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Sunday morning, and after a bath and shave, I left the Muscatine EconoLodge and drove down to the riverside park, finding there this extraordinary statue of a freshwater clamshell fisherman.

According to the dedication, Muscatine was once the pearl button capital of the world (I always love these 'best in the world' dedications). Fishing those clams with those long rakes looked like very arduous work to me.

Enough to put me in the mood for breakfast, but first I decided to head out of town north on Iowa Highway 22 and enjoy the Mississippi a little more.

By the time I got to Buffalo, Iowa, I was really hungry. Fortunately, I came across a delightful diner/restaurant called Clark's Landing that was buzzing with local business.

Definitely a visual metaphor!

I settled in for a few invigorating cups of coffee and this heavenly feast.
That put me in a very good mood for the rest of the day. 🙂

On then to Mississippi Palisades State Park with its striking overlook of the Mississippi.

Then eastward through northern Illinois. I reached the town of Oregon on the Rock River and two very imposing images caught my attention. Firstly this statue of a Indian, the Black Hawk Statue.

I wasn't sure if I liked this. It was good to see some form of representation of the native Americans here in this beautful river valley, but it seemed rather a cliché of the noble savage that was the romantic ideal of Indians at the time the statue was constructed (1908-1911).

Further up the Rock River valley, near the town of Byron, this landscape revealed itself.

Beautiful young corn, glimmers of the blue river sneaking through the treeline on the bank, and two huge cooling towers from Byron Nuclear Generating Station on the horizon.

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