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.


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


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


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.



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


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


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.



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


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


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



Then, there was the uniquely-coloured house.


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.


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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