Sunday, July 24, 2016


There really is practically nothing going on to entertain us senior citizens in this small  (60 site) park, so when something usual happens, it gathers an audience.



This 45 ft.older Prevost pulled into the park early one evening. We had rain that night. The next AM the driver tried to go across sites, rather than staying on the graveled roads,  to leave the park. Both of its front wheels sunk into the soft earth. The rear wheels sunk a bit, too. A heavy duty tow truck was called, but the driver felt that his truck was too small to budge the heavy Prevost. His firm’s  winching equipment was brought out on two trucks.


This crawler loader was backed off the a tow truck’s sloping ramp and the loading bucket was dropped off.


The crawler loader was brought to the side of a trailer and its attachment for the bucket was engaged with the bright yellow device.


Next the whole winch unit was brought to the back of the motor home and a chain (covered with red cloth) was connected between the back of the motorhome and a cable leading to a pulley on the yellow winch.


Power from the crawler loader was applied to the wheel at the top of the winch, and it gradually pulled back the heavy motorhome until its rear wheels moved to more solid ground, below.


The owner of the towing service told me that he designed and had built the winch attachment to the crawler. It worked very well.


The motorhome now can move under its own power. When the motorhome was stuck, the trim at the bottom of the front of the motorhome was almost touching the ground.



The front wheels sunk about 8 inches into the soft ground.


And the rear wheels went down a  bit, too.


I have taken walks nearly every day on the paved path along the Hennepin Canal. One route  round trip is 2 miles; the other is 2.8 miles. My GPS pedometer app tells me that I have gotten up to an average of 2.7 mph on the walks.

Yesterday I saw a heron perched on a log  hoping for lunch to swim by. Turtles seem to have favorite logs for sunning themselves. Fishing is not great, but there are a few fish in the canal.



This in the largest fishing boat I have see on the shallow canal. Most are kayaks or canoes.



 Here are about 20 canada geese swimming in a row. I saw them only on the day I took this picture.



 All of the machinery for operating this lock still is in place. On the right is the hand operated  mechanism for opening the gate for the tunnel to let water flow out of the lock  when the doors at both ends are closed. The gate on the opposite side permanently is open.



 Also hand-cranked is the gearing to pull the I beam back to open this half of the upstream gate. The rear roller for supporting the I beam still is in place.



 This is our home in the RV park where we will  be parked for six weeks before leaving on Aug.2. We have full hookups, good park wifi and a hole in the foliage for our satellite TV signal to come through to our roof antenna. Mike and Barbara Williams are parked a short walk from us.



This interesting combination of a long motorhome and a tiny tow car was in the park one night. The driver told me that he got the Smart Car just two weeks ago.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Jo and her family lived in the Quad Cities (Rock Island, Moline IL, Bettendorf and Davenport IA – pop. 393,000) until she was in her 40s, so she well knows the area and its highlights. Lots of places are nostalgic for her. During each of our summer RV trips for the last 10 years we have spent several weeks in the area.




One  of the first places we go when arriving in the Quad Cities is to a local ice cream parlor, Whitey’s, for a milkshake. There are 5 Whitey’s stores in the area.




Here are our milkshakes the very day we arrived in the Quad Cities this year, our first port of call!




One of the small chain restaurants of the area is Maid-Rite. The restaurant specializes in loose hamburger meat served on a hamburger bun. One is supposed to eat it without utensils!




The bun at the right is the large sized.




A highlight in Davenport is the Figge Art Museum, named after the benefactor family. lts forerunner was formed in 1878, making it the first municipal art gallery in the country. The glass clad building opened in 2005 is in downtown Davenport near the Mississippi River. It has permanent displays of art, often with travelling displays on the first floor. The current travelling display features the Wizard of OZ, including the early Oz books and the well known 1939 movie with Judy Garland. Social events are held at the museum, and its open area facing the river is ideal for seeing the 4th of July fireworks production Red White and Boom.




Above is one of the prized displays of the museum – a Tiffany window originally in the Mausoleum of the Weyerhaeuser family in Rock Island. The window was stolen from the structure and was lost for many many years until the FBI recovered if from a shipment bound for Japan. The family loaned it the the Figge.




