"Dubuque, a Small Big City"
As I rolled out of Minnesota, I was surprised to discover that I was just 30 miles to the quaint town of Decorah, Iowa, a spot that many folks recommended. Unfortunately, I arrived so early that the museum was closed, but I strolled about, and my first impression of Iowa was a positive one. Not a single person passed by without saying "hello".
In just a few hours, I rolled into Dubuque which felt like a big city (population: 59,000), but as the week went on I was enamored with its small city charm. Dubuque's first permanent settler was a Quebecois fur trader (thanks, Julien), and was founded in 1833, 13 years before the state of Iowa. It's a city of neighborhoods, and while I did my best to see it all, weather took a few days away from me (it also took a tent pole!). Located along the Mississippi River (as was my campground!), you can also see Wisconsin and Illinois just across the way.
While I'll let the photos speak for how much I enjoyed Dubuque, suffice to say that I did not see it all, and just up the road is the "Field of Dreams," and across the River, Galena, IL (home of Ulysses S. Grant). That's okay, though, as I plan to return here one day, and perhaps stay in the Al Capone suite at Hotel Julien.
Did I mention the kindness and friendliness of people here? How about a park employee who digs through his garage looking for a spare tent for me? Or a woman I spoke with for 10 minutes who leaves the newspaper with a note so I know what's going on over the weekend? Have you ever had campground hosts call to pick you up from a walk because a storm is coming? All true.
The Midwest -- I'm already missing it -- but in the morning, I roll halfway through Illinois toward the finale of 50 states, Indiana.
8/7/2018 02:13:22 am
Hi J, in love with Dubuque. I think I could live there if I could ever get to Iowa. Are you camping? MN: question I meant to ask: have always speculated that the mosquito is the MN state bird. What were your mosquito encounters?
8/7/2018 07:04:09 pm
BO: I was wishing you there to hang out! Yes, camping along the Mississippi. On MN, yes on mosquitoes in the woods at Itasca Lake but otherwise, didn't think about them and I did sit many hours at Lake Superior and camp in Lanesboro. J
8/7/2018 10:43:48 am
Judy: Amazing how when you leave the big cities and the crowds behind on either coast people come forward to not only welcome you but extend a helping hand, Can understand why you long to return to the Midwest. Thanks for newspaper mystery,
8/7/2018 07:08:43 pm
8/8/2018 08:51:00 am
Loving JK Graves' ingenuity! Very attractive mix of architecture and smart vision of Millwork District. Unknown to me, the Marshallese culture quite the positive influence. Love the sculpture photo---Judy Grillo viewing "Rogue: Spring"--
8/8/2018 09:44:17 am
AMG: Yes, was stunned by Dubuque. They've kept the retail crap all in one area (west of downtown) and there's neighborhoods of every economic strata. Many historic areas that feel like neighborhoods of Boston. I was also clueless on the 600+ Marshallese there; the islands are disappearing. j
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Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover