It’s easy to take for granted the wonders that surround us in our daily lives. In fact, it’s human nature. In the Coulee Region of Wisconsin, some of us stroll alongside the majestic Mississippi River on our way to work in the morning, or sit beside it on our lunch hours.
Meanwhile, vacationers see the Mississippi as a destination, an item on their bucket list, a must-see, an important thread in the fabric of American history.
|The Mississippi River in La Crosse, on a foggy morning. Photo by Charish Badzinski.|
But it turns out, if we are to truly appreciate the beauty around La Crosse, Wisconsin, we should be looking even beyond Old Man River. The Huffington Post recently took a poll on the Prettiest Drives in America. Among them: the Big Sur Coastal Drive, the Alaskan Highway and the legendary Hana Highway.
|Bluffs, coulees, the river…what’s not to love? Photo by Charish Badzinski.|
Wisconsin’s Great River Road trumped all of them, beating out the Hana Highway in the final round. Yes, THAT Hana Highway.
|La Crosse at sunrise, from Grandad Bluff, looking down the Great River Road,
which winds along the bluffs. Photo by Charish Badzinski.
What makes the Great River Road special? Anyone who lives here knows how beautiful it is, yet how many times do we go about our daily rush, forgetting to appreciate it? Perhaps it’s in our humble midwestern nature to look around ourselves and determine, sure, this is okay, but there are prettier places. Places that are bigger or more frequently visited, places with more gift shops or longer summers or spine-tingling drop offs.
Does it take a national poll for us to suddenly see with new eyes what was right here, all along? Maybe.
|A pull off on Wisconsin’s scenic Great River Road. Photo by Charish Badzinski.|
Thanks to HuffPo, the secret’s out: Wisconsin’s scenic vistas, the rolling bluffs, the dampened coulees, the quaint river towns, the charm that can’t be fabricated, can’t be bought, and can’t be sold. Oh, yes, and the Mighty Miss.
|Beauty. Photo by Charish Badzinski.|
Welcome, road trippers. And thank you, HuffPo, for reminding us how special our home really is.