“Lake Pepin ought to be visited by every poet and painter in the land.”
William Cullen Bryant
Last week I spent a couple of days on the Wisconsin side of Lake Pepin, mostly in the villages of Stockholm (founded by immigrants from Karlskoga, Sweden) and Pepin. It’s an area I try to get to at least once a year. It’s especially pretty in the Fall, but this time of the year is nice too and good for sailing. Lake Pepin is actually part of the Mississippi River and I believe the largest lake on the grand river.
The drive along the Wisconsin section of the Great River Road from Maiden Rock south along Lake Pepin is often highly rated on great roads in America to drive. In fact, a recent article in the Huffington Post had the road where I took the above picture voted as the “the most beautiful road trip route”— beating out the Hana Highway in Hawaii, Big Sir in California and the US Route 1 (A1A) in the Florida Keys.
It’s an area of wineries, art galleries and good food. Pepin & Stockholm are also home to the Flyway Film Festival. Last Thursday I had a casual lunch meeting with Flyway founder Rick Vaicius and got an update on how the festival has grown over the years and plans they have to continue to grow. Submissions are open to this year’s festival which takes place October 18—21, 2012. One of the most unusual things about Flyway is they do not charge a fee to enter. As a screenwriter and/or filmmaker if you feel pickpocketed every time you turn around on your creative journey, you know how refreshing that is.
As writers in Hollywood continue to wonder if the career of being a screenwriter is coming to an end, let me assure you that there are creative seeds popping up all over the world—in unlikey places like Pepin (probably even in Karlskoga, Sweden)— that will bear fruit for years to come.
P.S. Across the Mississippi River from Pepin is Wabasha, Minnesota which you may remember as the setting for the Jack Lemmon/Walter Matthau movie Grumpy Old Men. Check out my post Before Juno There Were Grumpy Old Men to read about “Grumpy” screenwriter Mark Steven Johnson who is from nearby Hastings and Winona.