Great days, magical days, are much too rare, but last Sunday I was lucky enough to have an unexpected one. My mom, sister, oldest niece, and I took off on a spur of the moment journey. My sister lives in Lanesboro, which is beautiful on its own, but we had never taken the time to explore the Mississippi River by going south into Iowa. It wasn't planned, but somewhere this seed of an idea occurred to me -- I think originally I was going to just take my mom antiquing in northeast Iowa for her birthday -- and somehow that evolved into this adventure. We headed east towards the Mississippi River from Lanesboro until we reached the Great River Road. We headed south and stumbled upon a few cute small towns, stopped at an amazing old Catholic church and cemetery in the middle of nowhere. We all fell in love with Lansing, a small town on the Mississippi River that sits under Blackhawk Bridge. There was an old, white house for sale that sat under the bridge and I so wanted to buy it (if I lived in a world where I could buy a home in every place I fell in love with, which of course I don't). We continued down the river and hiked at Effigy Mounds National Monument. We had dinner at a cute restaurant in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. It was a gorgeous, sunny, fun, summer day.
But the highlight, I think, was the beautiful sunset that occurred in perfect unison with the moonrise.
We were about to head back home from Prairie du Chien after the very full day, and planned to drive northwest for a direct, quick route back Lanesboro instead of meandering north along the river. But I made a comment (or was it my sister?) about wanting to go back through Lansing even though it was out of the way. It was getting late so I was surprised to hear a unanimous yes. Everyone was up for it so we headed north and drove around Lansing again. Earlier someone told us about a lookout with great views of the town and river but we didn't know how to get there. As we wandered up and down the streets looking at the old houses I spotted a stone gate that led to a park with a very steep road and thought that might be it. So we headed up... and up and up.
We timed it just right for the beautiful sunset and also watched the large, pink moon rise up over the river. We couldn't believe our luck. We would look to left and admire the pink sunset. Then we would look back to the right and watch the giant, glowing moon rise and reflect off the river.