Foutsie Travels The Great River Road Along the Mighty Mississippi River
The mighty Mississippi River is a world all itself! I traveled from La Crosse, Wisconsin down to Le Claire, Iowa on the Great River Road. I zigzagged back and forth over the big brown waters of the Mississippi, which was about 5 foot higher than normal. So it was flowing!
I embarked on this journey solo. I usually travel with my wife and dog, Kash, a Border Collie-Aussie mix. We have a Honda Odyssey van that has a custom built sleeping platform with about 9 inches of memory foam to sleep on. The dog has his own memory foam dog bed. All our travel gear and clothes fit in totes that slide under the platform. We also have a spot for a built in travel cooler.
I camped on a big hill in Wyalusing State Park overlooking a small city. The mosquitoes were bad so I went to bed with the sun. I woke up in the night and saw a beautiful display of twinkling lights from the town below! Then at the first crack of dawn I woke up to this sight…
As I traveled along the two lane road, I would stop now and then to take photos with my Panasonic Lumix camera and to stretch my legs, do a little exploring. My Panasonic Lumix is my constant companion. People ask how I get some of the shots that I do. I tell them that I always have my camera ready when the opportunity presents itself.
I love going through the little river towns. One town in particular, Lansing, Iowa, I stopped and shopped! The Eagles Nest Gallery and Frame Shop had some incredible art, paintings, and photography on more than one level! Plus they had some really cool Brett Farve memorabilia. Then the owners gave me a good tip on where to go to take photos of the bridge in the photo of the bridge above. And then right next door was Archive on Main, an antique and collectibles shop. I bought several items, at good prices, and stuffed them in the back of the van.
When driving down the Great River Road, I look for old barns, vintage vehicles, roadside attractions and love going through the old river towns. I stop and take photos in probably every little town. One of the coolest things I saw was a place called the Grotto. It had an iron gate with The Holy Ghost Park on it. It was such a beautiful crafted piece of architecture and was surely a labor of love. The photos below don’t do it justice. You have to see it with your own eyes to get the full appreciation of the scope of work the creator accomplished.
If a nature preserve or an interesting side road catches my attention, off I go. With the Mississippi River 5 foot above normal, some of the roads were a tad bit flooded. But I was able to see some pretty cool sights anyway.
After many miles and stops along the way, I ended up at Antique Archaeology (The American Pickers) in Le Claire, Iowa. I have been here before but it is always fun to stop. Then reluctantly I jumped on I-80 Hwy for the long traffic filled jaunt home to Michigan.