We finally made it to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Eureka Springs is in the northwest corner of the state in the beautiful Arkansas Ozarks. We've visited here before and wanted to return to see if this area would be good for the RV rally we'll be hosting in a few years.
We especially like the Victorian charm of the downtown area. The entire area is on the National Register of Historic Places as the Eureka Springs Historic District.
The town is on several levels.
The streets wind around and no two streets intersect at 90 degrees.
The Crescent Hotel built in 1886. The stone blocks are so well laid, no mortar was used between them.
Lobby of the Crescent Hotel.
Stairway in the Crescent Hotel.
Eureka Springs has many natural springs believed by many to be healing.
Tom in downtown Eureka Springs.
Near Eureka Springs is the tiny town of Golden, Missouri. There you'll find the Golden Pioneer Museum. It consists of hundreds of collections the owners have purchased over the years and put on display. The collections include arrowheads, guns, glass, dishes, tractors, quilts, toys and on and on. You won't find a more interesting museum. I especially enjoyed the glass and pottery.
Golden Pioneer Museum.
Golden Pioneer Museum.
Collection of glass baskets.
From our campground in Eureka Springs we drove a few miles to Turpentine Creek. Turpentine Creek is a big cat rescue sanctuary that has cabins and a few RV sites.
The preserve takes in animals that can no longer be cared for by others, mostly people who tried to raise them as pets. (Hmmm, what could go wrong.)
Tiger at Turpentine Creek.
Cooling off in the heat.
Our next stop was Topeka, Kansas. We wanted to visit the Arabia Museum in Kansas City and our friend Walt invited us to stay in his driveway. Normally this would not work for us, but Walt is an RVer, so we knew he could handle a rig our size.
Our rig and Walt's in his driveway. This is his side driveway, he has another driveway in front of his house.
Walt and Jeanie.
Walt gave us a great tour of the capitol in Topeka, the Arabia and The Plaza in Kansas City.
The capitol at Topeka.
The building is beautiful, inside and out.
You can take a tour of the dome and climb up to the roof. Lots of steps, some people couldn't handle the heights.
Tom and Jeanie at The Plaza.
In 1856 the Arabia left St. Louis, with 200 tons of cargo and headed up the Missouri River. A week later it sank after hitting a tree snag. Over the years the course of the river changed and 132 years later it was rediscovered 45 feet underground and a half mile from the river's present channel. Today, after careful restoration, the cargo is on display at the museum.
Digging up the Arabia.
Part of the cargo recovered.
Walt, his friend Renee, and her daughter after dinner at Brio at The Plaza in Kansas City.
We made a quick stop in St. Louis to visit my college friend, Karen and her husband Don.
Karen and Don.
While we were there we found time to meet up with Teton friends, Bob and Lorena. We had a great lunch and topped it off with a visit to a local Route 66 landmark Ted Drewes for frozen custard.
Bob, Lorena, and Jeanie at Ted Drewes.
With all the rain in the midwest, the rivers were rising and a few roads were flooded in the St. Louis area. They were expecting even more rain as we pulled out and headed up the river to Hannibal, Missouri. Hannibal, of course, was the boyhood home of Mark Twain (Samuel Clements).
View of the Mississippi River from Lover's Leap.
Next stop was Dubuque, Iowa, incorporated in 1833. We found a city park on the Mississippi River with a campground. Notice how the river is getting narrow. We enjoyed seeing the city of Dubuque, one of the few large cities in Iowa with hills.
Our campsite on the Mississippi River.
Pedestrian elevator in Dubuque.
We took a day trip to nearby Galena, Illinois. It's another old town with a lot of history. Named for galena, the natural form of lead sulfide, it was once the largest steamboat hub on the Mississippi, north of St. Louis. It was also the home of Ulysses S. Grant.
On our way up to the Mississippi headwaters, we spent a couple of nights at Owatanna in southern Minnesota. My cousin Dorrie lives there, so it gave us a chance for a quick visit. Dorrie is related to the Searl line on my mother's side and in addition to her other talents, did all the genealogy for the Searl family.
Dorrie and her husband, Steve, and Jeanie.
Dorrie and her handiwork at the farmer's market.
Dorrie told us about the National Farmers' Bank Building right in the center of town designed by Louis Sullivan. Built in 1908, it's certainly a nice looking building but we were amazed at the interior.
National Farmers's Bank, now a Wells Fargo.
One of 4, each weighing 2 tons.
We stumbled across a country auction and within 10 minutes I had a bidding number and won an auction. Dishes, of course.
Finally made it to Itasca State Park in northern Minnesota, where the Mississippi River starts its journey. The park claims that where the river starts its flow, which it does here from Lake Itasca, it is officially the Mississippi River.
Mississippi River starts here as it ripples over the rocks from Lake Itasca. Lake Itasca in the background, Mississippi River in the foreground.
Marker at the mouth of the river.
Our campsite at Itasca State Park.
The Minnesota State Flower, the lady slipper.
Douglas Lodge in the park.
NEXT MONTH: Northeast coast of Minnesota and the upper peninsula (U. P.) of Michigan.