Iowa: Quad Cities, Field of Dreams, Cody Homestead, Candy Kitchen, Antique Archaeology (American Pickers TV Show), I-80 Largest Truck Stop, Iowa 80 Trucking Museum, Vander Veer Conservatory, Old Stone Church and Pine Creek Mill
Our next stop following the Great River Road home was the Quad Cities of Davenport IA, Bettendorf IA, Rock Island, IL, and East Moline IL. We camped at West Lake Park and this a very good choice. Nice level and clean campsites, spacious room between sites, spaces for very large rigs and plenty of room for walking. We stayed here for 5 nights as we explored the area. In our short time visiting Iowa, we have found we really enjoy Iowa.
On our way into the Quad Cities we stopped at the Field of Dreams Movie Set location. It was an unexpected stop due to a highway detour, but what an experience! Being able to walk around the field and out into the corn in the outfield. Visiting with other folks who made the trip from far off places just added to experience. You can also tour the house. There is a small gift shop there to pick up a hat or t-shirt or other memorabilia. We were glad the detour brought us right by here. View Pictures
Owl Presentation – Scott County Conservation Board, Public Library Program
The Davenport public library had a program presenting Owls by the Scott County Conservation. The presentation was a lot of fun and informative. It was great to hear about all the conservation programs and presentations, civic involvement, and opportunities that Scott County provides throughout it’s parks. The program director brought 3 different owls for all to see. Many home schooled children were present. View Pictures
Buffalo Bill Cody Homestead is a little drive north of the Quad Cities down a gravel road. You can walk around the grounds and take in the farmland views. Touring inside of the house we found many items that we had never seen before such as the sock weaving setup and unique wall hanging kerosene lanterns that I hadn’t see before. Well worth the drive and the $2 admission! Also out front is a place to set your phone to take a selfie. No Terry holding his camera at arm’s length for this picture! 🙂 View Pictures
This candy store has been in operation since 1910 founded by Gus Nopoulos and carried on by his family. It’s a wonderful view into the past Soda Fountain shops. All the furnishings and decorations date back from the beginning and added through the years. It is a capsule of history. Pictures of Thelma Nopoulos in her vintage fashions and hats are wonderful to see. There are pictures on the wall documenting the many well-known celebrities that have stopped in for a sweet treat. Of course, we had to share a Hot Fudge Sundae!
Antique Archaeology, LeClaire, IA
We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the original store location of the American Pickers show. We visited the store and there were several other folks buying t-shirts and souvenirs and some making picker purchases. Nope, none of the cast were there that day as they were out picking. We did enjoy visiting with the employees who all were having a great time with everyone. We both had to pick out a t-shirt to remember our visit since we have watched the show.. So much fun! View Pictures
Yep, major Roadside Attraction that we couldn’t pass up! This place is huge, I mean huge. Just about everything you could need/want for your needs while traveling. Along with the usual accessories and attire you would expect to find at a truck stop, they even had guitars, music, boot, hats, engine accessories, chrome pipes galore, etc. We probably spent over an hour just walking through looking at everything. View Pictures
Iowa 80 Trucking Museum
This is an amazing place! If you like or lived with trucks of the past, then you will not want to miss this place. I must have spent over two hours enjoying this museum-a very large warehouse that is very neat, very clean, and very orderly. The number of trucks (and related vehicles and items) is amazing. Some have been restored and many are in their original state. Again, there were trucks that I had never seen or heard of but were astonishing to see. See the 1920 Avery Tractor/Gasoline Farm Wagon as an example. View Pictures
German American Heritage Center and Museum
This museum is located in historic downtown Davenport close to the river. It is loaded with information on the life of the German/American immigrants that settled in the area and this country as well as a lot of very good displays on historical information. We spent quite a bit of time going through all the panels and understanding this part of German history. We enjoyed it very much.
The Old Stone Church, Muscatine, IA
This simple little church is located on a hilltop on an off-the-beaten path in the farmlands all by itself. We came upon this site while taking a backroad. This was built in 1867 and is currently used for services, weddings, etc. The day we stopped in there were two women cleaning and setting it up for a wedding. They were happy to visit with us and give lots of local history on the church and people of the area. Did we say how friendly the people of Iowa are. View Pictures
Pine Creek Grist Mill, Muscatine, IA
We happened to see this on a local map when were checking out another campground and headed off to see it. This took us down back roads and a couple of gravel roads until we found it. This is the oldest working grist mill between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains (see their web page). The mill is currently undergoing restoration. We walked around the grounds and across the old bridge to view the mill from across the creek. View Pictures
Vander Verr Botanical Park is a small conservatory with awesome flower gardens and the beautiful ‘The Grand Allee’ beckons you to follow it. ‘The Grand Allee’ is a gorgeous walkway between rows of trees leading to a fountain with different cycles of water flow. I loved sitting there watching and listening to the fountain and taking in the beauty. Even though it was getting late into the season, their roses were still beautiful. View Pictures
Next stop: Nauvoo State Park, IL and Exploring the Keokuk, IA area.