Thursday, October 6, 2011

Blandings Landing IL to Rock Island IL

Blandings Landing IL to Rock Island IL
Thursday, October 6, 2011

Up at 8:00 and we decided to eat breakfast in Galena so we packed up, walked down to the waterfront to view the locks, wildlife, and river before we left. We also talked to the camp host – a very nice lady who explained she had not been there last night because she had taken her husband to the ER in Clinton IA last night. Long drive to Clinton – at least an hour.  He had pneumonia. We saw a Great Blue Heron which surprised us.
 Our Campsite at Blandings Landing
We had no problem getting back to Galena this morning and found a great place for breakfast - Golden Hen Café. Ben had Special House Skillet which included hash browns, tenderloin, veggies, and eggs. Jane had Potatoes Benedict which was potato pancakes, thick slice of ham, poached eggs and sauce. Both were excellent! No lunch for us today!
 Potatoes Benedict

We walked up and down the main street which was wonderful architecture and very interesting shops. Jane particularly liked a shop of all kinds of jellies, sauces, etc. A chef loved creating things and left his restaurant job. He has a factory there in Galena and makes all his own goods. You could taste everything before you bought it! 
 Galena IL

After about an hour of looking and shopping we drove across the river to visit the home of the 18th US President Grant.  He had lived here after his military career but before he ran for president. After his presidency he lived primarily in New York. Galena remained his “Camp David” or “Kennebunkport”. Never knew much about Grant – his wife was very interesting. Julia was a friend of Susan B. Anthony and the first President’s wife to be called “First Lady”. 
 Grant's Home in Galena
Grant's Study or Library

We then headed south on the Illinois GRR.  We crossed back to IA and continued through many small towns, through Clinton, and into Le Claire where we stopped for lunch – well an apple and some cheese- along the riverfront. We watched a loaded tow going north and an empty one going south. River traffic is picking up as we continue south. The river is much wider now and seems to have more rapid current. 
 Le Claire IA
We made arrangements today to visit Jane's cousin and her family in Iowa City as well as a short visit to her Grandparent Nesmith’s home town of Kellogg. No family still lives there but it will be fun to see what is still the same after many many years. We don’t often get to this part of the country!

We drove to a KOA campground in Rock Island and made an early day of it so Jane could catch up on posting her travel blog and cook dinner. We wanted a short day after the long one yesterday. We had Romano’s Macaroni Grill Chicken Piccata – everything was in a box but it required TWO cooking vessels. Most of our travel dishes require only the microwave and electric skillet; so this was special!  Simplified cooking and paper plates are my requirements when traveling. This dish was really good and worth the effort.

Nice evening to catch up on internet, blog posting, and even watching some real TV – but no FOX News at this location – guess they do not have FOX News in Illinois. The temperature was 82 this afternoon!

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