Charles Lindbergh House and Museum: Childhood Antics
Aviator Charles Lindbergh gained his fame as the first person to successfully complete a solo transatlantic flight. The Charles Lindbergh Museum in Little Falls, Minnesota, chronicles his life and career with exhibits and films. On a tour of the adjacent Charles Lindbergh House, however, visitors are treated to stories of his childhood and many of his boyhood antics.
Eagle Watching on the Mississippi Flyway
It’s eagle watching season. As the weather becomes colder and bald eagles migrate south down the Mississippi Flyway, people travel to those same places in hopes of catching a glimpse of the national bird. Some of the best places to eagle watch are near locks and dams along the Mississippi River, where water continues to run and eagles can feed on fish. Cities all along the Mississippi River embrace eagle season, celebrating with festivals and welcoming visitors.
Mid-America Air Museum: 100+ Aircraft, Home-Built to Military
The lightweight Beechcraft 35 Bonanza civilian airplane, produced post-World War II, was expensive compared to other personal aircraft. Because of the steep price, mostly professionals, like doctors and lawyers, could afford them. The tail, an unusual V shape, was designed to reduce both the weight and drag of the aluminum plane, helping to make it faster than most of its competitors. But unfortunately, the tail design was also attributed to an initial high accident rate. That early Bonanza became known as the “Doctor Killer.” The Beechcraft 35 Bonanza background was just one of many fascinating stories we learned as we wandered the Mid-America Air Museum in Liberal, Kansas. Located on the former Liberal Army Air Field, the museum displays over 100 planes, ranging from small home-built aircraft to large military jets.
Dodge City Trolley Tour: Exploring Queen of Cow Towns
Bar brawls and gunfights were the norm in Dodge City’s early days. Today, it’s a thriving cattle city. On the Dodge City Trolley Tour we learned about both the city’s lawless Old West days, and about today’s thriving cattle industry, which makes up 60% of the area’s economy. It’s not surprising that Dodge City, located in southwest Kansas, is known as the “Queen of the Cow Towns.”
Driving the Route 66 Singing Highway
Eastbound on historic Route 66 just east of Albuquerque, slow down to 45 miles per hour and drive through the rumble strips to hear the song “America the Beautiful” on the Singing Highway. We tried it, and it works! Hear it in our latest podcast.
White Sands National Monument: Sledding and Hiking
When we saw people sledding down the sand dunes at White Sands National Monument last spring, I wanted to do it, too. So when we wandered beyond the Midwest again on another trip out west, we detoured back to White Sands, near Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Morton Pumpkin Festival Celebrates Pumpkin Capital
Did you know that ninety-five percent of pumpkins for processing in the United States are grown in Illinois? Specifically, they’re grown in and near Morton, a town southeast of Peoria, home to a large Libby’s cannery. Every September, Morton celebrates its pumpkin industry with the Morton Pumpkin Festival.
Exploring Byways and Trails
In this podcast, we chat about exploring byways and trails. If you’re a regular Midwest Wanderer reader, you know we do a lot of road trips. Some of our favorite trips are along scenic or historic byways. And then there are trails. What’s the difference? You’ll find out in this podcast.
In this podcast, we wrap up our Great River Road adventure. We start in Dubuque, Iowa, and travel south through Fulton, Illinois, and Clinton, Iowa. Then we move on to our last stop, the Quad Cities.
Listen to our adventures as we drove the Great River Road from the Headwaters in northern Minnesota to the Quad Cities. On days 5 through 8 explored the area from St. Cloud, Minnesota, to Dubuque Iowa.
Welcome to the inaugural Midwest Wanderer podcast! As we traveled the Great River Road from the Mississippi River headwaters in northern Minnesota to the Quad Cities, we summed up our daily activities each night in a podcast. We turned the first two recordings into videos while we traveled and posted them on Facebook. But that required late nights, and after two nights of five or fewer hours of sleep, we decided to record and wait until we got home to publish them. So here we are, with the first four days of our Quad Cities adventures. Rather than videos, we’re presenting them in podcast format.