Sunday, June 21, 2009

Up the Mississippi River


You can probably guess from this photo, what we did on our vacation. We've wanted to cruise on a riverboat for years, but they are usually VERY expensive. We ran across a small ad in Reader's Digest for a cruise that included the word "affordable" and we bit!

Across Nebraska, across Iowa we drove to the Mississippi River, to a small river town of LeClaire, Iowa. Above is a paddlewheel (and DH) at the museum from a previous vessel. Paddlewheels are huge!

Below is our vessel for the trip, The Twilight - isn't she beautiful? (She is NOT powered by a paddlewheel.)
The capacity is 120 but to our delight, only 29 people were expected. We had her almost to ourself - all 3 decks, plus the wheelhouse. We visited the captain numerous times. He knew so much about 'ole man river', the Mississippi! And each time we left the dock, or prepared to dock up, the caliope started up - charming!!!

We had expected the river to be dirty, cluttered and polluted but were pleasantly surprised to find the river clean, unpolluted, and lovely. In fact, it's cleaner now than ever before. The amount of barge traffic and tonnage moved is incredible. The towboats push 12-15 barges at a time - even through the locks and dams, another amazing feat. Each barge holds 27 times more tonnage than a truck on the highway.

We had all our meals on board, and again, expected to have a simple fare of sandwiches, etc., but were extremely pleased with the menu, plus tablecloths, silverware, drinks, all beautiful and very delicious, in the air-conditioned dining room. Dress, as you can tell, is casual. Tall man in baseball cap is DH. (below).
There was also a bar, popcorn, snacks every time we turned around, coffee, tea, etc.

Above is a lovely view of the promenade - not sure which deck - and the river, all quiet and lovely.

The my DH was in 7th heaven seeing all the various tugboats, although the correct name is "towboats" even though they pushed and didn't tow.

We went through several locks, up the river for 90 miles to Dubuque, where we stayed in the downtown area, saw the sights, museum, acquarium, and arrived back on the boat next morning, to go back down to our original point of departure in LeClair, Iowa. This was a long 2-day trip, totally wonderful, relaxing, weather was perfect - a good trip.

We came away from this pleasant adventure with books on paddlewheelers, towboats, Mississippir River, riverboat travel and are amazed we knew so little about this important time in the development along the river.

For more information, www.riverboattwilight.com

After disembarking (and hitting a huge quiltshop within walking distance of the dock) we headed towards Wisconsin to visit family.

17 comments:

meggie said...

Sounds like the perfect break. Thanks for sharing it with us. I have always wanted to do the Riverboat Cruises here in Oz.

Mary said...

Sounds like the perfect summer escape, if only no mobile phones or internet, nirvana. Thank you for lovely pictures.

Vicki W said...

What fun!

Quiltin' LibraryLady said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time. And stopping at a couple quiltshops makes it even better doesn't it? It'll be something to remember.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Wow what a fun trip! So glad that you shared the pictures. What an adventure.

floribunda... aka Julie said...

sounds lovely -- we're going to Wisconsin in September to see all the in-laws. No time this year, but the riverboat sounds like a fun add-on for a future trip!

Nancy said...

You had me at "affordable." Your whole trip sounds like it was delightful. What a treat to have room to roam and not worry about a crowd.

I'm glad you had such a wonderful trip.

Colleen formerly of South Africa said...

You seem to have been so busy...love the river boat pics! I'd so enjoy that.

FLO_rancher said...

Missed you at the Quilt Guild meeting. enjoying the pictures of your trip.. How exciting...wonderful you went and enjoyed a sew peaceful time paddling down the river. Happy to hear you are safely home. HUGS.

Morah said...

Looks like a relaxing, fun time.

sewprimitive karen said...

Very interesting. Did you take a shot of your room?

Joyce said...

That sounds like a wonderful trip. I didn't know there were cruises on the Mississippi. Something to think about for another holiday. Hmmm...

Country Log Cabin Quilter said...

What a wonderful trip! A dream come true!

Diana said...

It sounds like heaven! I've been reading Twain's "Life on the Mississippi" and this trip sounds like such a good way to see the river and river life.

LC said...

Hey, you could be a travel writer! Glad you enjoyed this trip...

Lynn said...

That looks like a fun trip - will keep it in mind.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Four years ago we took our family across country from Utah to PA. Crossing the mississippi was one of the high points of the trip for me and for my family. Though I had crossed it many times before I don't think I had paid attention. It was so incredible to witness the size and power of the river. I would love to do this!