The Great River Road Trip

Rather than drive quickly out of the Midwest and concentrate on everything west of the Missouri River, as I was thinking of doing, Lindsay quickly started planning a sightseeing tour right out of southern Indiana by steering us off the Interstate highways. I had no idea she would be interested in seeing the agricultural and architectural side of the Midwest. I’m glad she did because I saw some things I’d never seen before along the Mississippi Great River Road.

Harvesting the corn

We enjoyed watching the farmers of Indiana and Illinois harvesting their soybeans and corn.

Branston, IN Rail crossing

The amount of railways and working trains were impressive.

Chili Thanks Brent

We wanted to say “thanks” to my brother, Brent, for the Midwest style chili which was made from his garden vegetables that he canned into his “chili starter” mix. Fantastic stuff.

Ursa, IL Campground

We camped our first night for free on the Mississippi River at the Bear Creek campground in Ursa, IL.

Ursa, IL campground Sunset 2

We only saw one fishing boat on the river.

Ursa, IL Campground sunset

We were the only people in the campground, and all we heard was a combine harvesting corn in the distance.

Ursa, IL campground sunrise

The next morning we took a quick walk along the river. What you see on the left is actually an island to the West of Illinois, not Iowa like I thought at first.

Great River Road

We crossed over into Iowa and drove slowly along the Mississippi River along the Great River Road.


I never would have thought to photograph and old brick building like this, but Lindsay kept saying “Wow”, while pointing, and I encouraged her to take a quick shot of this one.

Mississippi - Bellvue, IA

What can I say. This is a beautiful shot from the side window from Iowa looking at Illinois. Notice the RV shadow in the lower right?

Great River Road CLOSED

We had to take a detour along gravel roads to find the path along the river again, which was not routed for us with signage, surprisingly, but we managed. We refused to take gravel roads EVER again after that.

Dubuque, IA Bridge

We made it all the way to Debuque, Iowa and found a small campground on an island next to this bridge.

Dubuque, IL Miller Campground

We are absolutely loving the RV experience and we took a quick bike ride around the island.

Dubuque, IL Miller Campground TINY Minnie!

This time of year, since school is in session, we have lots of space between campers.

Dubuque, IL Miller Campground view 2

We were disappointed, however, with the seemingly endless wailing of train horns during the night. We didn’t sleep very well here but the view was spectacular.

Our next destination was to stay with and visit our friends we know from Puerto Morelos, Mexico who live in northern Iowa. Due to their social schedule it was best that we delay our arrival by one day, so we decided to take advantage of a nearby attraction. The Elroy-Sparta National Trail was just a bit north of our route, so we headed up there to get some exercise and enjoy a long ride on a well-developed path. See loads of gorgeous pictures on our next post!