Great River Road 10 – Dubuque to Muscatine
We had such a great time in Dubuque it was hard to leave. But the open road was calling, so after spending the morning checking out the sights of Dubuque we were on our way again.
What a difference a day makes. For two days we dealt with cold and rain. Now we had hot and windy to deal with. The wind was out of the south so it really buffeted us heading downriver to LeClaire, IA. That’s right home of Antique Archeology better known as American Pickers. Highway 52 took us on a winding ride through beautiful scenery. The only problem today was that there was a lot of construction and we spent a lot of time sitting on hot idling bikes waiting for our turn on the one lane sections of road. When you add hot air, hot wind and hot motors you get a pretty draining conditions for bikers. Dehydration was definitely a factor today.
One thing we noticed as we got a little way out of Dubuque was that the majestic bluffs we had been riding along for several hundred miles were now much less prominent. As we approached Clinton, IA it was downright flat. This was not a pretty section of the river. Clinton is very industrial with huge plants all along the river. The town was under construction so it took a long time to pass through. South of Clinton the natural scenery returned. At times the river road was right on the river giving us great views.
There was some great scenery approaching LeClaire. Guess what? LeClaire was all torn apart too and the backup of traffic extended out of town in both directions. We were looking for the visitor’s center and Antique Archeology but with no luck. Doing the most unmanly thing I know of, we pulled over and asked directions. I went into a local bank asked a teller where I might find Antique Archeology. She politely smiled and pointed out the window. “Right there” she replied. I stopped right next to it without knowing. It is hard to see because the shot you see on TV gives the impression that this place is bigger than it is and that there is some room around it. Not so. Antique Archeology is tucked behind a BP station on the main street of town and you would not see it if you didn’t turn up the alley that runs by the old car you see on TV. They are building a new store which also blocks the building you see on TV. It was fun to see the place. I recognized several things inside that I had seen on segments of the show. (Laurel and Hardy masks, cut out motorcycle motor and the crappy little car Danielle drives) I even saw Mike’s brother checking on the progress of the construction.
After taking a bunch of pictures we headed out again, not sure where our final destination would be this day. I could see the tops of thunderstorms off to the northwest and I hoped to get a little further before the rain started again. We pretty much drove right through the quad cities and kept heading to Muscatine. By the time we got to Muscatine it was getting late and the storms were much closer. It was time to be done for the day.
We found a room just off the highway and ordered dinner to go from the restaurant next door. Timing is everything. Not 10 minutes after getting back to the hotel with dinner the storms hit. They were pretty serious storms too with lots of rain and wind. We were very happy to be safe in a hotel this time and not hunkered down under the trees out in the middle of nowhere.
Next Segment we are off to Hannibal, Mo. Home of Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain.