coiach at Bellevue State Park

Bob and Dixie at Mississippi Overlook - Bellevue State Park

Apples at Bellevue State Park

Corderoy Field of Corn along Mississippi

Had to go to the Wal-mart this morning to purchase a new coffeepot when we discovered last evening that I had mistakenly thrown the coffee basket out with the grounds yesterday morning. Bob claims he has never known anyone who did this but I don't believe that. I put the basket in the trash upside down while I went to get a paper towel because it was hot and then, promptly forgot what I was doing and did something else. Just goes to show I have too many cleanup chores.

Anyway, that done, we headed to Dubuque, Iowa after debating whether we were going to go south to Des Moines so we could attend the Iowa State Fair. If my girlfriends were here, there is no question what we would have done, right ladies?? I mean, here we are in Iowa, home of Radar O'Reilly, and in the same state as the town of Correctionville, which bills itself as the buckle of the cornbelt, and I can't imagine a neater thing to do than go to the Iowa State Fair. I went online to check out the events and was sorry to learn that I missed the deadline to enter the ladies nail-driving contest. We could have seen the cornhusk cloggers and learned all about milk-producing techniques. Of course, they also advertised big name country music stars like Big and Rich. But...Bob won out and we decided to go east to Dubuque and then south right along the Mississippi River to Clinton, Iowa. You know why he wanted to go to Clinton and promised to buy me a blue dress while there.

The first two hundred miles were flat cornfields and soybean fields. When we got about 20 miles from Dubuque, the terrain changed to rolling farmland much like Lancaster County or Bucks for that matter. It was really lovely and lush green. The Mississippi here is huge - much much different than the stream we crossed on foot in Bemidje Minnesota at the headwaters.

We decided to see if there were any campsites available and large enough for us at Bellevue State Park and there were. We are in Site 32 and it has 50 amp electric service but no water or sewer. There is a dump station, however. Guess we won't be showering tonight.

It is hot and humid - sound familiar. But this park is lovely (aptly named Bellevue) and one of the picnic areas has a beautiful panoramic view of the Mississippi River far below. You can see its braided channels from the bluff. Dixie and I took a long walk and I was amazed how many different wildflowers were in bloom; purple coneflowers, black-eyed susan, queen anne's lace, wild blue delphiniums, yellow coneflowers, and a bunch of unidentified flowers. Also saw my first cardinal since leaving the east. For the last 10 weeks, we have not seen a cardinal, bluejay, red-winged blackbird or any typical PA birds. I did hear a white-throated sparrow and the ranger tells me there are indigo buntings along the roadside.

The trees are common to PA as well - black walnut and oak trees abound as well as apple trees currently in full fruit.

The good thing about not having any hook-ups to water is that to save water, we can go out to eat. The bad thing...no shower tonight.

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