Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Quad Cities Part-B

It seems like there are a million little parks throughout the Quad City area and most have some type of little garden in them. We spent a few hours each day driving around to the different ones and found that most have had it for the season and needed a lot of maintenance. It's a shame that they have let some of these go like they have. We did find a few that still had some blooms so here are a few pictures.

As always Click on a picture to enlarge.

After our first day of driving around we had plenty of daylight left so we headed over to the Naibi Zoo, it looked like they had just enlarged their parking area and they were doing construction on a big new building so it looks like they are enlarging the zoo also. I seems like all we do is go to zoo's, but we like them and each one seems to have something new that we haven't seen before, plus they're freebees when you're a member of the super secret Zoo Society, like we are.

The Niabi Zoo is a nice size zoo, about an hour and a half to two hours to walk through taking our time, the grounds were spotless and there were maybe a dozen other people in the zoo today, (Monday).

They had a really great Aviary house were half the birds were not in enclosed, they were all very loud and active. There is a big cat display near the enterance that had a beautiful Black Panther

Black Panther


Mt Goat and baby

.........Some type of little FOX

Pair of Eagles

.......Red Fox only 240 left, at one time there were only 17 in the world.

White Buffalo

.........Pretty Bird

Be sure to watch the video below, it stars ME!!!!!!

I call it Feeding time.

No Humans were harmed during the filming of this Video.

Another Day and were off to see the Palmer Chiropractic School in Davenport, I've been going to Chiropractors since the late 70's and swear by them, so I figured I better go see where it all started. There is a small self-guided museum in the hallways of the first and second floors of the office area of the school. There is a time line which follows the start of Chiropractic Medicine with D.D. Palmer, self taught, to the present day. They have adjustment tables starting with the very first used by DD Palmer up to the super fancy ones used today. It was very interesting and told how they had to fight to be accepted by the public, the states and courts. Many were arrested for practicing medicine without a license and then ended up Suing the AMA under the Anti-trust laws.

After this we hit a few more dried up gardens then Sam's Club to pick up a new GPS to replace the one that locked up on us last week. You just don't realize how much you depend on these things until they stop working. I bought the $9.95 replacement plan with this one so if it goes bad I can just replace it at any Sam's.

Wednesday, we've been saving today to go to the Black Hawk Museum, he was the big chief Indian around here and everything is named after him. Big disappointment, nothing in the museum about him and it took all of three minutes to see the 3 or 4 displays in a tiny little room. But it did give us time to return the new TOM-TOM to Sam's , what a piece of junk, we have one of the old TOM-TOM's , about 4 years old and thought that we were upgrading to this new one, turns out the old cheap one does at least twice as the new one did, it just has a smaller screen. So I guess we'll just have to use that until we get the Garmin repaired.

Just a note, so far this week I think that we have crossed the Mississippi River about 300 times.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Quad Cities - Part One

We had a nice little drive over to the Quad City area today, only about 75 miles, we ran into a lot of orange barrels but very little traffic. After getting everything set up at camp we drove over to the Quad City Botanical Center, I think the reason it's called a center rather then gardens is because it took us all of 30 minutes to walk through it and 15 minutes of that was talking with one of the gardeners. It might be nice in a few years when they enlarge it a bit but right now it's now worth the time or money, at least it was a free-bee for us because of our garden membership.

It took awhile to figure out what site number we were on

This was about it for flowers in the garden.

Day two, it's a little chilly but the sun is shining so we're off on a little road trip. We crossed the Mississippi River, you do that a lot in this area, into Iowa. Our first stop is in the river town of LeClaire, birthplace of Buffalo Bill Cody, we came here to visit the Buffalo Bill Museum. At least that's what we thought that we were going to do and the sign on the front of the building said that it was the Buffalo Bill Museum but once we got inside and walked around we found out that it was really a county museum with one little section about Buffalo Bill. Which was fine but they really shouldn't name it the Buffalo Bill when less then 5% of the floor space is dedicated to him, it had some nice artifacts and the saving element was that it included the Lone Star Riverboat that was housed next door.

