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We have been absent for three days. During this time, SAM and ME have crossed the Mississippi River, walked into the State of IOWA...then North on US 52 toward the city of DUBUQUE, Iowa.
Following up the invitation from Paul and Nancy while visiting sister Carol last week, we arranged to meet just South of Dubuque, where SAM and ME hitched a ride in their SUV...first driving through Dubuque...then to the historic town of GALENA, where we enjoyed lunch in the DE SOTO HOTEL...and an interview by the local newspaper.
Tonight (Tuesday, June 25, 2013, will be our second night at the magnificent home of Nancy and Paul...a home sited on top of an 1,100 foot mountain with views North and East for at least 40 miles across heavily treed rolling hills.
Please say HELLO to GIGI and BILL...with whom, two mornings ago I enjoyed one of the most delectable breakfast meals in memory...after a restful night in their Bed and Breakfast in SAVANNA, Illinois.
The elegant Breakfast Room at Gigi and Bill's.
Adorned by classic art on every wall and in every corner.
I was joined by bikers (motorcycles) who also stayed over in the B&B. For the past three weeks, the roadways of mid-America have been teeming with motorcycles...finally, I had the chance to spend time with a few.
Please say HELLO to BRUCE and JILL JOHNSON, who took time to walk out to SAM, where we had a friendly chat...wished each other a pleasant continued journey...and where $$ were gifted to SAM and ME.
Thank you Bruce and Jill...I hope you are enjoying your continued trip as much as I am enjoying having spent time with you.
Sunday morning walking out of the city of SAVANNA, Illinois...next:
Local SENIORS saw SAM and ME off as we walked and rolled out of Illinois.
A rather impressive photograph of the Mississippi River Bridge which SAM and ME will cross in a moment...IOWA awaits on the other side.
Not the safest bridge over which to cross...note: NO BERM !
Passing vehicles graciously STOPPED to allow SAM and ME pass.
The Mississippi River leading South to New Orleans, Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico.
First IOWA town is SABULA...on the banks of an island in the middle of the Mississippi River.
SAM, contemplating the causeway leading from Sabula (behind the camera) to the West shore of the Mississippi River.
Local "weed" growing along the causeway roadside.
Please say HELLO to Father and Daughter, MIKE and MARIAH WILDER...on their4 way to ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI...following the Mississippi River to raise awareness and $$ for HOPE STATION: serving the orphaned, surrendered, and disabled children of China: www.hsorphans.org
...and another THISTLE.
We will be following the Mississippi River North for the next few days.
The beautifully sited river town of BELLEVUE...where SAM and ME found a room in the RIVERSIDE HOTEL...a building housing the town tavern, restaurant, and hotel.
Once again, it has begun to rain...SAM and ME have been wet for most of the day.
Please say HELLO to CLARE...our hostess for breakfast.
The staff of the tavern and hotel were ever so kind to SAM and ME...even allowing SAM to park overnight in the POOL ROOM...(game room).
Thank you, all.
View from my hotel room looking onto LOCK AND DAM # 12.
Already 1/2 mile out of town, we were hailed by...
Please say HELLO to Editor LOWELL CARLSON...who, conducted an interview for the local newspaper.
LOCK AND DAM #12. The long river barge tows travelling the Mississippi River pass through a number of similar dams the length of the river.
SAM contemplating the Mighty Muddy Mississippi River.
Bless by the Water Fountain Angel in the City Park of Bellevue, which reaches along the entire river from north to south of town.A
A BUCKBOARD...usually pulled by a single horse...made famous by BOB HOPE...:
singing the song BUTTONS AND BOWS: "East is East...and West is West...and the wrong one I have chose..."
Part way up our first long steep hill on US 52 as we look back on the town of Bellevue and Lock and Dam # 12.
This part of the banks of the Mississippi River is a series of steep hills...making our walk very difficult...not to mention on-again off-again thunder storms drenching us much of the way.
We planned to meet Paul and Nancy just South of DUBUQUE, some 20 miles North of Bellevue. It is apparent after the first hour that we will be MUCH later than the expected 2:00 pm meeting. We phone., advising of our slow pace..."no problem...call gain when you get closer and we will come fetch you."
A pair of MULES. We do not see many mules.
Please say HELLO to JIM BLITZEN. Gentleman Jim, local farmer, took his breakfast this morning in the Riverview Cafe, during which he and I carried on a rather lengthy conversation on many subject...of considerable interest being M.A.A.R.S.
Jim invited SAM and ME to stop at his farm about 4 miles north of town. When we arrived, there stood Jim, patiently waiting in his driveway...a plastic bag in hand. When presented, Jim says..."nearly everything in this bag was grown or made by my wife and I...to help you on your journey..."
Jim and I continued visiting alongside the highway...time forgotten...
...finally, I had to say Good Bye...leaving behind another friend.
View from the ridge-top not far from Gentleman Jim's farm.
These cows started bellering as SAM and Me walked and rolled into view. I answered them with my best bellow...they all instantly ran directly to us until stopped by the fence.
US 52 becomes very steep and winding...slowing our progress even more.
Church in the tiny LUXEMBURGER village, 1/2 the distance from Bellevue to Dubuque. Second phone call made to Paul, advising of our non-progress.
Please say HELLO to PAUL and NANCY...
Paul, brother to RUTHIE (room made to sister Carol in the DeKalb nursing home), and Nancy, both retired, live on a mountaintop some 15 miles from Dubuque...
SAM and ME have been invited to spend the night...and revel a bit with a few of their friends...
But first, a late lunch - early dinner, in the nearby historic town of GALENA, Illinois.
...more GALENA, ILLINOIS.
...and yes, still GALENA...nice to look at...as picturesque as any in Europe.
...and surprised to find a few SAN FRANCISCO look-alike buildings.
Please say HELLO to DAVID...reporter for the GALENA GAZETTE, who joined us for lunch...during which I answered his many questions.
Lunch was in the historic DE SOTO Hotel...above which is a bit of historical information.
View from the home of Paul and Nance...as seen from my daylight basement room.
Entry to Paul and Nancy's home.
Not only is this small region geologically and historically significant...so have some neighbors given their homes significant names. Moments after taking this photograph, a group of about 8 wild turkeys walked across the above driveway.
Today, Nancy took me for a 3 + mile walk on the mountain road leading to their home. Hilly, curvy, no lines, nearly no vehicles.
Only the second person in over three years to join me in a walk.
Thank you, Nancy.
Tomorrow, SAM and ME will be driven into Dubuque for breakfast...then a visit to VERIZON to program my new (unused) DROID phone...then set free to continue north on US 55 with the town of GUTENBURG, IOWA (no, not the birthplace of the Printing Press...the Other Gutenburg).
Then, we say goodbye to two more new friends.
Thank you Paul...Nancy... for sharing your own friends, home, and love.