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Mississippi River: End of Scamp Season

From October 2021 We started and ended our 2021 camping system on the Mississippi River.   We had one last brewpub to visit:  608 Brewing, named after the area code.  In most parts of the country, you would never see children in a bar.  Wisconsin isn't like most parts of the country. There were actually many kids running around in both the outside space and the inside space. The beer was pricey here, but I have to admit the hazy IPA would have my nomination for beer of the year.   With the Scamp put away, we stayed close to home until December.  The blog will pick up from there. 

Walking along the Great River Trail

 The Great River Bike Trail is a 62 mile paved trail from the Quad Cities to Savanna, Illinois.   I walked the portion from the Thomson Causeway campground to Mickelson's Landing and back.

During my stay at the campground, I did a lot of campground loop walking.  This is a good place for that because there are four separate loops, and one of the loops is over a mile from the other three loops.   But even though these walks took me through some beautiful river and backwater scenery, I wanted to stretch my legs when the weather turned nice.  The Great River Bike Trail, which runs right through the campground, provided that opportunity.

From the Potters North loop, I walked across the causeway and up the road towards River Birch loop.  Just past the campground check-in station, the bike path is accessed across the road.   The paved path crosses large stretches of dry prairie.  


How dry you ask?  Well, there's lots of cactus.  Yes, in Illinois.

Callie was not amused

We had  interesting company during the walk.  As the trail curved to run along the railroad tracks, we were joined by a long Burlington Northern & Santa Fe train.  At first, the train was moving just a little faster than we were.  We watched the entire 100+ car train roll past us.  Then it started to slow down, and eventually stopped.  So Callie and I were able to walk past the entire train again.  Apparently, they were stopped for a crew changeover.  A railroad-owned minivan was stopped along the access road to swap employees.


The other side of the trail (where the cactus were) was designated wildlife refuge and Illinois DNR land.  There was one piece of private property with "no trespassing"  and "under video surveillance" signs posted all along the property line.  But that wasn't the sign that caught my eye.

The sign on the far right below nailed to the pine tree says, "Rough Road Ahead.  Remove Dentures and Tighten Bra Straps."  


We continued on to Mickelson's Landing, which is another nice place to watch the migratory birds.  


Turning around, we retraced our steps and then headed out another mile or so past the campground, where I saw a large solar array that turned out to be the front yard of a maximum security federal prison at Thomson, Illinois.

I've been in a few prisons when I was a lawyer taking depositions.  No need to get any closer.  That concluded our 10 mile walk.  It was time to head back to the campsite for a relaxing beer.





  1. I've been on a few of those roads!

    1. Me too. The owner gets extra points for originality.


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