My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities

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carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/20 00:15:36 (permalink)
About five miles or so before I reached the Iowa state line, I arrived in the small town of Harmony, MN, where a billboard proclaiming the wonders of "Niagara Cave" caught my eye. Although I had not allowed any time in my schedule for any unexpected discoveries, I couldn't resist the temptation of this local tourist attraction, so after a short drive down a side road, I arrived here... 
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/20 00:26:10 (permalink)
I've always been a sucker for roadside attractions like this, so I bought my ticket and joined the small group that was making the next scheduled tour. Several minutes later, we were descending into the bowels of the earth...
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/20 00:30:30 (permalink)
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/20 00:43:44 (permalink)
If I remember the tour guide's words correctly, we reached a total depth of two hundred and twenty-five feet before we had to turn around and come back the same way we came. LOTS of stairs!!         www.niagaracave.com         
post edited by nocarolina - 2009/06/26 17:51:27
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/20 00:47:04 (permalink)
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/20 00:53:25 (permalink)
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/20 14:12:19 (permalink)
Tedsrfs

Now, I got 2 choices and even though they're both practically within frisbee tossing distance, the dog has to stay home.    Ted 


Well Ted I think I owe your dog an apology, but I'm glad you enjoyed Stabby's.  I'll have to try the Colossal the next time I'm up there.  I'm so jealous of you guys who live that close to Lake Harriet--that was another great find of the day, courtesy of Tracy (?).  Their sausage gravy (at Stabby's) is really really good, isn't it?


carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 00:22:52 (permalink)
Shortly after leaving Niagara Cave, I crossed the state line into Iowa. Not long after, US 52 curved to the east and entered the Mississippi River Valley, where the terrain changed dramatically.     
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 00:50:24 (permalink)
The scenery on this stretch of Hwy. 52 is rather spectacular; definitely not the kind one associates with Iowa. One moment the road is traversing gently rolling hills, and the next it's running high above the wide Mississippi River.   
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 00:55:15 (permalink)
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 01:01:14 (permalink)
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 01:14:28 (permalink)
Note the motel on top of this bluff over US 52. The view from there must certainly be impressive, and I'd like to spend the night there someday.
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 17:59:46 (permalink)
After descending into the river valley, I passed through the very scenic riverfront town of Guttenberg, IA. Tourism is an important part of the local economy.  www.GuttenbergIowa.net
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 18:04:07 (permalink)
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 18:13:56 (permalink)
A view of the Mississippi River looking north...
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 19:07:30 (permalink)
When I was planning this trip, I "scheduled" a late afternoon arrival in Dubuque for myself, and figured on being home before midnight. However, the unplanned cave tour, all the lost time in St. Paul ( get a map, Bob! ), and an abundance of roadside photo-stops put an end to that. It was close to 8:00 PM when I finally arrived in Dubuque, and, since there wasn't much daylight left, I reluctantly decided to spend the night in town so that, the next morning, I could take photos of the city's historic Fenelon Place Elevator Company. I still hadn't had dinner, so I went looking for one of Iowa's famed Maid-Rite eateries; I found one on JFK Boulevard. 
post edited by nocarolina - 2009/06/21 19:11:33
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 19:27:18 (permalink)
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 19:39:18 (permalink)
susanll
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 19:54:44 (permalink)
nocarolina




Bob!!! Bob!!! For a long time lurker, you have out down yourself with this report.  I need that cave right now,  100 in my neck of the woods.  And, I would have preferred a pix of Dawn.  But, you are doing a good job all the same.
susanll
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 19:56:47 (permalink)
Next time you are that way in Iowa.  Spend the day in Pella.  I think I have a return trip scheduled for later this year.
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 21:36:24 (permalink)
Susan, thanks for the kind words. If it's 100 degrees in Memphis today, you would really love that cave; it's only about 48 degrees in there. I looked at Pella's website, and it looks like a nifty little town. If I ever get back to the Des Moines area, I'll keep it in mind.   
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 22:01:10 (permalink)
I love the loosemeat sandwiches at Maid-Rite, and I wouldn't dream of passing through Iowa without having a couple. The traditional condiments are mustard and pickles, and that's just how I get them. Good fries too.   
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 22:24:48 (permalink)
I found a room at the Days Inn just west of downtown Dubuque ( bye-bye budget! ) and got myself some badly-needed sleep. The next morning, looking for a quick and cheap breakfast, I headed over to Hardee's and had a sausage biscuit. From there, it was over to the Fenelon Place Elevator Co. for a round-trip ride and a number of photos.   
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 23:05:46 (permalink)
The Fenelon Place Elevator Co., ( the 4th Street Elevator ), is a funicular, which is just a fancy term for an incline railway. It was originally built in 1882, and has been rebuilt twice over the years after being damaged by fires. The Elevator is America's shortest railway line, exactly 296 ft. in length, and it is also the steepest; the top of the bluff ( Fenelon Place ) is 189 ft. above the base ( 4th and Bluff Streets. ) The line's two cars are cable-drawn, and the operating mechanism is located in the upper-level station. 
 
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 23:11:17 (permalink)
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 23:16:48 (permalink)
Here's the entrance to one of the tiny green and white cable cars...
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 23:33:20 (permalink)
As my car approaches the top of the bluff, you can see the other car about to pass mine on the way down.   
post edited by Carolina Bob, ex-nocarolina - 2010/02/26 20:06:03
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 23:46:01 (permalink)
Arriving at the Fenelon Place "depot" at the top of the bluff...  
post edited by Carolina Bob, ex-nocarolina - 2010/02/26 20:07:04
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 23:52:55 (permalink)
The entrance to the upper-level station... 
carolina bob
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Re:My Three... er, Four Day Roadtrip to the Twin Cities 2009/06/21 23:59:49 (permalink)
Here's several views of downtown Dubuque and the Mississippi River from the top of the bluff. You can see Illinois on the opposite side of the river.
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