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Train Festival 2011 Dinner Cruise on the Celebration Belle 7/23/2011

by Chris Guenzler

My final Train Festival 2011 event would be taking place on the waters of the Mississippi River aboard the Celebration Belle Dinner Cruise. I wanted to experience a trip on the Mississippi River and this would be my chance. We got off of the Nickel Plate Road 765 Iowa City Trip and headed straight to the boat.

The Celebration Belle. They gave you a table number and luckily Nathan was assigned to my same table. I sat down but found no water on my table. After Nathan arrived I got a glass of ice and went to the drinking fountain to fill it up.

They had a two piece combo that played a guitar and drum machine and sang. They were playing way too loud for where we were sitting. The gang plank was raised and our other table guest hadn't arrived so Bob and Elizabeth joined us at our table for dinner tonight.

The boat has left the dock.

Looking up the channel that goes to the south of the Rock Island Arsenal as the boat turned to head south down the Mississippi River.

Leaving Train Festival 2011 behind.

The Government Bridge.

Downtown Davenport to the north.

Rock Island to the south.

The Centennial Bridge.

The other railroad bridge in Rock Island is known as the Crescent Bridge.

The swing span is open giving this unique view.

The swing span.

The southern part of the bridge.

Another view of the swing span.

The southern part of the bridge.

The northern part of the Crescent Bridge. With those pictures, I returned to my table and it was time for our table to be called for dinner. You got into one of the four lines and you got your food onto your plate then you ended up at the carver who sliced the Prime Rib anyway you want so I got a fantastic thick piece of it.

The food on my plate.

Nathan, Bob and Elizabeth.

Looking back at the Interstate 280 Bridge.

Views of the pilot house of the Celebration Belle.

Looking south down the Mississippi River.

Boats on the river.

The houses along the river are built on stilts.

After this river marker the boat will make a 180 degree turn to start back up the Mississippi River to Rock Island.

You could see Buffalo further south along the Mississippi River.

More views down the Mississippi River.

These people were drinking in their boat.

Trees along the shore of the Mississippi River.

Here is the same boat.

The boat made the turn to head north up the Mississippi River.

Three views of Buffalo, Iowa.

The view looking back south down river.

The Interstate 280 Bridge ahead of the boat.

Bob and Elizabeth.

Me and Elizabeth.

Bob and I. I cracked some pirate jokes that made everyone on deck laugh.

A look back.

A look ahead. We had a boat and a wave rider come by. The waver rider fell off of his ride. He was so drunk he could not climb back up on it too much laughter aboard the boat. I yelled "Drinking and boating do not mix!" That brought a good round of laughter from the passengers aboard the deck of the Celebration Belle.

The view ahead. Now we will just enjoy the sunset.

The start of a most beautiful sunset.

The sunset and the Crescent Railroad Bridge.

Looking up river at Davenport.

More views of this fantastic sunset as we returned towards Rock Island.

One more view of Davenport.

One more sunset view. With that it was back to the table until we arrived back at Rock Island. It had been a great trip on the Celebration Belle. We returned to the Motel 6 where my air conditioner was now not working. They moved me to another room on the second floor in the back of the hotel with very slow and poor internet. I called it a night.