Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Dubuque, IA

When last we were together, dear blog reader, Bob and I had left Lancaster, OH and were heading for Indiana. We had single night stops in Crawfordsville, IN and Knoxville, IL before turning north to Iowa.

We passed mile after mile of beautiful farmland set in green, rolling hills. The last leg of our trip to Dubuque was short, and we arrived safely at a small county park in Peosta, IA for a couple of nights.

It was wonderful seeing our niece, Lori, and her husband Brian, with their three adorable boys! On Monday afternoon they popped over to welcome us and we gave them a tour of our MH before walking over to the playground so the boys could run around. Bob, Auggie, and I followed them back to their home where we visited and got to know the boys. It has been years since we saw them last, and it was the first time we could really spend time with them. Such a joy! We had a yummy dinner with the whole family before heading back to rest up for a day of fun.

On Tuesday, Lori showed us around Dubuque. We rode up the hill on the Fenelon Place Elevator, the world's steepest and shortest scenic railway, which is 296 feet in length and affords magnificent views of Dubuque and the Mississippi River. This historic funicular was built in 1882 by Mr. J. K. Graves who lived on top of the bluffs but worked at the bank at the bottom. Since he liked to take a half hour for his noon-time meal at home and nap for another half hour, his one hour lunchtime allotted to him was too short for his tastes. For it took Mr. Graves a half hour to drive his horse and buggy round the bluffs to his home and another half hour to return to work. Faced with this dilemma, he built a one-car cable modeled after those he had seen in Europe.

It costs a mere $1.50 for each one-way trip on the Elevator.

Looking up to the Bluffs.

The view from the top.

We took a brief walk through the neighborhood before a certain 2-year old decided it was too much walking and we returned for another fun ride down and a trip to the ice cream shop at the bottom. Thus refreshed, the six of us drove over to the Riverwalk.

We took photos of this magnificent stern wheeler, the American Queen, docked at the edge of the Mississippi.

The Star Brewery offers a place to sample local beers and watch the barges go upriver.

The Shot Tower, constructed in 1856, was used to manufacture lead shot ammunition. The tower was purchased in 1860 by J. K. Graves (the man who built the funicular) who sold it in 1862. It was restored in 2010 and is one of only a few remaining shot towers in the United States, and the only one west of the Mississippi River.

Bob and I returned to our niece's home, had lunch, enjoyed a nice afternoon and dinner before heading home for the evening. What fun!

This morning I awoke to a pretty pink sky.

Bob and I continue our journey today north to Wisconsin for a couple of nights before turning west towards South Dakota.

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