Nobody enjoys a good road trip more than Moonbaby and I. We started out with a road trip for a honeymoon over 42 years ago. We borrowed my buddy's VW Micro Bus and drove to Des Moines Iowa for a Grateful Dead concert. Since then we've literally driven from coast to coast. These days, being old farts, we limit most of our trips to a one or two hundred mile radius. You might be surprised what you can find within a half tank of gas.
As I mentioned, we recently observed our 42nd Anniversary and decided to celebrate with a little road trip back to Iowa. We're not going back to Des Moines and we're certainly not going to a Grateful Dead concert. For obvious reasons.
We're headed to the river town of LeClaire. It's one of those little towns along the Mississippi that has taken advantage of it's location and heritage and created a nice tourist destination.
The town has a main street that is lined with all kinds of shops, pubs and eateries.
Since it was about 732 degrees out during our visit we made Sneaky Pete's our first stop. This was one of the diviest dive bars I've ever been in. It was great. The beer was cold and the people friendly.
Our next stop was Kernel Cody's Popcorn. A huge selection of delicious popcorn to keep us from starving to death during our trip.
Along the waterfront you'll find the Buffalo Bill Museum and a riverboat that takes regular cruises.
There's also a small Veteran's park complete with anti aircraft guns aimed at Illinois. Maybe our governor is planning to invade Iowa.
But the biggest attraction in LeClaire is Antique Archaeology. It's the center of a reality show called "American Pickers." Mike and Frank, the owners, travel all over the country in their big white van in search for what they call 'rusty gold'. And yes, Moonbaby and I are two of the suckers that watch the show. Call it a guilty pleasure. It's always fascinating to see what kind of things they drag out of people's barns and attics. And somewhat disheartening to see how much valuable crap I've thrown away over the years.
They have two large buildings that house some of their finds. They also have a store in Nashville, Tennessee and a lot of their finds go directly to clients.
They have a little bit of everything, but lean a lot towards bicycles and motorcycles. I almost bought the clown head for our pal, Jaws the Cabbie, but it was a little pricey.
They even have a date for Vanna Whitewall. And it looks like the guy even has a job. What a catch!
After trudging around on that hot pavement all day, we decided to relax and have supper at the Bierstube. This is an awesome German place with great food and the biggest damned pretzels I've ever seen. It was almost worth the trip just to go here.
LeClaire is close enough that you can do this for just a day trip. But we figured since it was our anniversary, we'd splurge on a hotel room. And we got lucky enough to find one on the river with it's own balcony and wonderful view.
There are a lot of great places within a couple hours of Peoria. And summertime is the best time to get out and visit them. Happy trails, everybody!