A Travellerspoint blog

Mississippi River Trip Day 9.. St. Louis to Memphis, TN

sunny 103 °F

How many more hours? That was the battle cry today for both Mia and myself. Amy was a great camper, never complained once! We turned a drive that should take 4 hours into a car day that took 13. Painful, but there were some highlights at the beginning of the day that I will get to in a moment.

We are quite concerned right now as there is a tropical storm in the gulf that will be bearing down on New Orleans this weekend. The meteorologists are saying it is a very slow moving storm that could dump 15-20 inches on New Orleans. Obviously that means lots of flooding. Not sure what to do at this point. Our plan is to stay in Memphis for Thursday and Friday and then Vicksburg, MS on Saturday, Baton Rouge on Sunday and then New Orleans for Monday, Tuesday and fly home Wednesday. We will be keeping our eyes on the forecast as much as possible to see what kind of decision we are going to make.

As far as today's trip, we started out way too late! We didn't leave our hotel until 10am and then decided to go to the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis as we had read that the designs on the inside of this Catholic Church were quite stunning! We arrived, only to find that the doors were closed for about 1/2hr because the associated all girls Catholic High School next door was celebrating their 100th year. All the students and their families were in the church. We were able to eventually go in after they all came out around 11am. While waiting we talked to a great history teacher from the school who was outside. Very nice guy and gave us a lot of history of the general area. The inside was quite stunning and we were able to capture some great pictures. Mia also stated she wants to be Catholic now... LOL

We decided to head to the Arch for our next stop. It was now nearing 100 degrees. While walking to the Arch, Mia fell and scraped her knee. It was pretty traumatic for a few moments, but it was just a little scrape. We got her all doctored up once we went into the building below the Arch. We decided to have lunch at Laclede's Landingarea. We went to a Bar and Restaurant called Big Daddy's and had lunch. Our waitress was very friendly and hung out with us throughout our meal. I had a nice summer ale from a local brewer named Schlafly. It was tasty!

We finally got out of St. Louis at around 2pm and headed north because we had to see the world's largest catsup bottle. That was a 40 minute roundtrip to take a picture of a large catsup bottle. Thinking back on that, maybe not the wisest use of time. We picked up the river road from there and drove for a short while until we came to Ste. Genevieve. It has many nice older buildings and they are really trying to cater to tourist. However, we didn't really have much time to check all of that out, because we were here for the car ferry. We wanted to cross the river from MO to IL. The car ferry was pretty cool. Took about 10 minutes to cross the river. It is essentially a large metal car carrier with a small tug boat attached to the right side. The fare was $12 to cross. Mia thought it was very neat.

Once on the other side we headed for Chester, IL. Chester is the home of Popeye and they celebrate him on a regular basis. We were able to get some good snapshots around town of welcome signs and the Popeye statue. We saw a lot of barges and trains carrying coal in this area as well.

We left Chester and knew we were running far behind schedule. It was about 5:30pm. The drive from St. Louis to Memphis is about 268 miles. That's if you take the highway. If you are taking the river road, it's much longer. We were still 3hrs away. We decided to stop for dinner at a BBQ place in Jonesboro IL called Dixie BBQ. This is in southern Illinois and you could really make out the southern culture of the area. The pulled pork sandwiches were perfect. They don't chop or pull the meat, they slice it pretty thin. You get a great smoky flavor. My wife ordered a side of coleslaw as well and was so happy with it. She ate almost all of it before eating the sandwich.

