May 13, 2013

Adventures in Eastern Iowa/Running the Mississippi

A couple of weeks ago I was headed back to Iowa for the second time this year (I was in Des Moines and Davenport at the end of February).  This time I went to observe two newly minted SOAR trainers.  Observations are great because while you are working it is not nearly as stressful as having to train or hold forums; because of this it also leaves a lot more time to explore the local area.  I was stoked when I booked my trip back to Eastern Iowa/Davenport because I remembered that the city and the hotel where I would be staying is located right next to the Mississippi River and there was a great running/biking path.  Back in February it was definitely too cold to do much of anything outside but I figured by early May the weather would be perfect - and it turned out to be just that, the entire time I was there the temperatures were in the high 70s/80s, the sun was shining and it was absolutely gorgeous! 
Prior to my arrival in Iowa the area had had some serious rain which had resulted in a decent amount of flooding.  The parking lot of my hotel, which is located about 1/2 mile from the banks of the Mississippi River, was flooded and on my way to the hotel I saw numerous houses along the river that were still flooded!  Due to this the river was really high!
Check out how high the river is - not much room between the bridge and the water!

Signs along the Mississippi River run/bike path.
Rock Island/Moline, IL, American Discovery Trail and the Mississippi River Trail

Plaque along the river commemorating the Great Flood of 1993.

The water along the MS River was so high that it flooded stairs and a landing leading down to the river.  There were actually a TON of people fishing around this area.
Along the Mississippi there is a bridge that connects Iowa and Illnois.  The bridge was built by the army corps of engineers in the 1800s and is made completely of metal grates.  On this bridge there was also a bike/walking path and on one of my runs I decided it needed to be crossed!  The bridge was a little over 1/2 a mile long and it wasn't until about half way across that I looked down and realized that you could see straight down to the river (which was very high and raging)!  It was scary and awesome at the same time!
Bridge over the Mississippi River from Iowa to Illinois!
Running across the metal grated bridge - looking straight down to the Mississippi River!

Covered two states on my run!  Welcome to Illinois!

Just across the bridge on the Illinois side is Rock Island - which is also home to Fort Armstrong.

'Gaurding' the Mississippi River from the Illnois side.

Cannon balls!
Standing in Illinois - looking toward Iowa.

Getting ready to re-cross the bridge back to Iowa!
The mighty Mississippi!

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