11 July 2006: Coralville, IA to Chicago(land), ILBack in black at my aunt and uncle's in Columbus, Ohio and a bit more well-rested, too. I've finished the alignments up through I-90 in Cleveland (including ALT US 6) and we'll be ready to attack the rest of Superior Avenue when I return there on the 13th. In the meantime, let's catch up while I have a couple lazy days to recuperate.
These pictures are from the 8th, and our odometer starting count was 96236.
Picking up from IA 21, where we left off. Along the courses of US 151 and US 6 are the Amana Colonies (the same Amana you see on your appliances). Having already cost some time on detours, I'll let this one be, but the basic history involves seven villages settled by German Pietists (of the Community of True Inspiration) in 1855. Theirs was a particularly ascetic form of belief; although they had previously settled in New York, they emigrated west for a more isolated surrounding conducive to their lifestyle. As such, their communal mode of life persisted into the 1930s until a financial crisis forced them to spin their local businesses off from the church, from which the modern Amana industry derives. Their church and beliefs, however, continue to persist into the present day despite the intrusion of modern tourism. One of the seven, called Homestead, is directly on US 6 but is mostly a tourist trap now. South Amana is not far from the main road either.
Davenport, IA is named for George Davenport, nicknamed Colonel although he had no actual rank, who acted as a civilian supplier (as well as a local explorer and later community leader) for the local Fort Armstrong established in 1816 on Arsenal Island. The town sprang up in 1839 and was named for him; alas, the beloved Colonel was murdered by outlaws in 1845. Today, Davenport is part of the Quad Cities bordering this Mississippi River crossing as well as the seat of Scott county (named for Black Hawk War General Winfield Scott, who presided over the peace treaty; population 158,668 ) with a population of 98,359 .
The Mississippi really is the "great river" (named for the Ojibwa word misiziibi "great river"); combined with the Missouri, they make up the largest river system in North America (approximately 3900 miles), longer than the Yangtze in China. Its drainage basin covers 41 percent of the lower 48 states with an area exceeded only by the basins of the Amazon and Congo Rivers; by Baton Rouge, its flow exceeds 450,000 cubic feet per second.
Incidentally, pronouncing the town as "jolly-ETTE" will incur you a $5 fine on the spot. It really is a civic statute.
This crossing here carries both US 6 and US 52 into town over the Des Plaines River, another tributary of the Illinois and ultimately the Mississippi (again). Interstate 80 has a longer and much higher river crossing nearby.
US 6 has never entered the Chicago city limits, ever, on any routing past or present. That said, this third-largest city in America was obviously a frequent destination of past US 6 travelers. Named for the Potawatomi term checagou for the skunk cabbage that grew wild in the local marshes, it was formally established in 1833 as a town and incorporated in 1837. Its present city population is 2,842,518 . Since we won't actually enter Chicago, that's as much as we'll say about it.
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