Monday, February 06, 2012

Burlington, Iowa

I love towns on the Mississippi River.  They are historic, have interesting bridges, and stories to tell.  

The Great River Bridge connects Burlington, Iowa with Gulfport, Illinois.  It is a unique, asymmetric single tower cable stay bridge that is so much fun to photograph. Finished in 1993, it has been part of a successful plan transform the river area into a waterfront district that is a pleasant place to walk, pause to appreciate the river, and shop.

Burlington has a fascinating downtown with historic buildings from various time periods, lovely bed and breakfast homes, and a wonderful bookstore: Burlington by the Book  owned by Christopher Murphy.  Situated downtown a few blocks from the river, you will find interesting books and gifts, with author book signings as well and special events as well. 

Burlington is the hometown of Aldo Leopold, writer of "A Sand County Almanac," a book ahead of its time for conservation and a must read for all naturalists.  He graduated from Yale's Forestry School and had a long career in the Forest Service and became a professor of game management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  After purchasing 80 acres in Wisconsin, he put his theories into practice to restore the land.  You can still visit this property, part of the Aldo Leopold Foundation.