Mounds National Park.
When we arrived in Marquette, despite the Packers being on TV, we found we weren’t the only ones having the idea to visit the Winery retail shop in downtown Marquette. There were several people tasting and picking out bottles of wine when we arrived and a short time later a whole bunch of other people came in. Almost standing room only. After tasting four or five different wines, Jo and I found three varieties we liked: Check out Eagles Landing website at www.eagleslandingwinery.com
The Eagles Landing event was part of the annual fall tour of the Iowa Wine Trail – IowaWineTrail.com. Of the 9 vineyards and wineries, only the Marquette and Clinton operations are on the Mississippi River Road. However, Eagles Landing is also part of the Great River Road Wine Trail and in this case almost all of the nine winery members of this Wine Trail are on the Mississippi River, stretching from Marquette north to Red Wing, Minnesota.
When we are in the Prairie Du Chien – Marquette area, we always cruise down main street McGregor to see what’s new. And we discovered the old Uncle Sam’s Saloon, which has been used as part of the set for McGregor’s annual summer street play – The Hole in the Wall Gang – was now actually open for business to the general public and was serving meals. So we decided to do a restaurant review of their fare. Jo had their grilled chicken breast sandwich with fries and it was a hit. Served steaming hot and a large portion, she found it one of the better chicken sandwiches she’s had in a few years. I had their hot beef sandwich with potatoes and gravy. Not my usual choice but I had a chill and the idea of a hot, comfort found sounded good. Like Jo’s meal it was served hot with lots of potatoes and lots of gravy over both the sandwiches and the potatoes. Due to the gravy, the only way to eat the sandwiches was with a fork. The beef was tender and a knife wasn’t needed to slice the sandwiches into bite sized pieces. Looked good and felt good going down. In addition to the good food, the atmosphere is funky. The look is accurate to an old time wild west saloon, including genuine old planks for the flooring that looked as if they endured footsteps for over a hundred years. Price and service decent too.
We never made it to Effigy Mounds. Turned out as the day wore on I wasn’t recovering as expected from my session on Saturday felling trees and cutting firewood. So we took a pass on the Effigy Mounds trip. Too bad because I always enjoy the visit, no matter what the season. In late fall and winter you can always see much more of the woods and the views of the river because the leaves are off the trees. The hiking trails winding through the mounds and to the various scenic overlooks are well covered with wood mulch so they are gentle on my bad knees which is one reason why this is one of my favorite day hiking destinations. I’d normally say I’d be back to Effigy Mounds in winter to do some snowshoeing but in a week I’ll be having the first of two knee replacement operations so I may not get out on the hiking trails until spring.
Happy Trails, Roscoe