Despite growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, I’ve never spent much time in Iowa.downtown Dubuque, Beth Partin's photos So it was a treat to discover that Dubuque, on the left bank of the Mississippi River, across from Indiana, had a classy downtown. Even its alleys are colorful.

We couchsurfed with a couple and their daughter who live on the hill above downtown. I walked down the steps instead of taking the famous elevator, and then Todd drove me back, so I never did experience that tourist attraction. But I did walk down to the Mississippi and feel peaceful looking out over its vast expanse.Mississippi River, Dubuque I lived in Colorado for almost thirty years, and I know the Colorado carved the Grand Canyon. But whenever I see eastern rivers, I can’t help but think, “Now THAT’S a river.”

As I walked back downtown to watch the end of the roller derby tournament Todd was filming, the night was deepening. I’m not sure if the people who developed Dubuque over the decades really had views in mind, but I found great ones. I turned back toward the Mississippi to get this corn elevator. corn elevator, Dubuque, Beth Partin's photosBelow right is the highway I walked toward; the industry on the other side peeks over to the top. Dubuque waterfront(I had fun lightening the color of the industrial buildings. If you enlarge the photo, you can see my boo-boos.) I went over the highway to get to the river (below left), but on the way back I went under it.Dubuque waterfront When I cruised downtown again, I found this gold-domed building that looks like a state capitol but isn’t because that’s in Des Moines. I didn’t think to ask our hosts what went on in that building. And finally, here’s the clock tower, showing 7:15. Soon the dark will be descending on us by 6  or even 5 in the afternoon. It’s autumn, and the nights are eating into the days.



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  1. Dorothy October 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Those are great photos, Beth, and an interesting commentary on Dubuque.

  2. Beth October 2, 2012 at 5:47 am - Reply

    Thanks, Dor. I wouldn’t have minded spending a little more time there.

  3. Cara Lopez Lee October 3, 2012 at 9:24 am - Reply

    The breadth of the Mississippi amazes me. Whenever I see it though, I’m a bit disappointed that I’m always in a place where it’s tough to imagine Huckleberry Finn and Jim riding a raft. So happens I’m reading that book right now. Your terrific photos make me want to travel to some less-visited spot on the Mississippi, and let my mind wander back to times I never knew.

  4. Beth Partin October 3, 2012 at 10:26 am - Reply

    There is a lot of room for imagination in places like the Mississippi. In the picture, it looks so calm. I remember reading about two men who went down it on jet skies (or tried to), and found that its currents were anything but calm.