I get to Iowa a lot. As a girl that writes about antique tractors, farm toys and memorabilia, this State is one of the best places to find all of the above. When I travel though I love to see the sights, museums and whenever there is water, if I can wrangle it, I will find a way to get on it. On my recent hosted trip to the Quad Cities, Jessica Waytenick made this happen by signing my daughter Allie and I up for a ride on the Channel Cat Water Taxi.
Before boarding we took a River Walk and enjoyed the ducks and geese and especially the scene of baby ducks on a log with their mama.
We cruised on one of the Channel Cat’s educational program days and got to hear jazz historian and musician Josh Duffee share some of the music history of the Quad Cities area. While we glided along the river banks, first on the Iowa side, the the Illinois side, Josh regaled us with stories about Bix Beiderbecke and Louie Bellson, the drummer that is credited with pioneering the use of two bass drums. The timing of the topic was perfect since Allie and I had been on a preview group of the soon to open (July 24, 2017) Bix Beiderbecke museum. My music history was greatly expanded on this trip and I learned a bit about Bellson and found it fascinating to learn his first wife was Pearl Bailey. I didn’t really consider the Midwest, except for Chicago and St. Louis as a place where music was founded so this ride expanded my musical knowledge and enhanced what I know about the Midwest!
If you get a chance to take a water taxi, it is a different view of the Quad City area. Since most of the history connected with these great cities is connected to the water, it is a way to recognize the importance of the old Mississippi not only as a nice view, but also a thriving waterway where commerce still flows today!