September 2, 2012

As usual, we did an extended motorbike ride recently. (See last September’s blog and previous year’s August (2010) also.  This year we decided to go South-East.  
 One a warm August day, the 22nd to be exact, we left our home to ride to Bloomfield, Iowa.  We had booked a B&B there.  Although we took a scenic route, it did not take us as long as we had anticipated.  So, we went on to visit a couple tourist spots (traps?) just east of Bloomfield.  We bought some squeaky cheese curds at the Milton Creamery.  Unfortunately there were no wineries close by, so we had to resort to buying a bottle at a local grocery store.  The Bed & Breakfast was in “The Weaver House,” a rustic heritage home in Bloomfield.  Our host was very responsive to our need for regular coffee in the evening. My bride and  I shared a pot of coffee, while our host entertained us with stories of his life, his wife, who was coming home in two days; and other interesting trivia.

The next day we toured to Fort Madison, on the Mississippi river.  It was a hot humid day, and we stopped at the welcome center and museum for a spell.  
We were entertained by the volunteers who work there and gave us tips about the area.  Because of the heat, we did not visit many of the tourist spots there, but decided to cross the Mississippi and take the scenic river road in Illinois.  After a few stops in shady places (literally!); we also stopped in Nouvoo.  This is a place known for it’s Mormon connections.  We saw local temple as well as a bigger than life memorial to Joseph Smith. 

Onward to re-cross the big river at Keokuk we proceeded to Keosauqua, where we had booked a room in the Manning Hotel.  This is an old river-boat stop and it operates a B&B, so we would enjoy another scrumptious breakfast in the morning.  On the way we stopped in a small town called Franklin, where we spend an hour or so in a small local winery.  This was totally off the beaten track and utterly delightful

Both our overnight stops had no TV or other entertainment so we were forced to talk and enjoy the scenery, not a bad way to go.  On Friday we made the trek back to our home in Johnston, without undue hardship.