We took a tour up the Minnesota side of the Mississippi river and down the Wisconsin side on a beautiful pre-fall day.
A slough (pronounced ‘slew’) is “a marshy or reedy pool, pond, inlet, backwater, or the like.” Along the Mississippi they have mostly been filled in for farmland or other development, but this area is preserved as the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. Land (or water depending on the river level) owned by my Mother’s maternal grandparents is included in this refuge and immortalized as the Mertes Slough Landing. My great-uncle Jake once ran a marina at this site. I remember visiting and taking a boat ride and possibly fishing when I was just a little tyke.
Across the slough you can see Castle Rock. The Mertes farm is at the base of the rock and is once again home to a large family who are raising chickens and goats.