My prior post on Fulton to Albany is here. While the Fulton portion of the Great River Trail was a bit more adventurous and undeveloped, I will have to admit that I loved this portion– Port Byron to Rock Island — of the GRT trail best. It was paved the entire time, and there was no riding on highways shared with vehicles, although we did have to travel beside the highway for a few miles. This portion also had the Mississippi in sight most of the time. Our plans included an overnight in Rock Island at a bed and breakfast that night so we parked one vehicle in their lot and drove together in my car with my bikes up river to Port Byron where we would start out. When we drove into the Victorian Inn Bed and Breakfast, I was so excited by the grounds and house itself, I was tempted to go explore, but I held off,saving that for when we returned. I am getting ahead of myself, but I will give you a sneak peek at the Inn below.
It, of course, was getting towards noon by the time we got to Port Byron and the heat was on! After a bit of trouble finding the parking lot I had spotted on Google Maps, we finally got on our bikes and got going. I have been bothered by heat before so began worrying about whether I should go all the way but decided to wait until about mile 10 to decided if I was going on or turning around.
They had these nice signs all along the way in each town which I really enjoyed knowing where I was for once! The majority of the time is spent right next to the Mississippi, but after the initial start where I became obsessed with the water lilies as you can see below, we eventually had to follow the busy highway, although we were on our own dedicated bike trail.
This portion was so hot because the pavement just reflected the heat back up into my face. There was very little shade, and so we peddled on until we got to a campground where I found a tree to sit under — okay, I’ll admit — lay under! First I just poured water from the spigot on my head. We finally reached our halfway point only to discover the cutest ice cream shop ever where we grabbed not only ice cream but a couple of barbecue pork sandwiches for lunch.
What a great place to make my decision on whether we were going back or continue on. After some wonderful lunch and watermelon ice cream, I revived and decided to continue on!
Before we got back on our bikes, I explored the back porch they had which looked really inviting if it wasn’t so hot out! As you can see they had stools along the balcony railing so we could have eaten and watched the Mississippi slip on by.
I just had to include the below picture because I loved the doors but also because I love the door reflection!
I really had a hard time picking the pictures on this trip because it was a beautiful day for pictures. You will notice a lot of them are taken from the shade.
It became more crowded once we reached the Quad Cities. We passed several spots where the water taxis dock, and if we had had more time and it wasn’t so hot, we would have definitely taken one just to ride around! One of the stops is over on the Iowa side in Davenport, and after reading Travel Iowa’s blog, I wish we had gone over to Davenport to check out their art gallery! I did get a picture of a riverboat you can get on to tour the Mississippi I believe.
By the time we reached Rock Island, I was ready to get to that welcoming bed and breakfast and took very little pictures. The biking views are so varied because one minute we were going through downtowns (where I stopped off at a sprinkler spraying the lawn of a business to get wet just like a kid!) and then all the sudden find little parks like the one below and feel alone again.
Hubby got real excited about this because it was an island that looked perfect for fishing. However, this was at the end of our adventure, and I was ready for a shower. They had a great spot to rest in the shade and a cool breeze so I waited there while he explored a few lookouts. We eventually ended up by a busy city park where kids could run through water jets where we got a bit lost getting out of there and on to our bed and breakfast. Eventually we made it there and checked in. Then we had to get in our vehicle and drive back to Port Byron to get the car and bike rack. Since the cook-your-own-steak place was not open, we decided on a local pizza place in Port Byron before finally getting back to rest in our great room.
What an interesting place the Victorian Bed and Breakfast Inn is! We couldn’t have asked for better hosts and totally enjoyed our stay there. I had hoped to explore Rock Island’s historic district but just couldn’t summon up the energy to go back out again. Just a bit of a warning about taking showers at this inn because of course I wanted one immediately. It took forever for the heated water to come through the shower! I just couldn’t stand to get in in ice cold water so had to take second shower. ha! Other than that, it was perfect. I’ll leave you with how we were greeted in the morning for our breakfast!