Friday, July 31, 2009

The Great River Road

When our stay in Monticello's White Oaks on the Lake was done, we drove west on Hwy. 24 to Illinois. Sometimes we take an Interstate route and sometimes we take those secondary, 2-lane roads to our next destination. On this day, we took both types of roads and ended up at the far end of Illinois in the town of Colona. Here we stopped for the night at a Coast to Coast membership park. It was a so-so type of place, but good for a one-night stopover.

The morning after, we pulled out of Colona and drove the short distance to the Iowa border. Here, we decided to take a very scenic route to our next destination of Oelwein. After crossing into Iowa, we picked up Hwy. 67 North. You travel on this and connect with US 52, part of The Great River Road, in Sabula, Iowa. The Great River Road (GRR) follows along with the Mississippi River. It was a wonderful drive and this photo shows a view of the mighty Mississippi in Iowa.This route followed beautiful, scenic 2-lane roads. We were surprised to find a lot of hilly terrain in northeastern Iowa....some very big hills, too.

As we drove into the river town of Bellevue, we saw Riverfront Park on our right. There was a nice place to park the motorhome and we could walk down to see Lock and Dam No. 12 on the Mississippi. The photo (above) shows the dam at this location.

We were lucky to be present as a number of river barges were inside Lock No. 12. They were traveling upriver and a tug was with them to push them into the lock as they waited for the waters to rise to the proper level.

This is the south end of Lock No. 12.

When the water in the lock reached the proper level, the gates opened and the tug pushed the line of barges out into the Mississippi to continue on their way north.

With the show over, we climbed back into the motorhome and drove back out onto US 52. After Bellevue, we leave the Mississippi valley and drive along some bluffs where you travel slightly inland. About 20 miles north, the GRR rolls gently into the river town of Dubuque. There is a large bridge here that allows the driver to cross the Mississippi into Illinois and Wisconsin. That was not our intended route so we just continued on US 52. Here is the bridge in the city of Dubuque.

Here was a beautiful red barn we passed around the town of Edgewood.

Our travels today took us through so much of the beautiful farm country of Iowa. It was a nice, leisure day and we enjoyed it.

We got to our destination town of Oelwein in the late afternoon. Our campground was Lake Shore Resort and it was right in the middle of great farm country ! What else?

That's it for long until next time!

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