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Our trip to Naples, Florida

The title of this trip may seem a little misleading once our trip is complete. This is another business trip for a winter meeting that is to be held in Naples, Florida. Instead of flying we decided to drive so that we could do some sightseeing on the way home. So the first part of this trip is all about getting to the meeting on time. We will try to enjoy a little of the trip down but the trip back should be the highlight. We tried using Google maps to display this route but the maps simply haven't kept up with the new interstate, so here are a couple maps that show our route.

Route on the Avenue of the Saints

Route from Keokuk to St. Louis

St. Louis

Our trip route took us out of Iowa via the new Avenue of the Saints. This is a 4-lane interstate highway that is designed to speed travel between St. Louis and St. Paul. We have the benefit of having the route pass to the south of Mason City a few miles. This is a somewhat diagonal route through Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, and Keokuk and then down highway 27 to St. Louis. Since the trip is a bit rushed on the first half we did not stop for pictures during the first 600 miles from Mason City to Paducah, Kentucky. The picture above was taken through the car window as we sped right through the center of St. Louis. If you look closely to the left of the large building in the center of the picture you can see just a bit of the Arch.

Route from St. Louis to Paducah

Paducah, KY Ohio River Flood Wall

We arrived in Paducah late in the afternoon and by the time we got checked in the motel it was nearly dark. So the next series of pictures were taken with time lapse without the aid of a flash. The picture above is the very massive floodwall that protects the old downtown from rising floodwaters of the Ohio River. This wall has been painted with very attractive murals and is very well lit. The temperature was about 50 degrees, just right for an early evening stroll. The picture below shows the backside of the flood wall proclaiming this to be the Port of Paducah.

Port of Paducah

The Ohio River is very wide at this spot and there were several barges moving about on the lake. But they were moving slow enough to get a picture without being too blurry. Incidentally, for those that may follow our family history work, this is the river that Joshua D. Breyfogle traveled on from Columbus, Ohio to St. Louis on his way to the gold fields during the 1849 gold rush.

Evening river view

The picture above shows a very small portion of the historic downtown section of Paducah. We were told by the waiter at dinner that their Mayor has been very active in getting these old stores restored and filled with businesses. Dinner was at Jeremiah’s, a brewpub and restaurant. We were a little disappointed that they no longer served microbrew beer, but the food was outstanding and made a very nice end to a long day in the car. Tomorrow we will be headed south to Valdosta, GA.

A portion of the old downtown of Paducah

You can see our route on the map below.

Route for second day of travel

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