Reagan and the Rivers: A Heartland Meander

After the emotional and physical intensity of my spiritual quest, a day wandering the back roads of Iowa and Illinois, en route to Chicago, was a goodly treat.  After the unique experience of grooming and changing clothes in the Rest Area restroom, I found my pay deposit had gone through, and headed for the banks of the Mississippi, at Bettendorf, IA.  I was greeted by a gaggle of Canadian geese.

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The next sight was that of a casino riverboat, poking up over the riverwall.

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Then, there were the smaller boats, at Bettendorf Marina.

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This picturesque town is the smallest of the Quad Cities, which also include Davenport, IA, and the Illinois cities of Moline and Rock Island.  I went on, though, towards a pair of towns associated with the early life of Ronald Reagan:  Tampico and Dixon, IL.

Tampico was the 40th President’s birthplace.  It has a definite “tomorrow is soon enough” feel, which may explain a few of the more interesting moments of the Reagan era.  Here, in this town park, I half-expected Robert Preston to lead a marching band onto the lawn.

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The grain elevator is the most impressive structure for miles around.  The gazebo down the street is definitely decked out for a special event.

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Tampico does make a strong statement about its favourite son, in a prominent place.

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Dixon, a bit further to the east, is a bustling small city, and gave young “Dutch” his direction and drive.

Here are some scenes of the Rock River, at Dixon.

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Downtown Dixon has a surprising variety of places to eat and relax.

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I chose the Gingko Tree Cafe and Traditional Wellness Center, which offers the healthy menu items, that are supposedly rare in the Midwest.

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Before heading to Chicago, on the back road, I took a few shots of the Reagan Boyhood Home National Historical Site.

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Then, there was the uniquely-coloured house.

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I drove through the Fox River Valley, unable to contact a Facebook/WP friend, and on through Chicago, up to my favourite structure in the Windy City’s realm:  The Baha’i House of Worship, in Wilmette, some twelve miles north of the Chicago Loop.

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I went into this great temple of the spirit, feeling queasy and uncertain of myself, despite the relatively pleasant day I had, that Wednesday, July 24.  By the time I saw the city of Chicago in my rear view mirror, two hours later, a welcome feeling of calm had set in, and carried me forward to Bloomington/Normal, my default spot for resting between Chicago and St. Louis.

Next:  Cahokia Mounds, by Day

6 thoughts on “Reagan and the Rivers: A Heartland Meander

  1. I’m sorry that my phone wasn’t working. It still isn’t! LOL! That was quite a drive, from the quad cities through Dixon (I’ve driven out that way when I’ve needed to get in the car and just drive somewhere), up to Wilmette. That is a beautiful temple. I remember our visit there…the architecture intrigued me. I’ve never seen a building that looked like lace before. I’m glad you were able to find some peace there. It is a gorgeous place, to be sure.

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