Mississippi River Cruise 2013
Welcome to Hannibal
Boyd & Mark Twain?
Story telling by Samuel Clemmons aka Mark Twain
Mississippi at Burlington
Jazz band welcomed us to Davenport, Iowa
Welcome to Dubuque
Our group in front of the American Queen in Dubuque, Iowa
Welcome to La Cross
La Cross, Wisconsin
Red Wing, Minnesota
Red Wing is famous for their pottery
The calliope plays as we leave Red Wing
Beautiful fall colors as we roll down the Mississippi
Mississippi River as we sail out of Redwing
Having dinner at the Marquette
St. Paul and the Mississippi
Governors home in St. Paul
James Hill house in St. Paul
Wabasha Street Caves
Boarding the American Queen
Ernestine & Nancy
Marlene & Charlotte
David & Marcella
American Queen 2.jpg 2013-10-02
St. Louis, Missouri
Because the Army Corp of Engineers had closed several miles of the Mississippi for dredging, we were forced to dock this morning in Alton, Illinois which is a suburb of St. Louis. Buses then took us on into St. Louis for our tours, but we originally were scheduled to dock right under the Arch, so it was disappointing to not be able to do that, but we got some views of it just the same. The first stop on our tour was to a beautiful Basilica in downtown St. Louis. The mosaics inside were amazing. Then we were off to Anehuser Bush for a tour of the Clydesdale stables and beer tasting. After a fun time there, it was time to head to the airport. Our flight to Dallas was on time, but we had aircraft trouble on our flight to Lubbock. We had to return to the airport and change planes, but we eventually made it to Lubbock about 10:30. Everyone was glad to be home, but we all agreed that it was an awesome trip!
We enjoyed a nice visit with Mark Twain last evening, listening to his stories, tales, and wisdom. So one of the most anticipated stops was Hannibal, Missouri, the childhood home of Samuel Clemons, aka Mark Twain. Our tours today included them boyhood home of Samuel, Becky Thatcher's home, and the home of Huck Finn. We left out of Hannibal around noon heading for the end of our journey in St. Louis.
Burlington housed the most important north south rail line in Iowa. The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad was also significant to the development of Burlington. We were greeted this morning by a bag piper, then we were off to explore the area. The Mosquito Park had some great views of the river and Snake Alley is Burlington's claim to fame with the "crookedest" street in the world. We left Burlington at 1:00 sailing for Hannibal. Mark Twain will be speaking tonight!
We arrived in Davenport, Iowa well before anyone was up! Davenport is part of what is called the "Quad Cities". The cities making up the Quad City area are Davenport and Bedencourt, Iowa, and Rock Island and East Moline, Illinois. Of course, only the Mississippi River is separating Iowa and Illinois. We were in port all day today until 5:00 which gave everyone plenty of time to explore the area and see what Davenport has to offer. A popular tour here is to the John Deere factory where John Deere is headquartered. Everyone is enjoying the relaxing evenings and shows aboard the American Queen as we sail ever so slowly toward St. Louis.
Dubuque's main industries are tourism, high technology, and publishing. McGraw-Hill Publishing is headquartered here. It was a beautiful fall day here in Dubuque, sunny and pleasant. The main site to see was the Fenelon Place Elevator...the shortest and steepest railroad in the US. Back on board, it was half price margarita day!! Woo hoo!! It was a beautiful day on deck and some took part in the bingo and a film on the American Queen...wonderful day.
La Crosse, Wisconsin
La Crosse is the largest city on Wisconsin's western border. Today we are celebrating Oktoberfest onboard, so after breakfast and a visit to several of the sites in La Cross, we were treated to a lunch of grilled brats with all the trimmings. That was followed by a beer tasting and polka music. As we travel down the Mississippi, we must travel through a series of locks and dams. At each lock, there are a lot of locals that come down to the river to witness the American Queen. As we are in the lock, they ask us questions such as where we are from and we ask them where we are!! After dinner we enjoyed another fine show, Hooray for Hollywood, then it was polka dancing for the last activity of the day!
Red Wing, Minnesota
We were already docked in Red Wing, Minnesota by the time most of us woke up. It was pretty chilly this morning, but it was warmer than the day before. After coffee and breakfast, most of us took our time exploring what Red Wing had to offer. It isn't a big town and a lot of stores were closed because it was Sunday, but we enjoyed our time here. We sailed out at 1:00 pm with the calliope playing and the sun came out for a short time. During the afternoon, some napped while others enjoyed a very interesting talk on river navigation. We were introduced to the captain and senior officers at the Captains Welcome Reception, then it was time for dinner. Afterwards, we all enjoyed the show performed by the Juggernauts Jug Band from Louisville, Kentucky...very entertaining.
Minneapolis - St. Paul
We had smooth traveling to Minneapolis and enjoyed a nice dinner at Basil's Restaurant at the Marquette Hotel, our hotel for the night. Our two travelers from New York had arrived earlier, so we were all ready for a little relaxation and a good night's sleep. On Saturday morning, we had a nice breakfast and then it was in line to get checked in for the cruise. After our check in we had a "Gangster Tour" of St. Paul which was very interesting, along with a stop at the Wabasha Street Caves, the sight of an infamous 20's speakeasy. St. Paul is the second largest city in the state of Minnesota and the capital. We boarded our steamboat, had our mandatory fire drill, then enjoyed a wonderful dinner, show, and sail away beginning our journey down the mighty Mississippi!