River and Bluff Country - where Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin meet

The First Pikes Peak

The photo below was taken from a lookout point at the FIRST Pikes Peak.  In 1805, the government sent Zebulon Pike to the Mississippi River to evaluate it for possible locations for military forts.   He recommended this spot where Pikes Peak State Park now sits, on top of a bluff just south of McGregor, Iowa.    The government decided instead to build the fort in the flat area you can see in the distance, at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.   Just beyond Prairie du Chien are the bluffs on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi Valley.    (In 1812, Zebulon Pike had a government assignment in the west, where he named Colorado's Pike's Peak.)

Louis Joliet and Father Jacques Marquette
were the first white men to see this area, when, in 1673, they
followed the Wisconsin River to this point, where it flows into
the great river that was later named the Mississippi.

This view from Iowa's Pikes Peak State Park
looks upstream on the Mississippi, toward Minnesota.
On the right, across the wide valley, are the Wisconsin bluffs.

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