Where the River Road Begins Caravan 9/18 -10/6 ’08

Eight Northern Illinois couples participated in the caravan including, Bob Whitesell, our past president, and Norm White, our new incoming President. Other Northern Illinois couples included: Aarup’s, De Hahn’s, Dixon’s, Dutton’s, Mayo’s and Stuart’s. The caravan was led by Jerry and Louise Humble from the Southern Illinois Unit. Three other Southern Illinois couples came along.

The caravan started with a visit to the cranberry museum and a tour of the cranberry marshes in Warren, WI. The next day we traveled to Little Falls MN. to visit the Lindberghs’ home and air museum. On our way north on Interstate 94, we saw three Airstreams returning from the Alaska Caravan. It was Cristy’s, Koch’s and Matkovich’s. We waved but we were not able to reach them on the CB. We continued to Bemidji, MN and Lake Itasca, which is the source of the Mississippi River. We even walked across the stones at the very beginning of the river.

We followed the River east to Grand Rapids, MN. and toured the Forestry History Museum as well as visiting a mining museum and the Hull-Rust open pit iron mine, which is the largest in the world. Next it was a whirlwind tour of Minneapolis, MN. Five of us did the tour on Segway People Movers. The many bridges and multiple uses of the river make it an interesting old city with a modern flare.

The next stop was Wabasha, MN with its Eagle center. While we were camped in Wabasha, we also visited the Redwing Shoe factory and Red Wing Pottery as well as a day trip to Winona, MN for a guided tour of its colorful past. A midday stop in Prairie du Chien allowed us to tour Villa Louis and replace tires on Mayo’s and Whitesell’s Airstreams, which had gone flat. The next day we visited the Mississippi River museum in Dubuque, IA. Next, it was a day trip to Galena, IL and a guided trolley tour of the city.

Three couples dropped off the caravan after the Galena tour to return to work and other appointments. The rest continued on to Davenport, IA. Weather was great 95% of the time and the fall colors were at their peak.

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