Meandering down the Great River Road

LOCATION:  Nauvoo, Illinois – on the Mississippi in NW part of state
CAMPGROUND:  Baxter’s Winery, another Harvest Host site.  Easy parking on gravel, behind the winery.  Right next to a soybean field.  Wines not too good, but the owners and staff very friendly.  Bar next door.  4 stars out of 5
WEATHER:  Colder.  High 57
DRIVE:  6.5 hours

We took our time driving down the Great River Road along the Mississippi.  Our GPS and the Great River Road were not in sync so we got off the beaten path a few times.  We started the day in Potosi, Wisconsin where we had spent the night, then soon crossed over to Illinois. 

We drove through a lot of cute river towns, some quite prosperous looking, and others not so much.  It was a day full of interesting names of towns for me —  1) Keithsburg (my brother’s name is Keith), 2) Joy (our Airstream and my mother’s name), 3) Alexis (our daughter’s name), and 4) Carman – me, just misspelled!

At the winery, we checked in with the 5th generation owner.  It is Illinois’s oldest winery. 

The owner had us pull aside as the soybean harvester was just getting ready to harvest the beans right next to Joy.

We watched him from the Airstream.  He was really close.  It didn’t take long at all for that big machine to harvest the small field.  Here is the view from our indoor window…

We went inside the winery for a tasting. In addition to wine, they sell a lot of local meat and cheese, homemade pies, homemade jams, and spices.  The wine wasn’t that great, but their bubbly was ok, so we bought a bottle.  We also bought some good-looking blue cheese.

After the soybean harvesting, we settled Joy in a nice flat area, then went into the adjacent Wine Barrel pub, part of the winery/vineyard.

We enjoy seeing all of the fall and Halloween decorations. This is next to the winery…

The pub is quite small, and the customers all appeared to be local regulars, including the owner’s husband.  George chatted A LOT with fellow customers while I caught up on wifi.  We ordered their spinach dip and chips – a huge bowl for only $2.50 – as an appetizer, and to support the pub. 

DINNER:  Repurposed leftovers — skirt steak (frozen weeks ago from a Harvest Host farm), with sauteed onions, stuffed into a pita bread with tzasiki and goat cheese.  Not too shabby, but there is still steak left! 

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