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Surprising spots ya, maybe, never heard of in Wisconsin

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Surprising spots ya, maybe, never heard of in Wisconsin

Postby Mad Howler » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:56 pm

Yesterday I rolled through a town named Rockbridge in Richland county. It had an amazing geological feature and history that is worth checking out. Anyone else have any jewels they could recommend visiting?
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Re: Surprising spots ya never heard of in Wisconsin

Postby Detritus » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:58 pm

Mad Howler wrote:Yesterday I rolled through a town named Rockbridge in Richland county. It had an amazing geological feature and history that is worth checking out. Anyone else have any jewels they could recommend visiting?

Just the ones I got from my family.

Tell me you didn't see that one coming.
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Re: Surprising spots ya never heard of in Wisconsin

Postby Mad Howler » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:00 pm

Detritus wrote:
Mad Howler wrote:Yesterday I rolled through a town named Rockbridge in Richland county. It had an amazing geological feature and history that is worth checking out. Anyone else have any jewels they could recommend visiting?

Just the ones I got from my family.

Tell me you didn't see that one coming.


1) you are fast (bot?)
2) too juvenile to occur to me
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Re: Surprising spots ya, maybe, never heard of in Wisconsin

Postby bdog » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:04 pm

Mad Howler wrote:Anyone else have any jewels they could recommend visiting?

Your mind dude (or lack thereof). Seriously, look into meditation. It will be far more amazing than any geological features you will ever run across.
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Re: Surprising spots ya, maybe, never heard of in Wisconsin

Postby fennel » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:14 pm

What is a mind dude? Similar to a space dude?
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Re: Surprising spots ya, maybe, never heard of in Wisconsin

Postby Mad Howler » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:53 pm

I actually saw something unexpectedly interesting yesterday and passed it along to you all with the hope that some folks here might have other insights. I drove 5000 mi round trip to a wedding this summer and saw loads of interesting things along the way. I have have been presented with opportunities to move out of this state over time and have stayed. Why? Family and place, there is something very special to me about our state.
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Re: Surprising spots ya, maybe, never heard of in Wisconsin

Postby kurt_w » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:17 am

Wisconsin doesn't have a lot of grand spectacle, but there are some interesting corners hidden away here and there.

The Brule River post-glacial spillway is kind of neat. During the deglaciation around 11,000 years ago, when the eastern half of the Lake Superior basin was still filled with ice, the western half of the lake (proglacial "Lake Duluth") drained into the Mississippi River, instead of eastward into the St Lawrence system as it does now. This carved a deep but narrow channel at the height of land between the Brule River and the headwaters of the St Croix River.

It's not easy to get a clear impression of the whole thing from any one point on the landscape -- you kind of have to drive around and explore a bit, or maybe put in a canoe.

The spillway shows up nicely on Google maps here. If you follow the Brule River northward, you'll notice a distinct change in the shape of the river channel as it exits the spillway somewhere around County Road B, and enters what was former lakebed from Lake Duluth. The lakebed is very flat red-clay soil, easily eroded by the river, and you get this very sinuous river winding its way to Lake Superior.

From the spillway down to Lake Superior, the Bois Brule is one of the best canoe trips in the Upper Midwest. There's a lot of variety, with some easy flatwater at the start and end, and some challenging stuff in between.
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Re: Surprising spots ya, maybe, never heard of in Wisconsin

Postby kurt_w » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:30 am

For anyone who likes to drive around Wisconsin, I'd recommend picking up a copy of the Cultural Map of Wisconsin, published by UW Press and designed by David Woodward and others at the UW Geography Department. It's a work of art as much as a map. Even without all the handy information about the state's geography, history, and cultural sites, it would still be a cartographic treat for the eyes.

Here's an enthusiastic review from a guy in northern Wisconsin. Here's the description from UW Press. You can buy it from the State Historical Society here, or pick up a copy at the Wisconsin State Cartographer's Office in Science Hall.

As an aside, much of the work on the map was done by Josh Hane, who died in a mountaineering accident on Mt Hunter in Alaska shortly before the map was published. Josh was only in Madison for three years but he made a permanent impression on everyone who crossed his path.
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Re: Surprising spots ya, maybe, never heard of in Wisconsin

Postby Mad Howler » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:37 pm

Kurt_w,
Thanks so much. I understand grand geological spectacle, that is not what fascinates me about our geology. What fascinates me are the ancient stories, such as the one you pointed out, the geology of our state teaches us.
MH

p.s.- closer to home - Pope Farm park is an interesting place to check out. It was a much more interesting spot to visit than my family expected and taught us a bit about the type of ancient happenings you are directing me (us) toward.
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Re: Surprising spots ya, maybe, never heard of in Wisconsin

Postby Beaver » Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:56 pm

Hixon forest in LaCrosse sounds nice:

http://www.recreationparks.net/WI/la-cr ... -la-crosse
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Re: Surprising spots ya, maybe, never heard of in Wisconsin

Postby green union terrace chair » Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:18 pm

There's a roadside marker somewhere between Madison and Baraboo (on US-12) that talks about how, from that point, you can see some of the oldest exposed rock on the continent.
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Re: Surprising spots ya, maybe, never heard of in Wisconsin

Postby kurt_w » Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:20 pm

green union terrace chair wrote:There's a roadside marker somewhere between Madison and Baraboo (on US-12) that talks about how, from that point, you can see some of the oldest exposed rock on the continent.


Well, that marker was set up in 1958, and geology has progressed a bit since then.

The Baraboo Range isn't even close to being "oldest exposed rock on the continent". It's basically fine-grained quartzites that were laid down in a shallow sea something like 1.1 billion years ago. Which is old, but not close to the age of the Canadian Shield rocks that stretch from the Arctic down to Minnesota and across to Quebec. Those are three times as old as the Baraboo Range. A few rock outcrops on the Canadian Shield have allegedly been dated to 4 billion years BP.
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Re: Surprising spots ya, maybe, never heard of in Wisconsin

Postby gargantua » Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:47 pm

Latitude and longitude lines intersect at Poniatowski WI. Someone actually made a bit of a detour so we could see it. Just a typical small town. Cool name though.
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Re: Surprising spots ya, maybe, never heard of in Wisconsin

Postby Mad Howler » Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:17 pm

gargantua wrote: Just a typical small town. Cool name though.


Typical small towns are cool to me. Remember where you live. As much as I love Madison, I have always regarded it as a big cow town. When I say this I do not mean it in a bad way.
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Re: Surprising spots ya, maybe, never heard of in Wisconsin

Postby kurt_w » Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:59 am

gargantua wrote:Latitude and longitude lines intersect at Poniatowski WI.


Not just any lines of latitude and longitude -- it's at 45 N, 90 W. That is to say, it's exactly half way between the equator and the north pole, and half way between the Greenwich Meridian and 180 West.

By some ways of looking at it (not all) that would put Poniatowski right at the exact center of the area of intersection of the northern and western hemispheres.

Wisconsin ain't just part of the "upper midwest", it's Ground Zero of the upper midwest for the whole globe.

[Yes, I also went out of my way once to visit Poniatowski...]
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