The use of the following materials will broaden you knowledge of the Mississippi and contribute to the enjoyment of your Road Trip. There is also a reading list at the end of the road trip description.
Much of the Road Trip described in this book follows the Great River Road through the four states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois. Automobile, biking, hiking and birding trails have been built upon its basic track. Maps can be accessed on line at email@example.com. Or you can contact the Mississippi River Parkway Commission, P.O. Box 59159, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55459-8257. Their telephone number is 763-212-2560.
One of the best descriptions of the social, cultural and historical attractions along this route is the series of travel books by Pat Middleton: Discover! America’s Great River Road. Check the website at http://www.greatriver.com or at a local bookstore. Volume 1 starts at St. Paul, Minnesota and covers the Road Trip from where the Chippewa flows into the Mississippi above Reads Landing to Dubuque, Iowa. Volume 2 covers the area from Dubuque down to Le Claire and the I-80 Bridge where the Refuges end.
The Audubon, Upper Mississippi River Campaign with its goal of building an international constituency for the protection of the upper 1,366 miles of the river, has produced a wonderful resource for river travelers: The Great River Birding trail with 15 sectional maps. Maps 5-9 cover the Upper Mississippi River Refuges and the route of the Road Trip between Red Wing, Minnesota and the Quad Cities in Iowa and Illinois. A Refuge checklist of birds is included in each section. Each map highlights special birding areas along that section of the river. These can be coordinated with the Road Trip maps.
The maps are available at visitor’s information centers around the region or from the Audubon – Upper Mississippi River Campaign, 1707 Main Street, Suite 105, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601. The office can be reached by phone (608/784-2992) or by E-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). The maps are free.
For those of you who want deep background, three recently published books will provide you with that knowledge. The first is Immortal River by Calvin Fremling ( University of Wisconsin Press). He has combined his love of hunting, fishing and boating on the Upper Mississippi with his biological research and lectures at Winona State University into an extremely readable description of this part of the Upper Mississippi. The second is The River We Have Wrought by John Anfinson ( University of Minnesota Press). It describes the history of the Army Corps of Engineers work on the Mississippi up through the building of the Lock and Dam system. He documents the social movements which supported the work on the River. The third is The Last River Rat by J. Scott Bestul, Kenny Salwey and Kay Salwey (Voyaguer Press). Something of a cult hero, the book describes how Kenny (and others like him) lived off the Mississippi River. A recent BBC production featuring Kenny Salwey is a remarkable testimony to the beauty and natural resources of the Upper Mississippi.
Brian C. Aldrich, Editor