Saturday, June 21, 2008

La Crosse

La Crosse, Wisconsin is a lovely town on the Upper Mississippi. Unlike the Lower Mississippi, much of the upper river is a series of pools created by a system of 29 locks and dams. Lake Onalaska is one of these pools. On the Wisconsin side, there is a nice trail out to the spillway.

On the Minnesota side is Lock & Dam #7. The locks and dams were built in the 1930s. The primary reason for damming the river is to facilitate barge transportation. The dams regulate water levels for the Upper River, and play a major part in regulating levels on the Lower Mississippi.

A 15-barge tow like this one can carry as much as 870 large semis or 225 rail cars. We were hoping to see one, but the river was closed south of here because of the flooding.

We did see a boat go through the lock. Yeah!

Next we went on a tour of City Brewery. We weren't allowed to take pictures on the tour, but here's the world's largest 6-pack.

And the stats. Let's see, how many ounces are in a can?
If the 6-pack holds 7,340,796 cans, one big can would hold 1,223,466 little cans.
With 12 ounces in a can, we get 14,681,592 ounces.

Whoops! They are off by 10,000 ounces. Only a CPA would actually do the math! I sent them an email about their error, but haven't received a response yet.

But the King of Beer gave me a toast.

The La Crosse Queen is an authentic paddlewheeler that offers tours.

The Julia Bell Swain is a reproduction of a late-1800s steamdriven paddlewheeler. It is prettier than the authentic one -- isn't that often the case...

All around town were beautifully painted herons. This one even had the King of Beer on it.


  1. I blew up the heron picture and it is really amazing! Somebody really went to a lot of effort on him. That's a lot of beer and even after you explained it, I still can't do the math!

  2. Hi Diana...
    Wow...I can't believe you're in Wisconsin birth state! I was born & raised a bit further north than LaCrosse, but my sister-in-law's family lives there!

    You sure aren't letting gas prices stop you from moving around!
    Betty in Alaska

  3. That's a lot of beer! River looked pretty normal there.


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