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50 States Day 93

Day 93, Rock Island to Lena, Il 145 Miles
"Life is not a journey to the grave, with the intention of arriving safely, in an attractive, well preserved body, but to skid in sideways, your body
thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "Woo hoo! What a ride!"
Sign in Galena, Il
I haven't written much about the picture debacle, but it has been fraught with frustration and anger. However, Art has patiently walked me through this mess, and it looks like we may have pictures. Why, after 452 posts, the Picasa decides to turn my pictures black, I have no idea. Don't ask. Someday I'll do my computer rant.

Before leaving, we stopped at the John Deere Museum, complete with its interesting history of Deere. Hard to imagine John would be such a raging success, as at age 32 he started a blacksmith shop but it burned down. He built another one. It burned down too. The investor wanted his money, so JD had two choices; debtor's prison or go West and make as much as possible and repay the cash. He left his wife and children and headed to Illinois with $73. John studied the local plows and found they got jammed up with the clay soil. He invented a self scouring steel plow. He polished the better quality steel and got started that way. The Deere family managed the enterprise for five generations before the company went public.
The most amazing machine in the building had feet. This prototype feller buncher walks through the forest with six legs like a spider and removes trees without tearing up the surface. Sensors in the feet let the machine know how much pressure it can push. And the thing climbs sidehills. Crazy cool.  We continued up the Great River Road, with views from none to peek-a-boo to riding right above the shoreline. The houses ran the gamut as well, from not so nice to lovely open window views on hills overlooking the river, to places along the river with docks. I imagine it would be fun to jump in the boat and motor upriver, stop at a restaurant somewhere and have lunch, then coast home.

Waterskiing, wake-boarding and jet skiing could be a blast as well. QG thought she could live along the river. And she doesn't even swim.

We arrived at Galena hot and tired after a hot and-okay short-ride. This town does tourism right. Pay attention Durango, Colorado, the worst tourist town! Galena restores the buildings to more original form, not some fancy schmancy 'look like retro' look. We enjoyed a mid-afternoon early dinner in a 155 year old hotel. With time ticking, we walked the streets, and then headed out to Lena (Lena? Galena?) and a (PP!) KOA campground. A quick setup of the tent, and a leap into the pool and we regained our will to live. Soon the sun set, with fluffy clouds blazing orange and pink off of it. The nice thing about these summer days is the temperatures drop after the sun does.

A delightful day to meet people, as we talked to Heidi in Cordova and Alan along with Tom and Barbara at this KOA. If you get cynical about people, ride around the country with a red, white and blue bike. Or some other goofy wild motif. You meet the nicest people on a Honda.

And now, a bit of an Illinois wrap up.
If an Illinois person is irritating you, are they Illinoising? I made that up myself. You're welcome.
Springfield reeks with urban blight. Very disturbing. People say Chicago is worse.
Alaska is proud of their pipeline, Wyoming puffs its chest out with Yellowstone and Illinois rocks it with Abraham Lincoln. Good job Illinois. Don't forget Lewis and Clark too.
I see the Mississippi River draw. It would be nice to see the boats and barges travel past your house.
Much of the state is beautiful, but the brown grass and dead corn take it down a lot. Must really be beautiful without the pesky drought.

And now... Ladies and gentlemen... back by popular demand... Quilter Girl!
Quilter girl here for just a few personal observations.  I really do not melt.  My dad used to tell me that all the time when I would complain about the heat and it is true.  I may sweat, but haven't melted yet and there were days that I felt like I would.  Kind of like the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz, I imagine turning into a puddle.  I have discovered that riding does cool a person off if the air is cool.  If it is 100 or close to it, just head for some air conditioning because nothing helps!  I was most worried about heat on this trip and have found that 90's are okay.  Remember, that if the high is going to be 95, it is only for a few hours at that temp.  When it cools off at night it is heaven, as are swimming pools in KOA campgrounds!  I am surviving quite nicely and even camping in July.  
Thanks, QG!
Tomorrow we'll arrive in Wisconsin. See you then and thanks for following.


Heidi Wiens said...

It was amazing to 'run' into you in Cordova! Simply awesome to see a couple doing this! I would love to do a waterfall chase for 50 weeks! :P. After our conversation, I scurried home and shared our chat with my Fiancé, then ran across the yard to tell my Mom. This country has a lot to offer, more so- the innumerable amount of simply interesting people, make it that much more intriguing! During my travels I always found it fascinating to chat with the 'local folks'. It may not be a conversation about history, or what a town has to offer a tourist- but simply hearing stories of their walk through life that has always left a lasting impression on me. I applaud the both of you for seizing such an opportunity. I will most definitely follow you on your journey! I hope you have a safe, "eventful" exscursion! All the best!

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

Thanks, Heidi. We have met so many interesting people, like you, at gas stations. Who would have thought! 50 waterfalls... Keep dreaming big.