Friday, October 23, 2015

Davenport, IA

We left Dubuque mid morning of Oct 8 for West Lake County Park outside Davenport.  And I got to drive! Finally.  Don has been so happy with the way the MoHo drives since we had the wheels aligned that he wanted me to experience it and I was all too willing to do so.  The drive was easy, still rolling hills, cornfields and windmills with farms scattered around on each side.  We followed the road near the river but in that area it is not really close so we didn't see much.  We did not go into Davenport but just west to a lovely county park.  The weather was typical fall-crisp and cool, our site was easy to find and we set up in no time and relaxed. And Don went for a bike ride.

Next day, you guessed it-I went to do laundry and groceries and was happy to see that not only was the grocery store right across the street from the laundromat AND there was a cheap gas station on the way back to the park, but there was a Goodwill and I had a pile of books and some other stuff we'd gathered.  Laundry done, groceries bought, donations made and car filled with gas ($2.19/gal) and my work was done.  I did a short bike ride and then got to some paperwork that I needed to do while Don...rode his bike.

The next day we went to Davenport.  We'd seen an article saying the Welcome Center was worth visiting and since it's housed in the old train station it was easy to find.  We gathered some maps and flyers and then went outside to the Farmer's Market which was next door.  I was disappointed because I had bought vegetables at the store the day before but we found some Delicata squash and some bison steaks and bison Bratwurst that we decided to try.  We had brick oven pizza for lunch while sitting in the shade which was a touch too cool so that lead to a walk along the river in the brilliant sun.  The Farmer's Market was quite different from the ones I am used to in the east because there were all sorts of booths besides the produce and hand made items, there were tens of food booths.  There was a real mix of people too, something I do not really notice in the east.  I spent some time bonding with the wife of the farmer who sold me the squash since my eye was quite black and blue from my run in with the wall and she'd had a pole land on hers while they were breaking down last week.
The old Union (train) Station, it's now the Welcome Center
Of the many food booths this was the most creative.  However, we did not partake.  We limited ourselves to a woodfired pizza

Fall Produce...gourds

Cauliflower (my favorite, and Phoenix's)


Squash-the delicata is on the far left.  Delicious tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper you can eat the skin too.

The bridge to Rock Island crosses the Mississippi along the riverwalk. The stage was ornate and somewhat Eastern in design.

Looking toward the city from the riverwalk

The Figge and the Sky Bridge

It was time to return Phoenix to the car and for us to go see the Figge Art Museum.  WHAT a treat!  The exhibit of blown glass corn cobs was leaving the next day so I was thrilled to not miss it.  Then we looked at the art work of Ellen Wagener's Horizon lines.  Her colors and lines were lovely and I liked each one better than the next.  The next exhibit was the Photography of Edward S Curtis-or 100 of his photos.  In 1900 Curtis started a project to photograph Native American peoples all over the states.  The photos, most of us have seen the most famous, are exquisite.  Not only is the quality incredible but he captures the essence of each of his subjects.  Not content with only 100 I found a book with many more and sat happily ensconced as Don continued looking.  From there we looked at the main collections and the small-ish exhibit of cowboys bronzes but I was as impressed with the space and the lighting in the museum as thrilled with the collections.  In addition, the museum was celebrating el Dia de los Muertos/The Day of the Dead and the opening reception had been the night before.  Throughout the museum were papier mache dead people fully dressed and posed.  Of course the festival itself is a commemoration of the dead.

The Figge

Horse sculpture from driftwood and Dia de los Muertos papier mache figure

Corn installation-all blown glass.  Each stalk was about 3-4 feet/ 1 meter long

The space in the museum was as beautiful as the artwork on display.  This is a staircase with another Dia de los Muertos figure

A Sound Sculpture by Bertoia-the rods are long and when stroked with one's finger begin to move and hit each other.  The sound is like wind chimes.  Beautiful.

This is on the 3rd floor leading back out into the hallway
Wagener's F-5 Tornado series of paintings

The cutest couple we saw all day.

Figge complete we walked around until I found the Chocolate Parlor where I was able to get a few pieces to satisfy my chocolate craving and then return to the campground.  

The park was very quiet, though busy for the weekend but our spot was across from the tent campers so we felt quite private.  The bike trail into the adjoining section was a nice ride and I got out a few times though not for long.  Don continued to go for nice long rides though.  It was going to be a long drive to the Mark Twain State Park outside Hannibal the next day so we got the coach ready and hung out for the evening.

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