The Lone Star was the longest continuous operating wooden steamboat in the USA, it started in 1869 and operated for 98 years, right up until the Coast Guard shut her down in 1967. They are restoring the vessel and have it enclosed in a huge building right on the Mississippi River. , the Deck and pilot house are open for you to view and walk through. Maybe it's because when I was younger I worked as a river rat on the tug boats of the Detroit River and it's still in my blood but I just love it when I get around an old working boat of any type.

Lone Star's stacks, coal bins are on each side of the staircase.

Stearn Paddle.

One of the steam powered piston that drove the paddle wheel.

From here we drove up to the Buffalo Bill Homestead, this is a self-guiding tour of the house, again their were some nice things on display but hardly anything about Buffalo Bill, I guess we're going to have to go west to Cody Wyoming to see anything.

This is the Homestead but I found this on a picture inside the house, so it makes me wonder which is the real house.

From here we drove over to the Walnut Creek Pioneer Village but when we got there it was packed, turns out they were having an Indian Pow-Wow and the place was infested with school kids, I mean filled with school kids. We decided to pass on this and save it for another trip. It's only about 12:30 so we're heading over to rock Island to see the Col. Davenport House. We were the only ones their so we got a private tour, the lady that gave us the tour is married to the G-Grandson of Col. Davenport, so she really knew the history of the house and the family, we spent close to two hours there and found her stories fascinating. Davenport built this house which at that time was a mansion, right on the shore of the Mississippi River, right across the river was the Iowa Territory that was still Indian country. He was a fur trader with the Indians and a sutler for the military that came into this area. Rock Island is an active military base and has many interesting things to see and do, during the Civil War it was a POW camp and was known as the Andersonville of the North.

No pictures allowed inside the Davenport House.

They're calling for cold, wet weather this week end so it's going to be a collage football Saturday and an NFL Sunday, both with homemade soups.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Peoria Stuff & More

Another great day for a road trip, our first mission is to locate the Whispering Giant located near Hopewell,Ill. After a lot of back roads and a few detours we arrived at Hopewell, a community built on the high bluffs of the Illinois River. I think this is the sixteenth Whispering Giant that Peter Toth carved in this journey across America.

Yesterday we revisited one of his Giants in Ottawa, Ill, the last time we saw that one was during a flood and was more then half under water, it appears to have weathered the storm pretty good. At the peak of the flooding we were told that only about two foot of the carving was above water.

After that we followed the river to Peoria and spent the first part of the afternoon visiting their zoo. We spent about an hour and a half walking around a very impressive little zoo. Not counting the small school class of about 20 kids we only saw about ten other people in the zoo. Of course there are some pictures.

Little Red River Pigs that were born two months ago.

After that it was a short walk across the park to the Peoria Gardens, this only took about 40 minutes to walk through, it was on the small side but very well laid out.

Looks like a nice big plate of fresh out of the oven cinnamon coated sugar cookies, right. Wrong the answer is below.

..........................NOPE not cookies, Mushrooms

It was getting on into the afternoon and we were looking for a place to eat, we decided to cross over the river and eat at the first place we saw, as luck would have it we found another Culver's (sorry about that Margie).

On the way back to camp we drove through Metamora to see the Adlai Stevenenson House, the Vice-President from 1893-1897, the house is now a museum but is only open Sunday afternoons. So instead we stopped by the historic County Courthouse. They are doing some restoration work on the front pillars but the curator was there and dragged us inside and held us captive for the next two hours. This courthouse was part of the circuit that Lincoln traveled and practiced law with Judge Davies. I'm always amazed at how this little museums have so many one of a kind items, this one had the table that Lincoln used to eat at when he stayed at the Metamora House Hotel, Judge Davies Desk and chair that he used to hold court. There is an old map of the United States hanging on the wall and it is the same one that was hanging there when Lincoln was there. Lincoln handled 74 cases in this building and the only time he ever acted as a prosecutor was in this building, we heard a lot of great stories and learned quite a few new facts about about history. This courtroom that they have restored with many of the original pieces of furniture once contained a President, a Vice-President and a US Supreme Court Justice, not bad for a little rural town.

I left the map picture pretty big so you can click on it and see the states and territory's.

Back to camp and get ready for our move to the Quad Cities tomorrow.