We did however have time to visit Le Claire, Iowa the home of the Pickers, on the History Channel. We were disappointed that they did not have many small items for sale. There was more room for selling t shirts and other souvenirs.
We enjoyed the Buffalo Bill Museum and the Green Tree Brewery on the banks of the Mississippi much more. Buffalo Bill was born just outside of town and they have a nice section of memorabilia from his childhood and career. But most of the museum is dedicated to the history of Le Claire and the trade on the Mississippi River. They have the last steam powered Paddle Wheeler to sail on the river as one of the displays. The Green Tree Brewery gets its name from an over 250 year old Dutch Elm tree that once grew on the banks of the river. It served as a meeting place for river traders and Steamboat pilots. It was taken down in 1964 after it died of Dutch Elm disease.
Since we were right in the middle of the Corn Belt we could not resist stopping at one of the many roadside stands and picking up a few ears of fresh sweet corn. One of the specialty food items that I grew up eating while growing up in the Midwest is the Pork Tenderloin Sandwich. It is a pork tenderloin pounded out like a chicken fried steak and prepared exactly the same way, i just had to order one when I found it on the menu. Josie ordered the Chicken Tenders and they were also very tasty.
Belleville is home to the North Central Kansas Fair, which coincides with the races, so we spent a few days at the fairgrounds enjoying the entertainment and great food. The local Methodist Church has a large food stall where the local ladies make pies and sell them by the slice each day. The list changes all day as they run out of one pie but have another delivered. If you find a favorite you have to get there early to get a slice before they run out. The local 4H Club also has a food stall and they have a huge Pork and Lamb Chop dinner on Friday night and then on Saturday a Tri-Tip dinner. You have to get your tickets early before they sell out.
We also enjoyed browsing through the many livestock barns and watching the 4H kids groom and show their animals. There were also exhibits of the finest and largest vegetables along with arts and crafts such as quilts and other assorted needle work items. Thankfully Josie did not bring home one of the many animals that were up for both sale and adoption. The Fair also has many carnival rides which we chose not to ride.
There were four nights of racing in the 6 days we were there and we drove over to the towns of Fairbury, Nebraska and Beloit, Kansas for the lead up races to the weekend Belleville Nationals. It is common to see race cars being worked on right in the camping area.
Today we moved to Loveland, Colorado.