Quad City Day Visit

After HWH froze our leveling system component, the leveling system performed flawfully as expected (refused to wake up and level, stayed asleep when cold like me).  A new circuit board was required and once installed had to endure a second winter test simulation.  With another day to play we head back to the Quad City Area (Moline, Davenport, Rock Island and Bettendorf). We hope to spend the day riding the $8 per day Channel Cat Boat Ride for an inexpensive visit to all 4 cities and a taste of boating on the Mississippi.  Swollen, sinking dark clouds drop the curtain on that idea.

Museum at Rock Island Arsenal
Museum at Rock Island Arsenal

I thought that Storm might enjoy a visit to the Rock Island Arsenal Museum, but I had no idea how difficult making that happen would be.  The security check to enter the military base where the museum is located turns out to be quite a challenge as it is contractor run and extremely chaotic.  There is a machine to dispense “serving next” numbers – it is empty, confusing instructions on the wall, minimal personnel and a very long line.  After about 45 minutes, we are finally able to prove that we possess the necessary moral fiber to tour a museum and with passes in hand, drive onto base.  At no time during this process are we given a map or any instructions regarding how to proceed on base once through the gate so we just do the best we can and hope to stay out of trouble.

The barge stopped just at the lock entrance and then the bottom fell out!
The barge stopped just at the lock entrance and then the bottom fell out!

The museum contains an enormous collection of weapons that includes many made at the arsenal as well as quite a few collected from enemies in conflicts dating back to the American Revolution.  If you have the stamina to get through security, it is worth a visit.  Also on the base is the Mississippi Visitor Center Locks and Dam #15 Visitor Center.  We are thrilled that as we arrive at the lock so does a huge barge that needs to go through the lock.  Disappointment sets in as a severe thunderstorm crashes our lock party and as soon as I start snapping pictures, a huge voice from the sky that can be heard all over the island bellows “A severe thunderstorm is approaching, seek shelter now!!!”

At home, I am used to being allowed to make my own decisions about sheltering in a storm, but that is not allowed here.  The Army Corps of Engineers ranger on duty at the lock herded all of the visitors into the lower level, locked the outside door and threatened to put us in a more secure area if the thunderstorm changed to a tornado.  While all of this is happening, the barge ties off before entering the lock and decides to wait out the storm.  By the time the storm finishes with us, the visitor center closes and we never do get to see the barge lock through.  Too bad as this visitor center is cantilevered over the lock with windows below your feet so you can see everything that happens in the lock.  I was really looking forward to that show.

Backwater Gamblers
Backwater Gamblers

After so many setbacks, I am determined to find one more cool thing to see in this area.  After a confusing and circuitous drive through the City of Rock Island (thanks crazy GPS) we arrive on the banks of the Rock River to find something that I did not expect in Illinois, the Back Water Gamblers Water Ski Show Team.  Their Wednesday night practice is free to the public and very entertaining!

About Sunny Weathers

Pilot, motorcyclist and full time RVer. Follow me as I travel all over the US in my Country Coach RV volunteering, making new friends and pursuing a constant outdoor temperature between 70F and 80F. I'll share the fun and the tribulations and any great survival tricks I learn!

6 Replies to “Quad City Day Visit”

  1. Jim Dukeman says: Reply

    One hates to have RV problems, but on the other hand look at all the neat things that you would have missed if you had not stopped there. Thanks for sharing them with us, see you next week. GOD BLESS


    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      It is all part of the adventure for me – sometime less so for Storm, but of course when the stuff hits the fan he is usually the one trying to turn the fan off before we are covered!
      We were actually hoping it would take them an extra day at HWH as this was a planned maintenance stop for which we had allowed a week. The camping was free at their shop so every day we stayed was like $40 off of our bill from them. See you!

  2. Jeannette M Yates/Jones says: Reply

    Keep your post coming. They are always a bright part in my days.
    Even though problems pop up you two seems to have a great way to
    go forward always with a smile and hope in your hearts.
    For those of us less adventurious we thank you for sharing

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      Thanks for taking the time to keep up with us. It helps to know that we have such wonderful folks at home thinking about us!

  3. Just wanted to let you know that I am really enjoying keeping up wth your adventures…good and bad.

    Gives us an insight of what we have always longed to do. Maybe someday. :)

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      Thanks Terri – it is great to hear from you. I think about everyone at BAT often and hope that everyone is having a great summer!

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