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Even though I've lived in Minnesota for most of my adult life (just never you mind how many years), I've never reconciled myself to how flat much of it is. I grew up in the hills of Wisconsin. In fact, I was born in the unglaciated driftless region -- an area of rocky hills, valleys, and exotic bluffs rising out of the land. Though my parents moved farther north when I was quite small, the landscape is in my blood and I feel at peace when I am there.

My parents were both born and raised there, and mom's family settled there well before Wisconsin became a state. The vast majority of my relatives on both sides of the family are still there...and all my life that is where all my family reunions have been held. There is one particular collection of rocky bluffs near Camp Douglas (the link has the standard post-card view) that always will have a fond place in my heart -- not just the ancestral stuff and family picnics, but the spectacular beauty is just unlike anything else I'd ever seen. Even the name -- "castle rock" -- held enchantment; as a kid I thought it really WAS a castle! My dad told me that when he was a kid, tourists on the road between St. Paul and Chicago would stop and demand to know who "built" the castle.

As I was passed through the area last weekend, once again visiting relatives, I decided to get out to stretch my legs. For the record, my legs are no longer in a condition to "run" on such a terrain, especially not while fiddling with a camera. So let this be a lesson to all you young whippersnappers--get out with that camera while you still can get out with that camera.

Originally posted to klompendanser on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 08:43 AM PDT.

Also republished by Genealogy and Family History Community and Badger State Progressive.

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