From a window in the Figge one can view one of the gambling casinos in the area. While in the form of a riverboat, this one does not leave its moorings.




Across the river, in downtown Moline is the John Deere Pavilion.  A few of  the large machines made in the local John Deere factories are on permanent display. The machines it builds for industrial and construction work are yellow, and those for agriculture are green. Above is a huge loader.




And here is a large combine with a head attachment for wheat. A separate head is available for harvesting corn. A new combine this size costs over $500,000! Visitors are encouraged to climb up in the operator’s seat. Old models of John Deere tractors are on display as well as two machines for tree harvesting. In an adjacent building all sorts of John Deere memorabilia are for sale – apparel, scale models of equipment, etc.

Deere is the second largest employer in the Quad City area.




Lock and dam no. 15 are located at Arsenal Island on the Illinois side, with a nice visitors center. Above, a lash-up of 9 empty barges (3 wide) going upriver has been pulled through the lock by a cable. The lock doors are closing so the water level can be lowered to receive the 6 remaining barges and their tow boat.




The  section of 6 remaining barges are below the other lock gate at the far left. It takes about two hours for this set of barges and their tow boat to go through the lock.

The Arsenal bridge is in the background. Lock structures block the view of the dam.




Above and below are samples of some of the military weapons made at the Arsenal. The grounds also contain a national cemetery and a separate cemetery for Confederate soldiers who died while held as prisoners there. Headquarters of the First Army are on the island, too.

The Rock Island Arsenal is the Quad Cities largest employer. Its earliest mass produced product was the M1903 bolt action rifle. During WW II it produced tanks, howitzers, machine guns, heavy artillery and related components.



Tuesday, July 12, 2016



We arrived at the Jude RV park east of downtown New Orleans on May 13 in time to go out for dinner that night. The hostess at the park was great in giving us  recommendations and directions about things to see, restaurants and where to park to walk the French  Quarter.

( I started this blog in May but overlooked finishing it until mid July, so memory has faded about some details. Unfortunately, the posting of this blog makes it out of the usual chronological order.)




We  made it to Deanie’s seafood restaurant in the Bucktown area early enough to have prompt seating. Deanie’s has another restaurant in the French Quarter.  Below, Jo enjoyed her entrée and had enough leftovers for me to have two lunches.




Below is my entrée – crab cakes.  By the time we finished, there was a long waiting line for seating.




On May 14 we parked the Jeep at the edge of the French Quarter to spend most of the day in the area.




The French Quarter is just 13 blocks east – west  and 6 blocks north - south. Parts of some of the east - west streets are devoted to commercial uses - bars, restaurants, voodo shops and tourist shops.The rest mainly have living quarters and hotels.







This appears to be a mansion converted to a hotel.  Parking in the area is at a premium, both night and day.




Yes, we saw a few vagrants in the area.




An impromptu jam session blocked this street in the afternoon.  During the day the streets generally are open to  traffic, but the ones such as Bourbon Street at night are for pedestrians only .




After we walked many of the French Quarter streets, we exited to the downtown area on Canal Street on which one of the 5 streetcar lines run. An all day pass for all of the lines is just $3.00.

I would have loved to ride all of them,  but we took just the St. Charles line for a round trip



Near the Garden District we visited Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, opened 1833, above ground due to the high water table.  Many crypts and tombs are well maintained. The series of names on the monument above show that several folks are buried there. Below, these have not been maintained. Docents are available to guide visitors to the graves of prominent persons and to talk about the history of the cemetery.








The Garden District has lots of mansions. But it also has smaller homes, such as these of “shotgun” design. In these, the length of the house is open so that if one fired a shotgun through the front door the shot would go all the way to the back wall.



This mansion belonged to the New Orleans Saints star quarterback Archie Manning. Here his two sons, Peyton  and Eli were raised, also star quarterbacks. 

This is typical of most mansions in the area – large homes on lots not much larger. Only a few were on very large lots.

From the Garden District we returned to the St. Charles streetcar line to ride to its end and back to the French Quarter where we had a very late lunch before returning to the RV park. We saved the remaining sights of the city for “next time.”

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Pictures for Arla

Here are 2 pics I took this afternoon. I do not know any other way offhand to send these than my blog.

Perhaps you can copy them to your computer and then I can delete this short blog.