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The two RV Gypsies took a day trip to
Davenport, Iowa
while their RV was parked in Calamus
August 20, 2017

USA state showing location of Iowa

Iowa map showing location of Davenport

history bookDavenport is the county seat of Scott County in Iowa and is the largest of the Quad Cities, a metropolitan area with a population estimate of 382,630 and a CSA population of 474,226, making it the 90th largest CSA in the nation.

Davenport was founded on May 14, 1836 by Antoine Le Claire and was named for his friend, George Davenport, a colonel during the Black Hawk War stationed at nearby Fort Armstrong.

Located approximately halfway between Chicago and Des Moines, Davenport is on the border of Iowa and Illinois. The city is prone to frequent flooding due to its location on the Mississippi River. There are two main universities: Saint Ambrose University and Palmer College of Chiropractic, which is where the first chiropractic adjustment took place.

Several annual music festivals take place in Davenport, including the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, The Mississippi Valley Fair, and the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival. An internationally known 7-mile foot race called the Bix 7 is run during the festival.

The city has a Class A minor league baseball team, the Quad Cities River Bandits. Davenport has 50 plus parks and facilities, as well as over 20 miles of recreational paths for biking or walking.

Three interstates, 80, 74 and 280, and two major United States Highways serve the city. Davenport has seen steady population growth since its incorporation, with an exception being the 1980s, when the population decreased due to job loss. The Quad Cities was ranked as the most affordable metropolitan area in 2010 by Forbes. In 2007, Davenport, along with neighboring Rock Island, won the City Livability Award in the small-city category from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. In 2012, Davenport as well as the Quad Cities Metropolitan Area was ranked among the fastest-growing areas in the nation in the growth of high-tech jobs.

sign: Riverfront Recreational Trail

Channel Cat Water Taxi boarding sign

The two RV Gypsies thought about boarding the water taxi and taking a short cruise on the Mississippi River but their timing was off and they did not want to wait around for the next boat.

Lee Duquette checking out the water taxi sign

route of the water taxi

Below: The two RV Gypsies could not find a place to park to investigate this piece of art any further, so Karen took a quick picture as they drove by.

winged bird - art

Below: This monument is a tribute to the Men who served the Union Cause during the Civil War. It was surrounded by beautiful flowers.

monument

monument and flowers

monument flowers surrounding the monument

Below: A sign near the monument shown above.

The Dillon Fountain sign The Dillon Fountain sign

The two RV Gypsies strolled across The Davenport Skybridge; a pedestrian cable-stayed bridge that spans River Drive (Highway 67) in downtown Davenport, Iowa. It connects LeClaire Park and Rhythm City Casino to a courtyard and parking ramp on 2nd Street, located right next to the River Music Experience. The bridge is 50 feet tall and 575 feet long, and was completed in 2005. It was designed by Holabird & Root and Neumann Monson, P.C.

The Davenport Skybridge

The Davenport Skybridge

The Skybridge was a component of the Riverfront/Downtown Davenport improvement program, River Renaissance. The total cost of the structure was $7 million. Iowa taxpayers provided $3.5 million in the form of a Vision Iowa grant, Rhythm City Casino paid $2 million, and the City of Davenport taxpayers spent $500,000 for its initial construction. The Riverboat Development Authority, the agency responsible for distributing some of the taxes collected from Rhythm City, allocated $1.3 million. The bridge's stated purpose is to serve as a tourism attraction with a unique vantage point of the Mississippi River, while also functioning as a safe way to cross the highway.

The Davenport Skybridge

The Davenport Skybridge

The two RV Gypsies were surprised that besides themselves, there was only one other person on the bridge and he stayed at the far end of the bridge, looking out of the window.

Karen Duquette on The Davenport Skybridge

Lee Duquette on The Davenport Skybridge

Below: Lee Duquette at the south end of the bridge, facing the river, on an observation deck with a view of the Mississippi River, LeClaire Park Bandshell, the Centennial Bridge, and the Davenport Levee, where many festivals take place throughout the warmer months.

Lee Duquette on The Davenport Skybridge

Below, Lee Duquette at the other end of the bridge. Then the two RV Gypsies explored the downtown area of Davenport.

Lee Duquette at the end of the bridge

Below: Daytime view through the window of the Davenport Skybridge

view through the window of the Davenport Skybridge

Lee Duquette in a Great-Grandpa shirt

Below: The inside of the Skybridge contains kaleidoscope lighting. The lighting consists of 228 LED fixtures and 8,036 individual lights. The LEDs are capable of displaying various patterns. The lighting color and patterns can be adjusted for events occurring in the area, such as a red, white, and blue color scheme for the 4th of July; red and green for Christmas; and various other patterns. The night photo of the bridge, shown below is by Ctjf83 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9825227. The two RV Gypsies were not on the bridge at night and did not take the picture shown below.

Skybridge contains kaleidoscope lighting

The River Music Experience is a multi-use music facility and 501(c)3 non-profit organization located on the first two floors of the historic Redstone Building on Main Street in downtown Davenport, Iowa. There are music notes in the sidewalk outside of the building.

the historic Redstone Building

music notes in the sidewalk

Also located on the first floor in the historic Redstone Building, in downtown Davenport, Iowa is Falbo Bros. Pizzeria. Its entrance is off of Sweetwater Plaza. The two RV Gypsies waited 45 minutes for the calzone (called Falzone). When it finally was brought to the table, the two RV Gypsies saw that the entire Falzone was pitch black - as burnt as burnt could be. The server seemed surprised when Karen said, "It is burnt to a crisp." The server seemed shocked and said, "Oh, do you want another one?" Karen said that they waited 45 minutes for this one and would not want to sit here that long again so the server said, "Should I take it off your bill?" Duh of course. The two RV Gypsies noted two young girls staring at their Falzone because theirs were burnt too, but not burnt to a crisp, so they kept it, but the two RV Gypsies watched them make faces as they bit into it.

Falbo Bros Pizzeria

Falbo Bros Pizzeria

insdie Falbo Bros Pizzeria pillows

sign about the Natatorium public swimming pool

sign about the Natatorium public swimming pool

Riverfront Parkway is located along the Mississippi River in the cities of Davenport and Bettendorf. The parkway is a bike and walking trail that extends for 11 miles starting at Credit Island on the west passing through Davenport for 7.6 miles before entering Bettendorf.

River Way sign

Davenport is the largest urban area on the upper Mississippi without a permanent flood wall. Despite some calls from residents for the city to build a permanent floodwall, Davenport officials say it would ruin the economic advantage the city enjoys from having a clear view of the river. Note the flood level marks on the building in the photo below.

Davenport flood level sign

ducks

bridge

Davenport and the Quad Cities are home to many sports teams. The Quad Cities River Bandits baseball team play games at Downtown Davenport's Modern Woodmen Park. The i wireless Center in Moline is home to the Quad City Mallards hockey team. The Quad Cities Riverhawks are a Premier Basketball League team. They play their home games at Wharton Field House on the old Marycrest International University campus. Davenport high schools are in the Mississippi Athletic Conference for sports.

Downtown Davenport's Modern Woodmen Park

Downtown Davenport's Modern Woodmen Park

Downtown Davenport's Modern Woodmen Park

Note to RVers: There is a low bridge on Business 61, downtown Davenport - be sure you know the height of your vehicle.

low bridge clearance sign

look below
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