Barge at Lock No. 12 - Bellevue, Iowa

Farm along Mississippi

Potter's Mill Restaurant and Bed & Breakfast

Bellevue, Iowa from Bellevue State Park - Nelson Unit

My favorite flower photo

Upright Water Lily

Swappin' Fish Stories

Butterfly Garden

Barge at Lock No. 13 - Mississippi River, Clinton, IA

Goldfinch along Mississippi

Red-tailed Hawk

Bob did take me out for dinner last night to celebrate 3 months on the road - still married although the puppies have had litters themselves by now. We ate at a restored flour mill called Potter's Mill in Bellevue, Iowa along the banks of the Mississippi. Along the way, we stopped in downtown Bellevue to watch a tugboat push a coal barge through one of the locks along the Mississippi - Lock No. 12. Didn't know there were locks along the Mississippi. It was like watching a miniature Panama Canal operation. Millions of gallons of water raise the level of the lock while a cable pulls the barge through. This barge was too long to allow for both the tug and the barge to go through all at once so they detached a portion of the barge from the rest, put it through the lock and then, did the same with the rest of the barge and the tug. Apparently, the lock system keeps the river navigable. The locks are located between islands of the river and the shore so that at least one side of the river is deep enough for big river traffic while the other side is ok for the small boats.

The meal at Potter's Mill was wonderful. Bob had a smoked pork chop that was great and I had the prime rib special. The meal came with a soup and salad bar, rolls, potato and vegetables and we had dessert and drinks. The bill came to $44.00!!!! To top it off, the service was wonderful and the ambiance lovely, with handmade quilts decorating all of the walls of the restaurant. Interestingly, while the designs were familiar to me, the names for the designs were different. For example, what I would call a Dresden Plate was called something like a friendship rose. Best meal overall we have had since leaving PA. Still haven't had a great steak yet.

On Sunday, we got up late, dawdled over French Toast with marionberry syrup and didn't leave the RV til around 11:00. We traveled downriver along Rt. 52 and crossed into Illinois at Savanna, a lovely river town with an inordinate number of motorcycles. At one spot, there had to be at least 100 bikers - of course, they were all at Poopy's Tatoo Parlor in the parking lot. Must be some tattoos....

Finally found a roadside vegetable stand. Stopped and got fresh corn, beans, tomatos, peaches and watermelon. They were offering free samples of the watermelon and it was wonderful. However, when we ate the corn and tomatos, well folks....they didn't compare to PA or NJ produce - not quite as flavorful.

It was about 85 degrees but little humidity. Bob was not interested in taking a walk through the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge so Dixie and I did - at the Green Island Sanctuary along a dike that crossed channeled wetlands. The water lilies were in full bloom and there were two different kinds; the typical one we are used to seeing, and a tall, upright, almost tulip-like cream-colored one. In addition, there were many different wild-flowers. (I can hear Carlie saying to himself: they're weeds, Joanne - Bob's reaction as well) But if you really look at the weeds, you will see that they are infinitely intricate in both color and shapes. I'd rather view them as God's roadside decorations.

Dixie and I also took a road-trip to the Nelson unit section of the Bellevue SP where we are staying (in the Dyas section). They have a wonderful butterfly garden, which was filled with, you guessed it....butterflies. I took what I think is the best flower photo that I have taken the entire trip of a zinnia and bee but you can tell me if you agree.

There was also a spectacular view from the park of the town of Bellevue and Lock No, 12 along the Mississippi.

Nice place - would come back here again for some relaxation.

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