We decided after eating that it was time to abandon the river road and take the fastest route available to Memphis. We finally arrived at 10:45pm. Thank God! At least we are here for two nights. Tomorrow it's off to Graceland, then a two hour tour of the city. Dinner will probably be on Beale Street, but somewhat early as we have Mia.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 17

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 17

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 16

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 16

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 15

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 15

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 14

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 14

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 13

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 13

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 12

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 12

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 11

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 11

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 10

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 10

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 9

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 9

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 8

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 8

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 7

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 7

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 6

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 6

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 5

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 5

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 4

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 4

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 3

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 3

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 2

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 2

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

Mural inside the Arch Visitor Center

Mural inside the Arch Visitor Center

St. Louis Gateway Arch 2

St. Louis Gateway Arch 2

St. Louis Gateway Arch

St. Louis Gateway Arch

Worlds Largest Catsup Bottle

Worlds Largest Catsup Bottle

IMG_3155

IMG_3155

Sainte Genevieve Car Ferry Rates

Sainte Genevieve Car Ferry Rates

Sainte Genevieve Ferry Coming IN

Sainte Genevieve Ferry Coming IN

Getting Ready to Drive onto Car Ferry in  Sainte Genevieve, MO

Getting Ready to Drive onto Car Ferry in Sainte Genevieve, MO

View from Mississippi River Car Ferry

View from Mississippi River Car Ferry

Chester's Annual Popeye's Picnic

Chester's Annual Popeye's Picnic

Welcome to Chester 2

Welcome to Chester 2

Welcome to Chester, IL

Welcome to Chester, IL

Bruto Statue in Chester, IL

Bruto Statue in Chester, IL

Popeye Statue in Chester, IL

Popeye Statue in Chester, IL

Popeye Plaque

Popeye Plaque

Mississippi River Bridge headed to Kaskaskia IL from Chester IL

Mississippi River Bridge headed to Kaskaskia IL from Chester IL

Egret in Mississippi River Marsh in Missouri

Egret in Mississippi River Marsh in Missouri

Dixie BBQ in Jonesboro, IL

Dixie BBQ in Jonesboro, IL

Posted by mrcatphish 22:08 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Mississippi River Trip Day 8.. Hannibal, MO to St. Louis, MO

sunny 103 °F

It was freaking hot today! 96 at 10am and by noon it was 100. We topped out at 104 degrees. There is a heat warning in effect until Saturday around this region.

We started out early this morning knowing that we had a short drive and could spend a majority of the day at our new destination, St. Louis. We left the Best Western in Hannibal, MO at 8:30am. We arrived in St. Louis at around 11:30. We would have been here earlier but we were following Route 79 which is the Great River Road and came upon a closed road sign due to flooding at some point in late spring or early summer. They are rebuilding the road. So we needed to either turn around and drive back 10 miles to find an alternate route or chance it and take a county route that was titled "TT". The road was almost all white gravel. The road showed on our physical map, but shows it dead-ends in a small town of about 50 people. There was no cell signal on our phones for the gps, which we have faced alot on the River Road, so we decided to try the county road. We got down about 2 miles and there was a hunter conservation sort of building and a guy walking in. Amy jumped out of the Ford Escape and walked right behind him as he was about to close the door. She greeted him and he was like, "Well hello there" and looked her up and down, probably not expecting a lady out in these parts. I of course did not know this until she got back in the car. She asked if the road heads to anywhere and when the guy started talking, she said, "can you come out and tell my husband this stuff?" He came out and told us this road goes for about 5 miles and then hooks back up with Route 79. As we drove down this road, I heard Banjo's playing in my head. It was like that, yeah.

Our first stop in St. Louis was the St. Louis Zoo. It's free! But not really, you have to pay $12 for parking. Then it's free until you want to go to the children's zoo section, then it's another "x" amount. Anyway, we paid about $20 for 3 of us for about 2hrs. It was 100 degrees. I mentioned that right? It was so hot and many of the animals were as unhappy with the heat as we were. Many of them were holed up in one of their dens sleeping. However, we were able to see a few animals including a hippo swimming around like crazy. We could only take about 2hrs of the heat before we had to leave.

Our next stop was to the Missouri Botanical Garden. If you like plants, trees and flowers this place is the bomb. I am a little bit of a green thumb and I loved this place. It is about 79 acres of different types of gardens. We tried to see as much as we could in about 2hrs, but again it was so hot. I think you could spend a whole day at this place. It is very peaceful.

We finally decided to head to our hotel early. We are staying at the Hampton Inn tonight. They had a pool and that is where we hung out for about an hour and 1/2. We finally got our act together and decided to go to dinner and wanted to go to Pappy's BBQ which is the #1 rated BBQ place in St. Louis. However, they were closing at 8pm and we wouldn't be there by then. This place doesn't have set hours, they close when they run out of food and according to the folks we talked to at the hotel, there could be lines to order that last over an hour.

While I was down there talking to the hotel clerk there was another young woman who I think might work here but be off duty. She proceeded to tell me that she's a vegetarian but that she has heard that this other place, "Penny's BBQ" was really good and she has been there before with others that liked it. I was thinking to myself, ok I am seriously considering going to this place on a recommendation from a vegetarian? But off we went. Bad choice! Ribs were ok, but I cook them better then they did. In addition all of their sides were gross. The baked beans were canned and the coleslaw had onions in it. Amy almost threw up on the first bite! LOL

However, we did top off the night with a great visit to the Famous Ted Drewes Frozen Custard. It's been a staple of St. Louis since 1929. It's essentially ice cream, but the cool thing is it's so thick you can turn it upside down and it doesn't come out. Matter of fact the servers have to do that to everyone of them before they hand it to you, to make sure it is to their high standards. They also call these things frozen concrete. We loved them. It was a little weird though that when we started to drive to this location after dark, we noticed it was not a nice area. Then as we pulled up, there was a police officer there standing outside. I believe he does this every night while they are open. That was a little disconcerting. However, we made it there and back to the hotel safely.

Tomorrow it's off to Memphis TN for two days. We will be driving through 5 states tomorrow. MO, IL, AR, KY, TN... Should be a blast. We will start the day with a visit to the Arch in the morning.

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard

Frozen Custard

Frozen Custard

Amy likes her Frozen Customer Terramizzou

Amy likes her Frozen Customer Terramizzou

IMG_3119

IMG_3119

Missouri Botanical Garden

Missouri Botanical Garden

Missouri Botanical Garden 1

Missouri Botanical Garden 1

Missouri Botanical Garden 2

Missouri Botanical Garden 2

Missouri Botanical Garden 3

Missouri Botanical Garden 3

Missouri Botanical Garden 4

Missouri Botanical Garden 4

Missouri Botanical Garden 5

Missouri Botanical Garden 5

Missouri Botanical Garden 6

Missouri Botanical Garden 6

Missouri Botanical Garden 7

Missouri Botanical Garden 7

Missouri Botanical Garden 8

Missouri Botanical Garden 8

Missouri Botanical Garden 9

Missouri Botanical Garden 9

Missouri Botanical Garden 10

Missouri Botanical Garden 10

Missouri Botanical Garden 11

Missouri Botanical Garden 11

Missouri Botanical Garden 12

Missouri Botanical Garden 12

Missouri Botanical Garden 13

Missouri Botanical Garden 13

Missouri Botanical Garden 14

Missouri Botanical Garden 14

Missouri Botanical Garden 15

Missouri Botanical Garden 15

Missouri Botanical Garden 16

Missouri Botanical Garden 16

Missouri Botanical Garden 17

Missouri Botanical Garden 17

Missouri Botanical Garden 18

Missouri Botanical Garden 18

Missouri Botanical Garden 19

Missouri Botanical Garden 19

Missouri Botanical Garden 20

Missouri Botanical Garden 20

Missouri Botanical Garden 21

Missouri Botanical Garden 21

Missouri Botanical Garden 22

Missouri Botanical Garden 22

Missouri Botanical Garden 23

Missouri Botanical Garden 23

IMG_3075

IMG_3075

IMG_3074

IMG_3074

IMG_3072

IMG_3072

IMG_3071

IMG_3071

IMG_3070

IMG_3070

IMG_3064

IMG_3064

IMG_3062

IMG_3062

IMG_3061

IMG_3061

IMG_3060

IMG_3060

IMG_3059

IMG_3059

IMG_3056

IMG_3056

IMG_3047

IMG_3047

IMG_3045

IMG_3045

IMG_3041

IMG_3041

IMG_3039

IMG_3039

IMG_3035

IMG_3035

IMG_3033

IMG_3033

IMG_3032

IMG_3032

IMG_3029

IMG_3029

IMG_3027

IMG_3027

IMG_3025

IMG_3025

IMG_3024

IMG_3024

IMG_3021.jpg

Posted by mrcatphish 22:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Mississippi River Trip Day 7.. Davenport, IA to Hannibal, MO

rain 68 °F

We decided last night not to drive all the way to St. Louis and instead stay in Hannibal, MO about 110 miles north. We have been really tired as we are sleeping in a new bed each night and driving so many hours each day. We started our trip 7 days ago with the attitude that we wanted to see everything. Now, we have accepted we can only see a few things and we are more set on getting to our next destination. In regards to the town of Hannibal, it is the hometown of Mark Twain, but It looks like it has seen better days. I believe if it wasn't for some tourist coming here, Hannibal would shut down. Most of the town is very old and run down.

We left our hotel in Davenport today at around 9:30am. We wanted to treat Mia to a special treat as she has been such a good trooper with all the driving. So we decided to go to the Schwiebert Riverfront Park in Rock Island, IL. If you click the link, you can see a short video of the park. It is a very large area along the river for everyone. There is a large playground, a covered stage for shows and plays, a water fountain area to cool off at etc. We hung out for about 1/2hr to give Mia some time to do something she would want to do.

We left the park to head south and it became very overcast and started to rain. It was pretty miserable to drive in and was not good to enjoy the scenery. Our next destination was a town called Nauvoo. It is a Mormon town with a lot of history. They built a new temple in 2002 that is absolutely stunning. The temple is caped with a 165ft steeple. We walked into the temple, like you would a church. All people are usually welcome at a church right? We walked in and there was a man dressed in an all white suite behind a large tall desk. He asked how he could help us. We looked like drown rats with our rain coats on and were dripping all over the floor. We must have been a site to see. I said to him, "Yeah we are here to see this whole place. What's the situation with this place?" Very classy, huh? He kindly told us that they do not give tours and this temple is only for members of the church that are in good standing. I smirked thanked him and then we decided to check out the visitors center. We met a very nice young lady from Miami. She was maybe 22 and was a Sister and was doing a mission stint in Nauvoo. She of course tried subtlety to convert us to the Church of Latter Day Saints and even offered to send folks to our house to talk to us in NH. We were just interested in finding out what the best things to see were in the 30 minutes or so we had planned to be there. Although, the sister was very nice, we left town quickly as we found out that every place we would be interested in seeing had another person like her there. We didn't want to deal with the converting conversations.

Up until this point we had only caught glimpses of the river. Most of our drive was again through corn and potato fields, mostly corn. This part of the country can feed the whole world with just corn! We finally hit a nice stretch of about 15 miles right along the river, sometimes within a foot or two of the water. We stopped at a scenic area to take a few pictures as there were so many lilly pads with huge yellow flowers and all types of birds darting everywhere. This was our most enjoyable part of the whole drive today.

We pulled into Hannibal, MO today at around 5:30pm. Unfortunately, everything "Mark Twain" was closed. It had closed at 5pm. However, we were still able to walk around and get some pictures. One thing we were excited to try was the Mark Twain Dinnette. Supposedly, according to the Road Trip USA book that we have, this Dinnette has world famous fried chicken. So we thought we would give it a try. Our first clue that maybe something was a little strange is when they had ashtrays on tables and asked if we wanted smoking or non. I didn't think that existed anymore? The chicken was ok, but the sides were gross and cold and the salad bar had rotten cherry tomato's. But hey dinner was only $22 for 3 of us..

Here are a few observations I haven't posted yet:

  • I have seen two cigarette drive through stores. They just sell cigarettes. Crazy
  • There are trains everywhere we go. I mean trains every five minutes. Trains with 100+ cars and unfortunately if your in a hotel by the river, your sleep schedule is dictated by the train company
  • We miss coffee. I don't know what the folks in the midwest do for coffee, but I haven't found anything except in the big city.
  • We have seen one police car since we started our trip. We have been through 5 states. I see about 10 police cars every day on my 45min commute to work!
  • You need to be careful when you open your window through the midwest. Amy wanted some more air today and Mia did not want the windows opened as she was cold in the backseat. We decided to open the windows for a few minutes because Amy was tired. Right when we opened the windows, we past a very large cattle farm (50+ cows). They were all in an open barn area and it stunk terribly. Amy and I just looked at each other and burst into laughter while squeezing our noses

Tomorrow, we are off to St. Louis!

IMG_3019.jpgIMG_3018.jpgIMG_3015.jpgIMG_3014.jpgIMG_3013.jpgIMG_3012.jpgIMG_3011.jpgIMG_3017.jpgIMG_3010.jpgIMG_3007.jpgIMG_3006.jpgIMG_3002.jpgIMG_3004.jpgIMG_3001.jpgIMG_3000.jpgIMG_2996.jpgIMG_2995.jpgIMG_2992.jpgIMG_2991.jpgIMG_2990.jpgIMG_2989.jpgIMG_2986.jpgIMG_2984.jpgIMG_2983.jpg

Posted by mrcatphish 19:17 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Mississippi River Trip Day 6.. Dubuque to Davenport, IA

sunny 83 °F

We tried to get an early start today, but once again were unsuccessful. We ended up leaving the hotel in Dubuque at 10am. We had a light day planned as far as activities, but got to do a few very cool things. We started at the Fenelon Elevator in Dubuque about 5 minutes from our hotel. The Fenelon Elevator is kind of like a train car that climbs up tracks to the top of the hill. They have a similar system in Pittsburgh as well. The ride was about 2-3 minutes from top to bottom which is a 650+ feet steep grade. We were told by the lady that ran the elevator that once we got to the bottom that there were tons of quaint little shops and we had to stop at the Calico Bean. She would not tell us why, but told Mia that she would love it. We walked into the shop and it was full of all types of organic stuff. There was a full wall of all different types of candy from swedish fish to chocolate covered pretzels and much more. There was also homemade spices, soup mixes, rubs, jams and peanut butter made right there. This place was a great find and the prices were really good. Teri Connely is the owner and she was very nice. We bought some assorted candies and got back on the elevator to go back to the top of the hill. From there we got great panoramic pictures of the city.

Our next stop was the Dubuque Museum of Art. Unfortunately it was closed. We were bummed because it was a free attraction. However, we got a great picture of the enormous American Gothic statue. We were pretty pumped as we didn't know it was there until we looked in our local guide, that we had just picked up, at the last second.

We then drove down to the river in Dubuque to see the National Mississippi River Museum. We spent about 2hrs there learning about the animals and fish that live in the Mississippi river. We also got to see many of them, which was pretty cool. Mia also got a good lesson on boat building and got to whittle down a birch stick that would be used as one of the ribs in a birch canoe. We also got a chance to see a lot of history about the steamboats that travel on the Mississippi. Many of them were built at this location, as it used to be a steamship building factory. It was funny, we just couldn't get out of Dubuque today. We finally left town at around 3pm as we kept getting turned around by the GPS.

We headed back north and over the Mississippi on a large bridge to Dickeyville, WI. We were on the hunt for Dickeyville Grottoes. There are several shrines built by Father Matthias Wernerus, who was a Catholic Priest and a past Pastor of the Parish from 1925 to 1930. It is built from stone and mortar and bright colored objects from all over the world including glass, stones, shells etc. It was a spiritual experience, even if you aren't religious.

After about 30 minutes we headed towards Galena, IL to see the Ulysses S. Grant Home. Unfortunately once again we reached another place that was closed. We still walked the grounds and enjoyed the home and it's surroundings. It must have been a pretty impressive place to live as it was up on a hill overlooking many other houses down below. The street it is on is very cool, because there many old houses. There are also a lot of trees and American flags all up and down the street.

We finally decided to get serious and get to Davenport. We noticed that for almost the entire day the river was absent. It was an eerie feeling after seeing the river regularly over the last two days. We arrived in Davenport around 6:30, which I think is the earliest arrival to any hotel we have had! We enjoyed a nice swim in the pool and a nice dinner at the Front Street Brewery. Got to taste a locally brewed Hefeweizen, which was delicious! We finished our night with a walk over to the Davenport Skywalk.

Tomorrow we make the drive to Mark Twain's hometown of Hannibal, MO.

IMG_2910.jpgIMG_2911.jpgIMG_2912.jpgIMG_2913.jpgIMG_2914.jpgIMG_2919.jpgIMG_2921.jpgIMG_2920.jpgIMG_2918.jpgIMG_2917.jpgIMG_2916.jpgIMG_2909.jpgIMG_2923.jpgIMG_2925.jpgIMG_2926.jpgIMG_2928.jpgIMG_2930.jpgIMG_2933.jpgIMG_2935.jpg
IMG_2977.jpgIMG_2975.jpgIMG_2972.jpgIMG_2970.jpgIMG_2969.jpgIMG_2968.jpgIMG_2967.jpgIMG_2966.jpgIMG_2965.jpgIMG_2964.jpgIMG_2963.jpgIMG_2961.jpgIMG_2960.jpgIMG_2959.jpgIMG_2958.jpgIMG_2957.jpgIMG_2956.jpgIMG_2955.jpgIMG_2954.jpgIMG_2953.jpgIMG_2951.jpgIMG_2950.jpgIMG_2949.jpgIMG_2948.jpgIMG_2946.jpgIMG_2945.jpgIMG_2944.jpgIMG_2943.jpgIMG_2942.jpgIMG_2941.jpgIMG_2940.jpgIMG_2939.jpgIMG_2938.jpgIMG_2937.jpgIMG_2936.jpg1IMG_2935.jpgIMG_2934.jpgIMG_2933.jpg

Posted by mrcatphish 21:20 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Mississippi River Trip Day 5.. Trempealeau, WI to Dubuque

overcast 78 °F

Very late start today as we had to drive south 30 min into La Crosse to get breakfast. Breakfast was a 2hr affair because I had to update the blog while I was there. Our hotel last night did not have internet. We finally got on the road around noon.

We have now put about 1000 miles on the rental vehicle. The days, towns, times etc are now starting to blur. We are forgetting what towns we saw what in, and today we tried to stop at a post office twice to mail a postcard. Both times we were reminded it is Sunday. We also find that we continue to want to do too much and run out of time, so we have decided to start doing the most important to least so we can hit the things we really want to do.

Our day today was dominated by river views most of the way. We were able to find several large bluff's that provided stunning panoramic views of the river. In addition a good stretch of our drive today was right along the river. We were able to see several very large trains today as well.

We started our journey today by visiting the worlds largest six pack in La Crosse, WI. This is an active brewery. However it is no longer a Heilemann brewery as the pictures show. As you can see from the sign in the picture, this six pack has enough beer to fill over 7 million cans! Our next stop was to the Fransiscan Sisters church in La Crosse. As you can see from the outside the church is beautiful. It is even more stunning inside, but the only day they don't do tours is on Sunday... Go figure.. We were kind of bummed because we really wanted to take the 1hr tour with one of the Nuns.

Further down the river in a tiny little town name Lynxville, I saw a small road sign for fried catfish, fried cheese curds etc. I was so excited that i found fried cheese curds again because I passed on them, on Saturday as I was to full from lunch. I ordered a batch and let the lady know I was a first timer. I am sure that made her day. I asked her if I should put anything on them. She said, "don't ruin my cheese curds with any type of condiments." They were absolutely delicious! The taste kinda like a mozzerella stick but with a little seasoning on the breading. Amy loved them as well. Mia did not like them. She has been unusually finicky with food on this trip and I am worried about her as we go further south.

While in Lynxville we visited Lock and Dam #9 on a whim. We were so happy we did as we got a chance to observe how the whole lock and dam system works. 4 boats pulled in to the lock and they closed the doors behind them. The then lowered the water about three feet, which took about 7 minutes. Then finally they opened the doors in front of the boats and let them out. You can see the video i uploaded of this. It's about 1 minute long.

One of our last stops was Effigy Mounds National Monument. This place was a very cool place. Native Americans thousands of years ago buried their dead in mounds. Some were conical shaped, while others were shaped in the form of animals like bears. We were able to hike about 1 1/2 mile round trip and see several of the mounds. I did not post pictures though, because they look like mounds of weeds. Not the most awe inspiring pictures. It's one of those, "you have to be there" things. Anyways, was very proud of my wife who somehow made it up steep switchbacks with her MS. It was unbelievable, but she was determined!

We made on final stop before speeding through farmland to Dubuque. About 5 miles from the Effigy Mounds is a small town named McGregor. The downtown looks like something out of an old west cowboy movie. That was nice, but the real hidden gem is a place on the edge of town called Pikes Peak. It is a really nice park high atop a bluff that gave us the best views yet of the river. I think so far this is my favorite place. The views are probably at least 180 degrees and there is a nice large park there with BBQ pits etc. It is also attached to a campground.

We arrived at our hotel at around 10pm tonight completely exhausted. Tomorrow it's off to Davenport, IA which is one of the of the Quad Cities straddling the river between Iowa and Illinois.

Pikes Peak Overlook

Boats Going Through Lock

World Largest Six Pack

World Largest Six Pack

Worlds Largest Six Pack Sign

Worlds Largest Six Pack Sign

towboat_info_sign

towboat_info_sign

towboat_equipment_sign

towboat_equipment_sign

tow_with_15_barge_sign

tow_with_15_barge_sign

tow_capacity_sign

tow_capacity_sign

how_a_lock_works

how_a_lock_works

lock_number_9_lowering

lock_number_9_lowering

lock_number_9_gates_opening

lock_number_9_gates_opening

random_la_crosse_church

random_la_crosse_church

Franciscan_Sisters_Church_La_Crosse_4

Franciscan_Sisters_Church_La_Crosse_4

Franciscan_Sisters_Church_La_Crosse_3

Franciscan_Sisters_Church_La_Crosse_3

Franciscan_Sisters_Church_La_Crosse_2

Franciscan_Sisters_Church_La_Crosse_2

Franciscan_Sisters_Church_La_Crosse_1

Franciscan_Sisters_Church_La_Crosse_1

fried_cheese_curds

fried_cheese_curds

Darrin_eating_fried_cheese_curds

Darrin_eating_fried_cheese_curds

boat_entering_lock_number_9

boat_entering_lock_number_9

Franciscan_Sisters_Church_La_Crosse_5

Franciscan_Sisters_Church_La_Crosse_5

La_Crosse_Welcome

La_Crosse_Welcome

King_of_Beer

King_of_Beer

Heilemann_Brewery_Sign_2

Heilemann_Brewery_Sign_2

Heilemann_Brewery_Sign_1

Heilemann_Brewery_Sign_1

Heileman_Brewhouse_Sign

Heileman_Brewhouse_Sign

Gambrinus_Sign

Gambrinus_Sign

Pikes Peak Overlook

Pikes Peak Overlook

Pikes Peak Overlook 2

Pikes Peak Overlook 2

Pikes Peak Overlook 3

Pikes Peak Overlook 3

Mississippi_River_Lynxville_WI

Mississippi_River_Lynxville_WI

mia_with_eagles_nest

mia_with_eagles_nest

iowafarmsunset

iowafarmsunset

iowa_farm_with_sunset

iowa_farm_with_sunset

Posted by mrcatphish 06:23 Archived in USA Comments (0)

(Entries 6 - 10 of 15) « Page 1 [2] 3 »