So, I’m working on coloring in the states on a map of the US — states I’ve visited are colored pink! After last year’s Most Excellent Adventure – where we visited 21 states in 34 days in a motor home – I ended up with one lone state in the middle of the country uncolored! That state was Iowa! It has been a major thorn in my craw to know we drove up one side of it and down the other and all around it, but didn’t find a reason to take a little side trip into Iowa. As it turns out, though, it is actually a good thing that we didn’t just jog in and catch a couple of attractions and move on – I would have colored it in and probably never gone back to see more……and, I would have missed out on a LOT of wonderful things to see and do in Iowa! So, when the opportunity came to make a short trip to Iowa, I jumped at it! I had a trip planned to go to Kentucky (the only other lone state that looks like an island in a sea of pink) with a travel group I belong to, but it was canceled. I thought the money was already “spent” and the time already “claimed”, so I took the refund and booked a flight to Dubuque!
Seven to go……looking for another opportunity to color in Kentucky next year!
I chose Dubuque to stay and venture out from there because the main point of my trip was to see the “Field of Dreams” house in nearby Dyersville. As I researched other possible things to see, I realized I hit the jackpot and picked the best area to stay. From Dubuque, I drove to Clear Lake, Dyersville, and LeClair and put over 700 miles on my rental car over two full days and a half day. Not too shabby! I may need to go back, though, cause there are other things that I would love to see, but they were just a little too far to drive to for this short trip – like the covered bridges in Madison County, which were inspiration for the movie “Bridges of Madison County” – that was about a 4+ hour drive.
So……I’ll start with photos from Dubuque itself and then do other posts with photos of the other areas and attractions I saw.
Dubuque is located right on the Mississippi River. It is a cool city with a beautiful downtown and river front areas. I arrived about dinner time my first day – the plan was to arrive mid-morning, but they over sold the flight and asked for volunteers to be bumped and, once the incentives made it worth me losing about 1/2 a day of my trip, I took it! I arrived later than planned, but ended up with a $1000 travel voucher and a free lunch! So, I didn’t have as much time my first day as I hoped, but I did get to go to the Mississippi River Walk for a nice stroll – it was a warm, breezy evening and there were several people out enjoying the wonderful walk-way along the river.
The tall building in the back left is a shot tower – constructed in 1856 to manufacture lead shot ammunition
This is the first bridge built across the Mississippi River – built in 1867-68
One of many sculptures done by local artists along the River Walk
There are several stairways along the walk so people can get closer to the river
Then, on my last day, I explored downtown more and went to the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium:
Dubuque has a marvelous clock tower in the center of downtown with a traffic circle around it and areas to sit and enjoy the day on either side
MISSISSIPPI RIVER MUSEUM AND AQUARIUM
I got to pet the stingrays — that was fun! They enjoy being touched – if you put your hand in the water, they swim up and rub themselves against your hand!
Just hanging with my buddy, Sam
an alligator snapping turtle skeleton
And, these are a couple statues I found near my hotel:
“Gas Station Jesus” is listed on the Roadside America attractions list……had to check it out!
And, finally…….this is the driveway into the Dubuque Regional Airport —- seems like everything I saw and everywhere I went, it was in the middle of a corn field!!! hahaha
So, now, when I think about Iowa, I’ll have many fond memories and will be able to say, “been there, done that, got the t-shirt!” 🙂