June 6: Day off in Muscatine - The Great North American Sticky Bun Hunt - CycleBlaze

June 6: Day off in Muscatine

MUSCATINE MADE buttons. It made them from mussel shells scooped from the river by long-handled spoons.

"Still make buttons here," said a rotund gent who said he rode a bike and wore a cycling T-shirt, "but they're plastic these days." It's a long way from when the area made four of every ten pearl buttons in the world.

Muscatine's other claim to fame - home of pearl button making, and pearl fishermen
Heart 0 Comment 0

Like Mark Twain and his sunset, buttons are what Muscatine clings to. It has little else. It has factories - furniture, drink - but nothing of the romance of pearl. There is a button display at the tourist office but Sunday is when tourists might be in town and so that's the day the tourist office shuts. There is a giant sculpture of a pearl-fisher on the river bank, standing with his back to the water in accidental symbolism.

Heart 0 Comment 0

We liked Muscatine. There's not a lot there but what there is better than the impression you get when you ride, as we did, out of Illinois, over the bridge and into Iowa under a sky as dark as a well-used chamois. But of not just the sunrises but the sunsets, I too can tell you nothing. We spent the afternoon sleeping and then went to bed early as well. This was our first do-nothing rest day since we started and we made the most of it.

Heart 1 Comment 0
The cannon on the lawn of city hall are pointing south - not, we were told, by chance.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Rate this entry's writing Heart 1
Comment on this entry Comment 0