For one month, from 27 June to 27 July, we never had the Mississippi more that a few miles from us. First we rested eleven days at a friend's home in Elsa, Illinois and then as we walked the Great River Road and it's by-ways to Moline. Here are a few images from those 32 days.
27 June - We're about to land in Illinois as we cross the Mississippi on the Eagle's Nest Ferry at the southern end of Calhoun County.
27 July - Here in southern Illinois we walk not only on the Great River Road but also at the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois Rivers.
2 July - A tug pushes its barges around the corner of the bluffs southeast of Elsa.
8 July - Beginning to walk after our 11-day rest, we look back towards Elsa hidden in the niches of the bluffs.
9 July - Along the Missouri and southern Mississippi and Illinois Rivers every conversation with locals turns sooner or later to the Flood of '93. It was a "500-year" flood, the largest ever seen. Here across from Hardin, Illinois on the Illinois River, the corner cement post (see insert) of this barn marks the highest the water came. It stretched from here seven or eight miles to the far hills. This was water that was pushed back up the Illinois by the flooding Mississippi.
10 July - The bridge into Hardin across the Illinois is old and narrow. It raises its center span to let barges like this one through. Joyce and Gery thought it not advisable for us to walk so they gave us a ride in their pickup. Thanks.
11 July - A boat beside the Illinois River.
10 July - Petra stands along a creek that passes through Larry's farm on its way to the Mississippi in Hamburg, Ilinois. Larry is the husband of a friend of a friend. He had us over for an afternoon and gave us a ride up the road to our stop for the night. So many along this pilgrimage have invited us in and spent time like this. Thanks to you all.
10 July - Boats sit along the Mississippi in the hamlet of Hamburg.
11 July - In the village of Nebo, Illinois this sign tells about Cal Rodgers who landed here in 1911 during the first flight across the US. The sign tells as much of the story as we know.
The U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission's web site has this picture of Cal's plane taking off from Sheepshead Bay Speedway in New York on September 17, 1911. The best of the day, the plane crashed many times as he crossed the country. A back-up train followed him across the country. Click the link for a lot more about the flight.
11 July - Our Walking East has turned into walking north as we head up the west coast of the state through wide corn and bean fields.
12 July - Finally many more flowers are now along the road. They have taken a long time to show themselves.
17 July - Brother, Marty, comes to meet us along the back road we are walking today.
17 July - The blades of new windmills dwarf the flatcars that are carrying them on their way to some new windmill farm.
17 July - The evening sun shins on trees across the river in Canton, Missouri.
18 July - Ready to get on the early ferry at Canton.
18 July - Marty and Petra rest as we cross.
18 July - Marty gets ready to return to his RV back in Canton as we continue north. There has been a ferry here on the Mississippi since the early 1830's, the ferry crossing on the Mississippi.
18 July - A dragonfly along the road.
19 July - Petra leaving Warsaw, Illinois (not Poland) on another very pleasant morning after staying in Marty's RV last night.
19 July - So many lilies in the river.
19 July - Petra walks ahead as we continue up the Great River Road south of Nauvoo.
20 July - A view across the river into Fort Madison, Iowa.
23 July - A covered bridge near Oquawka, Illinois
25 July - Mr. (or is it Mrs.) Turtle greets us as we walk along a country road.
25 July - Petra walks far ahead on the way to Aledo. I dallied behing taking pictures and putting on my shorter pants to cool off.
26 July - Even though we see it only the next morning, this is our welcome to Aledo.
25 July - Ex-sheriff Dick Maynard converted the old Aledo Jail into a B&B and restaurant. We stayed there and met him.
25 July - Sheriff Dick and wife Jennie flank Petra in the Aledo railroad depot he refurbished and made available to the town for meetings.
26 July - Another Sheriff Dick project: This bottom of an engine sits on the tracks next to the depot. The rest of the engine lies in various places around the grounds.
27 July - Morning fog near Edgington.