We had a beautiful day for the drive to and from Prairie du Chien. We took the southern route down, much of it along the Wisconsin River. On the way back, we traveled north through the Driftless Region, a part of the state unscraped by glaciers and so with high hills and green valleys, and another river, the extrememly winding Kickapoo. The morning trip brought us alongside a dozen or so Amish families in their buggies on the way to services. One young man was riding what looked like an over-sized tricycle, dragging behind a cart in which his three-year-old son sat happily. I only saw one Amish guy on the return trip, but we saw a couple of eagles flying overhead and that is always nice.
The tour at Villa Louis was enjoyable. Being in an old mansion always reminds me of my years living in the monastery in Brookline. It had originally been part of the Cabot estate, and elements of the Dousman Mansion echoed things in that Boston house. Sadly, the man who bought the house from the Carmelites with the intention of restoring it, decided it would be too costly and had it torn down, even though it was on state and national registers of historic homes. Members of the Dousman family cooperated with the restoration of the Villa Louis estate, and 90% of the things now on display are original to the house.
The War of 1812 re-enactment was small -- well, the 1815 battle there was small -- but the people were very friendly and we had several fun conversations. There was a musket-readiness contest that we watched with the wife of one of the participants. The idea was to keep loading and firing your musket without cleaning it until it finally refused to fire. The winner (not our friend's husband) set a new record for the group of 50 shots before a misfire.