Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Weekend Trip: Dubuque

With summer finally poking its nose out, it is time to get out of town. During the past few months I have been doing too much business travel and not enough fun travel. So this weekend, to celebrate Memorial Day Kevin and I went to Dubuque, Iowa. The trip was two-fold. 1. To hang out with my college friends who I never get to see and 2. Show Kevin a city I love and call "Home".

The weekend started off with a big party and planned canoe trip. On the long drive Friday we were able to see a beautiful sunset, few clouds, and lots of cars. The plan on Saturday was to canoe down the Maquoketa River near Monticello, Iowa. We woke up on Saturday and the rain was falling. So what was originally supposed to be a great group of friends paddling down a river turned into a Frat Party at Phil Philson's home. There was too much drinking, lots of inappropriateness, and and overindulgent of food!

After two nights of staying on a under inflated air mattress I thought it was time to get back on the road. Two of my favorite Dubuque places are the Mines of Spain and Julian Dubuque Memorial.

In college, I went to the Mines of Spain for reflective time. It was usually uncrowded and physically beautiful. On Sunday it was both of these things. We did some mild hiking, and I was able to convince Kevin how great it is to test limits, especially if you have a fear of heights.

The Julian Dubuque Memorial is a great place to see Dubuque. It is the burial site for the man that founded the city and really the state of Iowa. It is perched high on a bluff overlooking the city and Mississippi River.

We also checked out the 4th Street Elevator. This is a huge summer tourist attraction for the city. Back in the 1800's a banker didn't like the long trip around the bluff to go home for lunch so he built the elevator up the side of it. Although burning several times since inception there are still people that use it for commuting and lots of kids use it for fun!

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