Ancient Civilization Found In Trempealeau, Biking All 72 State Counties, Trump In Wisconsin And Sessions Testimony

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President Trump is in Wisconsin today, fundraising with Governor Walker and giving a speech at Waukesha County Technical College. We hear what he had to say and discuss whether the appearance will be a boost for Walker. A political scientist breaks down today’s testimony from Attorney General Jeff Sessions in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee. We also talk with a man planning to run or bike in all of the state’s 72 counties, and we talk to two local archeologists about ancient artifacts being unearthed in Trempealeau.

Featured in this Show

  • Local Archeologists Find 1,000-year-old Civilization In Trempealeau

    We talk to team of archeologists who have been unearthing ancient artifacts in the Trempealeau area for the last decade.

  • Wisconsin Archaeologists Dig Up 1,000-Year-Old Settlement

    For a decade, the co-owners of Driftless Pathways have been unearthing ancient artifacts in Trempealeau.

    Husband and wife team Danielle Benden and Robert “Ernie” Boszhardt study the Mississippians, a group of 100-200 people who left the city of Cahokia 1,000 years ago. Cahokia was near St. Louis, Missouri.

    “They paddled 530 miles up the Mississippi River and settled at Trempealeau,” Benden said.

    Boszhardt said the settlement lasted about 20 years. He added that Trempealeau is the only place on the entire Mississippi River where this happened.

    Benden said she thinks the Cahokians came this far up the Mississippi River because of Trempealeau Mountain. She explained it’s the only remnant bluff in the entire 2,400-mile stretch of the Mississippi River completely surrounded by water.

    “We think it has power beyond just serving as a geological feature, and we think that Mississippians came specifically to Trempealeau to sort of harness some of that power,” she said, adding the journey up the river could have been a religious mission trip.

    Boszhardt called it a “true colony” of people coming from Cahokia.

    “They’re bringing their pots with them, they’re bringing their stones with them to make tools, they’re bringing their architecture so how they build their houses, they’re bringing their religion, so their temples, these flat-top mounds … (they’re) bringing this new culture up to western Wisconsin,” he said.

    The archeologists use a series of things to determine the timing of the settlement, which include radiocarbon dating and artifact classifications.

    “Archeologists use artifacts to put things into order. We call it ‘seriation,’” she said.

    Benden compared this process to how most people know makes and models of cars change over time. She explained archeologists see the same differences in housing styles, the kind of pottery found on the site and other artifacts.

    Over the summer, Benden and Boszhardt are planning to do a small-scale excavation.

    “Thus far we’ve found remnants of lots of houses, but only parts of them,” Boszhardt said. “So hopefully we’ll find an intact, whole house there this summer.”

  • Wisconsin Man Out To Bike Or Run In All Of Wisconsin's Counties

    We meet a Wisconsin man who created the 2017 Runnin’ & Ridin’ in Wisco Project to meet his fitness goals by exercising in all 72 of Wisconsin’s counties. We find out how the project came about and what he’s learned so far.

  • President Trump Fundraises For Governor Walker, Attorney General Sessions Testifies

    President Trump is in Wisconsin today to fund raise for Governor Walker and to visit Waukesha County Technical College with his daughter Ivanka Trump. Our guest looks at the politics behind Trump’s visit and looks back at today’s testimony by Attorney General Jeff Sessions before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

  • Outdoor Enthusiast Aims To Run, Ride, Ski Or Paddle In Every Wisconsin County

    Last summer, reporter and outdoors enthusiast Keith Uhlig found himself put up with a broken collarbone after a bike crash.

    This summer, he’s inching closer towards his goal of running, cycling (or cross country skiing or paddling) in all 72 of Wisconsin’s counties.

    Recuperating from his bike accident left Uhlig a little more out of shape, a little sadder and a lot more eager to get back outside. So he cooked up this goal, and named it the “2017 Runnin’ & Ridin’ in Wisco Project.”

    The name is tongue-in-cheek.

    “I wanted a name that would be complicated. It’s a bit of a spoof of these stories in magazines and online that I consume endlessly about how to be a better runner, how to be a better cyclist. And a lot of it is projects, (like) ‘I did this for X amount of days; look what happened,’” said Uhlig, a reporter for The Wausau Daily Herald.

    What’s happened for Uhlig so far with this project includes learning more about his home state and pushing his boundaries socially.

    “The thing that really surprised me is how easy this is,” Uhlig. He’s had no trouble finding interesting, beautiful places in each county thus far, he said.

    He decides what county to take next in part based on his goal. If he’s able to hit several counties in one day, for example by riding a bike path that runs through multiple counties, he’ll do that.

    Aside from becoming more physically fit, Uhlig aims to meet fellow Wisconsinites on his trips. Just saying hello to a barista isn’t enough, though; Uhlig’s rule is that he has to have “significant contacts” in each county, that is to say, real conversations.

    His most memorable “significant contact” so far was a cyclist with a flat tire he picked up and drove to Wausau.

    And his favorite place so far? The Mountain-Bay State Trail, which conveniently for Uhlig, goes through three counties: Marathon, Shawano and Brown. He’s rode it up and down.

    Uhlig will continue his county-by-county journey the rest of this year.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Karl Christenson Producer
  • Veronica Rueckert Producer
  • Danielle Benden Guest
  • Robert F. Boszhardt Guest
  • Keith Uhlig Guest
  • Chuck Quirmbach Guest
  • Charles Franklin Guest
  • Veronica Rueckert Interviewer
  • Rob Ferrett Interviewer

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