DAY 45 – THURSDAY, AUGUST 22

BURLINGTON TO NAUVOO We drove to Crapo Park to start the day. No runners to join us there so we drove down to the Port of Burlington and met Tim, our police escort. Biked over the US 34 bridge and down Carman Road toward Nauvoo, Illinois. Heavy traffic initially, but it tapered off as we rode. The roads were not bike friendly, but motorists were mostly courteous and made room. We transferred to running and did back-to-back legs, arriving at Nauvoo a bit earlier than expected. We were greeted at the The Red Front Nauvoo by Mayor John McCarty, Sharon and Larry Nicholl, Jeff and Helen Christiansen. …

DAY 44 – WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21

BURLINGTON LAYOVER The day started with a drive into town to meet Savanna, the host at the Burlington, Iowa country music station, for a quick on-air interview between songs. The interview went well, short and to the point, followed by a song about a man and his truck. The air was heavy, like rain was coming in, but no heavy storms were predicted. After the interview, we picked up my mom at her B&B and drove out to the Gugeler family farm. Jan was waiting for us, and she soon after introduced us to her husband Roger. He immediately set in telling …

DAY 43 – TUESDAY, AUGUST 20

OAKVILLE TO BURLINGTON We woke on the shores of Lake Odessa and Bev served us a delicious breakfast with plenty of coffee. We enjoyed a beautiful orange sky that colored the lake. After breakfast, the Columbus Junction cross-country team would join the run out of Oakville, Iowa – an awesome day was ahead of us. Except for the storms . . . We made our way back to the launch point in a heavy rain. Kathy and Bev met us there and it was clear that we wouldn’t be able cover the distance to Burlington this morning. Heavy thunderstorms and frequent lightning …

DAY 42 – MONDAY, AUGUST 19

MUSCATINE TO OAKVILLE Our host, Greg Jenkins, made a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon, and we shared a few final stories before starting our day. He also helped Tom secure the new cargo arrangement in the back of the van, scrounging up several bungee cords and straps to makeshift our way into a more stable mobile environment! At about 9am, Greg went off to work and Victoria and I visited the National Pearl Button Museum at the History & Industry Center – just a couple of blocks off the river from the day’s launching point. Director Terry Eagle led us …

DAY 41 – SUNDAY, AUGUST 18

QUAD CITIES TO MUSCATINE Tom rode south out of Davenport, Iowa toward Muscatine, Iowa—we knew the first 7 miles were bikeable and the rest uncertain, plus the weather forecast showed a storm system moving in, so we knew we might have to be on foot for most of the miles. However, the rain stayed away, and the Sunday traffic was minimal, so Tom stayed on bike for several more miles before making the transfer to me. I rode in all the way to Muscatine, landing us an hour early at the River Center. We took the opportunity to fill up the van with gas, …

DAY 40 – SATURDAY, AUGUST 17

LE CLAIRE TO QUAD CITIES We were hurrying out the door this morning to get launched, so much so that we later learned a few things got left behind—but that’s for another story… I grabbed an egg white omelet, sausage patty, and banana from the Holiday Inn’s hot breakfast bar and rushed to the van, as Tom nearly drove off without me to head back to the Cody Road main street area for his departure on foot. We decided to run the full distance to the Quad Cities, so I waited for Tom out on an industrial highway as the rain …

Couple running, biking along Mississippi River for “Relay of Voices”

BY ANDREA FLORES of WQAD Channel 8 LECLAIRE, Iowa — Two artists are running and biking along all 2,348 miles of the Mississippi River. It’s called “Relay of Voices,” and they’re collecting stories of people from 104 different communities along the river. They stopped by Mississippi River Distilling Company in LeClaire, interviewing local business owners. Victoria Bradford Styrbicki and her husband Tom call this trip a “pilgrimage,” to learn more about people of all different backgrounds. “I think water as a natural resource, and the river as a sometimes serene, but also volatile natural resource is a very powerful mechanism in …

Artistic Team Traveling The Length Of The Mississippi Makes Stops In Iowa

By KATE PAYNE from Iowa Public Radio Victoria Bradford Styrbicki and her husband Tom are traveling from the headwaters of the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico as part of a story-telling project about life on the river. KATE PAYNE/IPR An artistic couple who are largely running and biking their way along the length of the Mississippi River passed through LeClaire Friday. The trek from the river’s headwaters in Minnesota all the way to the Gulf of Mexico is part of a storytelling project that spans 10 states. The Relay of Voices project is the vision of Louisiana native Victoria Bradford Styrbicki and …

DAY 39 – FRIDAY, AUGUST 16

CLINTON TO LE CLAIRE The story of Clinton, Iowa would not be complete without a brief glimpse of our lodging at the Econo Lodge out on Hwy 30. Our room was in the oldest wing of this hotel-motel establishment that has been put together piecemeal over many years since at least the 50s. The original lobby building still stands, but just as a shell, and it was pointed out to us the day before along with the various wings and phases of the hotel by one of the managers as he guided us through the maze of hallways to our room in …

DAY 38 – THURSDAY, AUGUST 15

SABULA TO CLINTON French toast, fruit parfait, crispy bacon, orange juice, coffee—a breakfast for champions, or so we hoped, as we got prepared to leave Sabula’s Castle Bed & Breakfast and make the journey to Clinton, Iowa entirely on foot. Road conditions were again poor for cycling, with no shoulder and high speed traffic, so Tom ran the first 8 and I the last 7 miles, meeting just before town at Eagle Point Park, Clinton. Tom Koester, our Clinton tour guide, had gathered together Mary Seely from the CVB, Greg, Steve, some others, and of course my parents. We learned about the holiday …