Bridge enthusiasts this is what the Rock Island Centennial Bridge looks like.
With my daughter at her other home for another weekend of mundane and boring, that left Miss Madison and I with the options of staring at each other and chasing the step-children around or why not crank up the Mystery Machine to write another chapter in the yet to be written novella known as Skipah’s Traveling Road Show. Since our budget these days consists of nothing more than aspiring actor income multiplied with starving artist, we thought long and hard before we headed off into the great unknown. We settled on a little speck of land where mythical Hawkeyes roam, or what most people know simply as Iowa. Must be a Midwest thing, because a Hawkeye is about as confusing in meaning as what a Hoosier is.
We chose Iowa for a couple of reasons, one I had to figure out what kind of voter fraud was going on in the recent Davenport school board elections, that caused Miss Madison’s brother-in-law not to get elected. Miss Madison may have also had a niece celebrating her first birthday also, but let’s not split hairs here, I am still furious about the school board election results. I may even launch my 2020 presidential campaign at the Iowa caucuses in the future.
This would be my virgin voyage to the Hawkeye state, and some things never change. Interstate driving in the Midwest is the ultimate cure for insomnia! Can’t sleep? Click on over to my YouTube channel in the near future and I will post cutting edge videos of Midwest driving. Cocaine addicts have been known to rest easy after 20 minutes of windmills, soybeans, and various stages of corn stalk development. I drove through so much corn I was clutching Miss Madison’s hand tighter than ever hoping that we wouldn’t be featured in some Children of the Corn remake.
I’m pretty sure you could see all the way to Kansas!
As a lifelong Hoosier I know all about the corn industry and how it dots the landscape around here, and this time of year most of the greenery has turned to amber, farmers running the combine literally crop dust the surrounding area, and outside of our capital of Indianapolis this is interstate life just about anywhere in Indiana. I thought we led the area in boring interstate drives. As usual, I was wrong.
To my immediate west is the not so great state of Illinois. Upon crossing the imaginary state line, my phone immediately alerted me that my tax rate has just climbed 33%, I’m pretty sure they tax the air you breath and just about anything else in that state. Since Chicago was all the knowledge I have had the unfortunate privilege of driving in Illini country, man was I in for a shock! Soccer is boring (calm down, soccer hooligan), Downton Abbey was just a reason to sleep for an hour, driving through central Illinois is a brand new distinction of sleep-inducing. I’m not sure if my tires were on pavement or rumble strips more while making the trek. Bankrupt casinos take in more action than you will see on Illinois interstates. Thankfully our buggy made it to the state line and we crossed the mighty Mississippi River to land at our hotbed destination of Davenport, IA. With it being so late, Mr. Skipah wasn’t able to earn his Iowa Adventure Badge that evening, but the weekend was just getting started!
With Miss Madison leading up an all-star group of party planners the next morning, this guy thought he would do what any guy should do in these situations and “Get the Hell out of Here!” So it was off to the river bank to see what all the fuss was about in the Davenport/Quad Cities area. Needless to say, I was far from disappointed!
This is the Crescent Railroad Bridge, I kept waiting for a train to come to see if it could swim!
First stop was to the historic Modern Woodmen Park to see the home of the Quad City River Bandits. It’s no coincidence the Houston Astros just won 100 games this year and have been good for a few years now. Some of their current talent got their start in this beautiful park nestled on the banks of the Mississippi River. Coolest feature of the park, any big fly’s hit to right field are more than likely going to land in the river. Minor league ballparks are always full of character and this one didn’t let me down. Would love to take in a game here one day.
I think you win a free steak if you hit the Ferris wheel.
From there my above average nose in both size and usefulness detected a refreshing aroma in the nearby vicinity. Like a dog on the hunt for a mole, I was sniffing my way to this new found scent in the area. I didn’t find a mole but what I found was a culinary/craft nirvana that made the seven hours of quasi-road rage (seriously Illinois drivers, do you have to pass some kind of test to get a driver’s license or what) well worth the trip. Welcome to the Freight House Farmer’s Market, a must see if you are ever in the area. By my estimation at least four city blocks (maybe more) of local produce, meat, craftsmen, musicians, etc… It was akin to an organic Walmart minus, you know, Walmartians! Also, it was pet friendly, not that I took my dog along for the trip, but who doesn’t like dogs?
Why does this St. Benard not have any barrels around its neck? I feel like I’ve been cheated!
No wonder everyone I encountered was so happy! Six bucks a box? Hell, I could flip these for $600.00 in my hometown! #SayNoToDrugs
Not sure if this a hybrid Bugs Bunny strain of carrots or they just grow them this damn big in Iowa!
It was about that time Miss Madison threw up the Skipah bat signal to get home (or sent a text, or I made that up), and what little time I did get to explore I will say Davenport, Iowa is pretty damn cool. An area ripe in railroad history is on display with old train bridges adorning the landscape. A super cool ballpark, a kick-ass farmer’s market, and an “old” school meets “new” school aesthetics makes me look forward to more than a weekend stop to the place. I might mention they even have casinos.
Coming home with more money than you left with is a good thing….right?
The birthday party was a smash. I only estimate 100% of the kids in attendance were in tears at one point or another, but isn’t that how any birthday party goes for kids five and under? Miss Madison’s niece giggled the whole time, and even showed off her new moves as one of the new members of the “walking” society. This girl is quickly getting her boogie on! All in all, a fun weekend getaway. It was suggested we move up there, and then I saw the average annual snowfall totals. Among the many things Skipah excels at (said no one ever), dealing with snow is not one of them!
This is how you do a smash cake properly at the tender age of one!
About it for now, I managed not to run any Illinois vehicle operators off the road on the return voyage home which itself was a win. I didn’t get answers on the voter fraud that apparently happened or otherwise my candidate would have won, and I also found a new Midwest hidey hole that has plenty of charm…..and casinos!