Friday, June 8, 2012

Iowa Adventure Part 3 -- Mississippi River Museum

We left Coralville quite early on Wednesday, June 6 and drove to Dubuque, IA. The drive through the eastern hills of Iowa is quite beautiful. We arrived at the Mississippi River Museum just as it was opening. We saw displays about the American Indians who had lived along the river as well as the European fur trading activities. Fur trading is a great part of the history on the upper river and the lakes in Minnesota, so this was not new.

We did enjoy very much the various fresh water aquariums. Some of the plants and animals are very beautiful.

Above is an example from a rocky coast environment.

Another part of the displays is concerned with pollution or prevention of pollution. Here is a photo of a photo in the display.

This is a turtle, that is photo of a turtle from the New Orleans area -- that swam into a ring from a milk bottle when it was quite small and then couldn't get the ring off. I've always tried to make certain I cut things like this so if the trash ends up in the wrong place an animal will not get caught.  This certainly will re-enforce that practice.

I also found out I live in a drip code.

Drip codes are used to monitor and determine how pollution moves through various water systems. In the area in which I live there are rain gardens in place to trap some of the pollutants and prevent them from moving into the very nearby river when there is rain.

We went up to the observation tower and saw a view of the "Illinois Bridge."

Next we wandered through some of the outdoor exhibits.

This one intrigued me.

A boat such as this pushed barges of sand and gravel. What I didn't realize is that the operation was usually done by a family who lived on the boat.

Above is the kitchen ....

right next to the engine room.

How do you like this bedroom?

And what can we say about the facilities?

I saw no place where one could take a bath, and certainly at the time this boat was in operation the river was not clean enough to substitute. The display associated with this boat explained that if extra men where needed for the operation, they ate with the family, but slept on a different boat.

We had wandered around for about 3 hours at this point and decided to head for home.

We took Highway 52 out of Dubuque and what a fun road that was to drive, up through the bluffs and many, many curves. If one looks at a map of this road, it can be seen that it looks like a snake.

We came upon a scenic look out and stopped for this view of the river.

Enjoyed our Iowa Adventure very much. Many think Iowa is flat. Hopefully, these adventures change your mind a bit.

No comments: