Mississippi River Cruise

On 9/20/2023 we flew from Medford to St. Louis, then took an UBER to our precruise night hotel in Alton, IL, where our boat, the American Serenade docks.The next morning we were taken on a tour ot Alton. It was too long and there were only a couple of interesting things: But, I'm being more berbose than I want to be. From here I may say little except to describe the pictures.

A little aside, which may help you navigate. Clicking on links will open a new tab on your browser. When finished looking at that tab, you don't need to delete it, just click on the previous tab to go back to the "story".

Day 1 and 2

Alton is famous for two things:

World's tallest man, Robert Wadlow and site of the Lincoln-Douglas on October 15, 1858.

In Hannibal I took a tour with Mark Twain along with Mary Kay.

Day 3

We left Hannibal and arrived in Ft. Madison. Along the way we saw a lot of barges. Not much to Ft. Madison,which only existed for 5 years, mostly before the war of 1812. Here is a picture of the American Serenade and Amelia, There are many bridges along the way, some to accommodate river traffic, and some not. Here is a "swing bridge" we went through. I've been surprised at how little development there is along the river (both sides) where seemingly we go many 10s of miles with no sign of development, only trees to the edge of the river. But, here is a pretty nice looking house on a hill, We have passed through many locks, to get around dams. Here is #18 lock, #9560. About that time I managed to get a good picture of an eagle, taken either at 32x or 64x, not sure (probably 32x). We also saw a lot of white pelicans. .

Day 4

Left Ft. Madison and arrived Davenport. The tour of the John Deere exhibit was closed on Sunday, so we opted to just stay around the town. But, ... Before that was the sunrise. As always, there were sea gulls.. We got off the hop-on hop-off at the farmer' market and had a look around at what they have from Iowa farms. One thing we found were paw paws (pickin' up paw paws, putting them in a basket). Not sure where they were grown, but we found most of the fruit and veggies were from Michigan. Also entertained ourselves as mermaids. Back on the river, we saw another (one of many) barges being pushed by tugboats. We got through many locks to get around dams, and here is dam and lock #14. That #14 is the number of the lock on the Mississippi, not the 14th one we went through. In this one we shared the lock with a tugboat headed upstream to help guide a downstream headed barge. In Port Byron, IL, we went by Will B Rolling on this 30 foot tall Penny Farthing. Lots of birdlife, of course Here are some egrets in a shoreside tree.

Day 5

Left Davenport and arrived Dubuque this morning, Here's a picture of the ship with it's mouth open. This is corn country.

We went out to the Field of Dreams location, which has become a very big tourist attraction. Here's the farm house and a shot from the bleaches on the first base side. Another shot in a bit different direction, but with MKK at lower right. Yet another shot of one of the ghost players (well, not really, but he was there when they made the movie),.

On the way back I got this old barn, and then a mural on a buildingin Dubuque. Finally, back on board and going through a lock whee lots of cormorants collected.

Day 6

On this day we arrived in Winona.

Lots of barges, as I may have mentioned. Here is most of one entering the lock we were leaving. Saw a number of eagles, with more to come. Lots of egrets along the way, too..

And, finally, we are getting into Fall color. More Fall color. and more eagles. And, another cooperative eagle.

Interesting picture of "boat houses" and "house boats" A boat house is a house anchored by vertical pylons and floating on a fairly large number of plastic 50 gallon drums. A house boat is actually a boat that functions as a house. The one left of center is the house boat, the others are boat houses. Apparently boat houses don't have to pay real estate taxes since they have no real estate.

Day 7

So many good pictures. Last day going up river to Red Wing, MN; Home of Red Wing Shoes and Boots. Saw the store from the bus as we went to St. Paul. Further north, more fall colors. Here are fall colors with a cliff. A shallow part of the river. Hope you aren't tired of fall colors. If so, don't click that link.

More eagles and fall colors. Here is a pair of eagles. Then a eagle. Now morer fall color, followed by an eagle and color.

A little different, here is fall color and a barge. Then a tug boat - yeh I know it's pushing, but that's what they call it. Another bald eagle. Yeh, they are all bald eagles. Here's a pair the Captain knows personally as George and Gracie.. A little different, a house and fall color.

Now, some eagles:

  • Flying
  • Two roosting
  • They like dead trees
  • Flying with color.
  • Roosting
  • Roosting.
  • Roosting
  • Roosting

    FYI. If you pay any attention fo filenames, the ones ending in "m" are simply resized from 4608x3456 pixels to 1000x750. Those encing ic "cm" have first been cropped. That would give you a hint at how much magnification was used (up to 16 or more) sometimes.

    Then it was off to St. Paul. Along the way we saw this Frank LLoyd Wright house, actully a fiinancil office) near St. Paul, Our first stop was at Minnehaha Falls. Guess who was at Minnehaha Falls. Now, Amelia with Hiawatha and Minehaha. Then it was off for old house in St. Paul. Lots of mansions. Here is Landmark Center, It was the Federal Court building, among other things. Then we swung by the Minnesota State Capital building. Charles Schultz was born in St. Paul, and they were having an exhibit at a museum there.

    Here's our group at the last d inner onboard. The best until last, here is one of the available desserts..

    All in all, a great trip and I'd recommend the All-American (built, and crewed) American Cruise Lines. The American Seranade has a capacity of 180, but there were only about 120 onboard with us. We were in cabin 312.

    10/10/2023 .