Fisherman's Corner is a small campground right on the edge of the Mississippi River, dividing Illinois and Iowa. We were set to stay here three days before heading off to another campground in the southern part of Illinois. While we had a blast, fate had other plans for us that cut our Big Trip a bit short. But we'll get to that!
For most of this stay, we spent our time in the campground getting work done. There were a few little loops for walking, and the Mississippi River is always a good backdrop. But on the last full day of our stay we decided to head into a little town just across the border into Iowa called Le Claire.
The town itself was adorable. There were plenty of little shops and restaurants along the banks of the river. We parked the truck and walked around the pier for a bit. They had a huge old-timey paddle steamer sitting at the dock, and there were tons of plaques and statues lining the water.
We decided to walk down the main street to a brewery at the edge of town and enjoyed a few "sodas" on the patio overlooking the river while we looked for a good dinner option.
There were tons of pizza places and pubs in the area, but none of them really caught our eye. We decided to just walk around to see if anything jumped out at us.
While passing a little alleyway, I looked up the hill and noticed something odd. I felt like I recognized the building up the road from somewhere. Then it hit me; I've seen it on TV! For anyone who caught this before I did, Le Claire, Iowa is the home base of the American Pickers!
Naturally, we had to go in! As you'd expect, they had all sorts of antique goodies and souvenirs about the show. While we didn't get to meet Mike or Frank, we did get to grab a few goodies to bring back to the trailer.
We might have gotten a few goodies from Antique Archeology, but we still hadn't found anywhere to eat. But on our way out of town, something caught our eye. It was a restaurant called Bier Stube.
I'm not sure why we decided an authentic German restaurant jumped out at us. Perhaps it was because it was different? We always eat at pubs and pizza places. Either way, I'm really glad it did because it was incredible! It was easily one of our favorite restaurants of the entire trip.
They had all sorts of amazing German foods, like sausages, giant soft pretzels, and of, course, beer! And when ordering our beer, they asked if we wanted it in a glass or a one-liter boot. Was that even a question...?
They also offered a full-size two-liter boot, but you had to put a $60 deposit down before you ordered it. Apparently, a lot of people drop it and break the giant glasses... We wanted to do that one, but we also already had a beer at the brewery earlier and still had to drive home. However, we started making plans to come back.
Officially, this was the last day of our stay in Fisherman's Corner. But we loved this restaurant so much (and really wanted the full-size "Das Boot") that we actually booked another night at the campground while we were sitting at the table! We also bought one of the "small" Das Boot glasses to bring home with us.
Now, a little backstory. For the past few stops, Luna hadn't been feeling good. We had a few nights cleaning up the trailer from various "problems." We're not sure if she got into something on a walk through the woods or if it was just one of those things, but being in a trailer with a sick dog isn't fun. It makes the space feel much, much smaller — and grosser. She had been doing well for the past few days, which is why we decided to book the next day.
When we got back to the trailer from our amazing adventure in Le Claire, we discovered there was yet another pile of throw-up on the floor. Poor little Lunabear still wasn't feeling good...
If I'm being honest, we were running out of clean sheets and places to put dirty floormats. Although we still had a few more stops on our trip (including a trip to my aunt's house in Ohio), we decided to cut the trip short and head for home.
We didn't get to officially complete the trip the way we planned, but it was still an incredible experience. We camped through massive storms in Kansas and Nebraska, climbed mountains in Colorado, visited three National Parks, followed the Oregon Trail, surfed down sand dunes in Idaho, and visited some of the most remote towns in the United States — only to name a few of the things we got to do.
When we pulled into the driveway back at home in North Carolina, we had officially driven nearly 9,000 miles across 18 states. It was a wild ride, and we had an absolute blast. Now, onto the next adventure!
And in case you're wondering, Lunabear did feel better. Wouldn't you know it, she never got sick again the minute we decided to cut the trip short — but that's just how she operates. We're still not entirely convinced it wasn't all a ploy to get us to go back home to her beloved couch. I guess it worked.
He likes pizza.