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.

1 comment:

Margie and Roger said...

After having been to the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody, Wyoming, I can see that this a little disappointing. Glad you got to enjoy the boat though. Aaaahhhh, it must be fall - football and homemade soup. Go Gators, Go Steelers.