A few months ago Maggie and I decided we needed to take a college tour roadtrip where we visit our college campuses and spend a little time in each town in order to show each other some of the landmarks referenced in the stories that have come up in the 13 months since we met each other. Both of us relished our college years as some of the best of our lives so far, so it made sense to visit the place of so many fond memories for each of us. We kicked around the idea during the summer, but at the recommendation of Maggie we decided that fall would be the best time to go, when students would be around and the fall colors are in full bloom. So on Saturday we set off for Northfield, MN, home of St. Olaf College and stop one on our Fall College Tour Road Trip.
We started with a drive through campus and then on to downtown Northfield for a delicious hot hoagie at Hogan Brothers. Then we headed back to campus for a walking tour guided by Maggie.
Maggie had told me how amazing St. Olaf looked in the fall, but I had to see for my self. I was amazed at how many brightly color trees (mostly large Maples) adorned the campus:
It was an absolutely GORGEOUS day to visit St. Olaf, we couldn’t have asked for better weather for mid-October!
Maggie took me on the grand tour of campus, showing me all of the buildings (most from the outside since students were on fall break and many were closed for the weekend) and dormitories she had lived in during her 4 years on campus. I was most impressed by the new science center which had some amazing views of Northfield. Also, the original campus building “Main Hall” was an impressive sight:
We concluded the day at St. Olaf with some Geocaching (a newfound hoby of ours) and Disc golf on the campus golf course. We found 4 geocaches in total, 2 on campus and 2 off campus in the city of Northfield. Disc golf was fun, even though it was tricky to find where to start each hole.
I’m pretty sure we missed hole #4, but we made up for it by playing #9 twice (once from each direction). The match was close with me winning by one stroke.
The afternoon ended with a visit to Dairy Queen in Cannon Falls and the continuation on to the road trip’s next location: La Crosse, WI. We arrived in La Crosse a couple hours later and checked into our hotel and then made our way to the infamous 3rd street for dinner and drinks at Buzzard Billy’s.
Sunday morning in La Crosse started with breakfast at Perkins where patrons witnessed a poor guy fall off his bike and spill his case of beer (freshly purchased at 11 a.m. Sunday morning) in the street and rip his pants wide open. Luckily someone came to his aid and helped him recover his beer (clearly the most important part of the outcome here).
The day continued with some geocaching at Riverside Park and then on the the UW-La Crosse campus tour, where we discovered that the football stadium was gone and a new one being built in it’s place. Also, we found that Reuter hall had changed just a bit from what I remembered:
The UW-La Crosse campus wasn’t nearly as picturesque today as St. Olaf, but there were some good sights on our tour such as the gazebo that was built while I attended UW-L which is a memorial to students and staff who lost their lives while at UW-La Crosse:
The day in La Crosse concluded with a visit to Grandad’s Bluff for a beautiful view of La Crosse and campus:
After taking in the views from Grandad’s Bluff we found a few more geocaches on the bluff and finished off the visit to La Crosse with deep fried cheese curds, beer and Packer football at the Alpine Inn. What a great way to complete the Wisconsin leg of the Fall College Tour Road Trip.
So after a great weekend in Northfield and La Crosse, we hit the road back to the Twin Cities, via the scenic drive on Hwy 61 between the bluffs and the Mississipi River through Winona, Wabasha and Red Wing. What a great weekend!
Check out these facebook photo albums from the weekend to view many more great pictures: