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Published: September 23rd 2021
Each evening when I sit down to write this blog, I have no idea what is going to come out. And the same goes for right now. So, let’s see where we go.
This morning I was up before 7 and ready to roll at 7:30, but as things go and preparations needed to be made, we didn’t get moving until 8:40. It was a chilly 59 degrees and the temperatures all day never reached above the 60’s. The sun was shining most of the day, but the wind was quite strong and at times, I wished I had put on a jacket before getting out of the car.
So, today we began our journey in Moline, Illinois and took to the GRR on the Illinois side of the river. We always have a choice, and we often plan where we will cross over to the other side, based on where the bridges are and how close the roads are to the river. Today we started out on the east side. Moline is a town of 43,000 and the home of a huge John Deere plant. Clearly, with all of the farming going on along the Mississippi
river, with it’s rich black soil and plentiful supply of water to nourish the plants, it’s a great place for a manufacturer of tractors and harvesters and the like. And it was clear to me the presence of John Deere has made life a lot nicer for the residents of these towns. It was a whole different picture than the one further south. Homes were well kept and landscaping around then was pristine. Poverty does not reign in this area. And for the first time, we saw a lot of homes on the riverfront. People had waterfront views from their front porches and what a blessing that must be. I must add, however, that with the glorious views, comes the rumble of the railroads. Because, the rails always run right along the river on one side or the other, or both. So many homes had the tracks right in front of or right behind their houses. I guess you have to make that choice…a view with occasional noise, or no view at all. No brainer.
Further up the road we stopped in Port Byron. 3M has a huge plant here (right on the river) and clearly employes many people
from the area. And, like John Deere, it looks like they pay their employees well. These towns may be small, 1,300 in this case, but they still have modest downtown areas and this town was well kept and the businesses were thriving.
We crossed the river in Savannah, IA, another small town of 2,900 people and the home of Bellevue State Park. We climbed the mountain in the park to take in an incredible view of the river and surrounding areas of rolling hills of yellow and green fields, spattered with lots of trees.
At noon time we landed in Dubuque. And we decided that some fast food would be a welcome change to the ham and cheese wraps we had been eating for several days. Now Dubuque is a large city of 58,000 people. And it is right on the Mississippi River. So I put Wendy’s in my GPS and it took us to a store just 2 miles away from where we were and we had lunch. Now, getting there meant a drive, even though short, on a tangle of roads crossing water and so forth. So the question was, how are we going to get
back to the GRR? We had no clue. I tried using the GPS, but that didn’t work well at all, and after taking several wrong turns, the confusion and the stress level was at a fever pitch. Eventually, after half an hour of wrong turns and frustration, we finally found it and continued north. You can’t always believe the woman in the box. But even if you can, you have to do what she says. LOL
At some point each day, we have to check the distance and time to our hotel and as it was, it was time for us to head for La Crescent, MN. We landed at 4:30 PM and checked in. After spending some time planning ahead on our trip, we had dinner and settled in for the night. Tomorrow, we head to Duluth, MN, way up there in Lake Superior.
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