Friday, November 8, 2013

The Three-Legged Trip: Part 3 - Maiden Rock

Maiden Rock

Saving the best for last, the third leg of our trip landed us in Maiden Rock, Wisconsin.  Maiden Rock is located along the Mississippi River between Red Wing and Lake City.

The area is very scenic, filled with rolling hills and rocky bluffs, and when I was a kid we often traveled through there on our family houseboat.  I'd always had a fascination for Maiden Rock, the tiny little town (pop. 119) with the famous Indian legend.

As the story goes, (and there are several variations) Princess Wenonah (Winona), the daughter of Chief Red Wing, had a lover who was killed by Dakota Indian warriors, a rival tribe of her father's.  She was supposed to marry some other guy, but instead, she jumped off the cliff of Maiden Rock and killed herself.  Very sad story for this nice little town.  (And I've never quite figured out if the young woman actually landed in the river because the supposed rock seems pretty far inland.)

Anyway, by the time we got to the third leg of our trip we were pretty road weary.  We can't say much about Maiden Rock, the town itself, because we really didn't go exploring. The Main Street runs parallel to a railroad track and farther beyond is the river.  There were a few bars, another inn and a community center.  There were also a few art galleries, but they were only open on the weekends.  We were told there was a bike path and a swimming hole, but we didn't feel much like doing anything because it was about 94 degrees and humid.  Instead, we spent a lot of time exploring the Maiden Rock Inn where we were staying, and that deserves its own blog post.  More on this later.

Harbor View Café

Restaurants in this area are limited, but again, whatever is available turns out to be well-known and excellent.  Just 13 miles away is Pepin, WI which has the very popular Harbor View Café.  We had eaten here a few times before and remembered that they serve really great gourmet food, so of course we figured we should probably dress up a bit.  But no, we were quite overdressed as we sat in the bar area in one of the booths with wooden seats and blue checkered tablecloths.  Oh well.

Pork Loin with Sour Cherry Sauce
(not gluten or dairy free)
The staff was very good with food allergies and they had a whole white-board menu with several gluten free and vegan options.  I ordered a tasty seafood chowder with succulent scallops, shrimp and oysters, but I had to ask about the side of rice —it was so rich I thought it was made with butter.  No butter. They used homemade chicken broth.  Amazing.

Seafood Chowder with a side of rice
In the other direction from Maiden Rock about 6 1/2 miles away is Stockholm, known for its art fairs, culture, and unique shops.  Just a few streets hold a variety of galleries, coffee shops, antique stores, artist designed clothing boutiques, and a kitchen store.  Stockholm is a great place to hang out for half a day.  We picked up lunch at the Bogus Café and took it back to the B&B because it was too hot to eat outside and they had no AC.  Bogus Café serves coffee, ice cream, and salads and sandwiches, and I had an excellent curried chicken fruit salad.

Stockholm, WI

Sunset over Lake Pepin

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