East Central Iowa · Family Adventures · The Mud Belt-Traveling the Mississippi

Sneaky-Cody-Pickers: Late February in LeClaire

Ya-Durn right Buffalo Bill is happy! It's his birthday and the town he was born in invites you to help them celebrate every February. We're talking LeClaire, IA, baby! I mean...Fellers!
Ya-Durn right Buffalo Bill is happy! It’s his birthday and the town he was born in invites you to help them celebrate every February. We’re talking LeClaire, IA, baby! I mean…..Fellas!

LeClaire, IA: Scott County (Our 13th County!)

Another great February weekend was in the forecast and we jumped on the opportunity to explore. This time we ventured less than hour away from our Hills headquarters and made our way east to the mighty Mississippi once again. This time we landed in LeClaire. The temps held up just enough to allow us to walk up an down LeClaire’s historic main street and pursue some much needed fact finding missions for summer events. But, winter time in LeClaire yields plenty of entertainment for all it’s tourists and locals. Especially the seasoned band of travelers know as Team Goodvin!

We arrive hungry. Time to class things up and wear some neckties before hitting up one of LeClaire's establishments. Wait for it.......
We arrive hungry. Time to class things up and wear some neckties before hitting up one of LeClaire’s establishments. Wait for it…….

We rolled into town around noon and the grumbling we heard, while driving, wasn’t the transmission going out. It was the collective roar of Team Goodvin’s stomachs craving some of Scott County’s finest stops for a meal. LeClaire has several places to help just this particular phenomenon. Today we dine at…….Sneaky Pete’s!

Located right on historic Cody Road. Sneaky Pete's is LeClaire's premiere cowboy restaurant and they mean to keep that way!   http://sneakypetescowboysteaks.biz/
Located right on historic Cody Road. Sneaky Pete’s Woodfire Grille is LeClaire’s premiere cowboy restaurant and they mean to keep that way!
http://sneakypetescowboysteaks.biz/

With the river flowing just past our window, we settle down to mull over Sneaky Pete’s lunch options. The lunch menu was loaded with great sandwiches, wraps, appetizers, and popular southwestern dishes that we were pleasantly surprised to see, especially Charlie, our resident expert on tacos, enchiladas, burritos and quesadillas. However, we were still taking a little extra time to decide. A few things caught our eyes as we walked in.

An antique tub full of ice and turned into a very unique salad bar. For all you freaks that say you could bathe in ranch dressing, Sneaky Pete's may have you covered. For the right price that is.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sneaky-Petes-Woodfire-Grille/159040317451681
An antique tub full of ice and turned into a very unique salad bar. For all you freaks that say you could bathe in ranch dressing, Sneaky Pete’s may have you covered. For the right price that is.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sneaky-Petes-Woodfire-Grille/159040317451681

Tracy, our server at Sneaky Pete’s, took our orders and told us that she would be right back with the scissors. That’s when Charlie realized that the $1.88 tie that his dad bought him at Goodwill that morning was doomed.

If you value the necktie your'e wearing, than you better take it off before entering Sneaky Pete's. Your'e not leaving with it intact.
If you value the necktie you’re wearing, than you better take it off before entering Sneaky Pete’s. You’re not leaving with it intact.
Tracy knew how to take care of our family and showed us that you get to play with scissors if you work at Sneaky Pete's in LeClaire, IA.
Tracy knew how to take care of our family and showed us that you get to play with scissors if you work at Sneaky Pete’s in LeClaire, IA.
From traditional Iowa pulled pork sandwiches to beef and potato enchiladas loaded with cheese, Sneaky Pete's had us fed and energized for the rest of the day!
From traditional Iowa pulled pork sandwiches to beef and potato enchiladas loaded with cheese, Sneaky Pete’s had us fed and energized for the rest of the day!

Another successful belly filling mission was complete. Now it’s time to check out the history of LeClaire. Just down the hill, towards the river, is the Buffalo Bill Museum. Marsha and Bob greeted us at the entrance and took time to show us all around the interior of the museum. We are absolute suckers for regional historical museums and LeClaire has one of the best in the state. These places are a crucial part of local economies and tell the story of their proud cities better than anyone can. We always recommend taking the time to stop at these great places wherever you’re traveling to.

Just off of main street LeClaire, IA.  http://www.buffalobillmuseumleclaire.com/
Just off of main street LeClaire, IA.
http://www.buffalobillmuseumleclaire.com/
The Buffalo Bill Museum has a great display of local Native American artifacts from LeClaire and all around the Mississippi Valley.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Buffalo-Bill-Museum-LeClaire-IA/156704987708802
The Buffalo Bill Museum has a great display of local Native American artifacts from LeClaire and all around the Mississippi Valley.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Buffalo-Bill-Museum-LeClaire-IA/156704987708802
LeClaire's Buffalo Bill Museum supplies kids with some challenging scavenger hunts. A perfect activity for everyone.
LeClaire’s Buffalo Bill Museum supplies kids with some fun scavenger hunts. A perfect activity for everyone.
Housed in the outer shelter, connected to the museum, is the Lone Star Steamboat.
Housed in the outer shelter, connected to the museum, is the Lone Star Steamboat.
For nearly 100 years The Lone Star operated up and the Mississippi. When it was decommissioned, in the late 1960's, it was the last wooden steamboat of its kind in operation.
For nearly 100 years The Lone Star operated up and the Mississippi. When it was decommissioned, in the late 1960’s, it was the last wooden steamboat of its kind in operation.
The Lone Star's proud galley. Positioned right by the main engine of the steamboat.
The Lone Star’s proud galley. Positioned right by the main engine of the steamboat.
LeClaire is fortunate to have this amazing piece of Mississippi River history.
LeClaire is fortunate to have this amazing piece of Mississippi River history.
The  Birthday display at LeClaire's Buffalo Bill Museum.
The Birthday display at LeClaire’s Buffalo Bill Museum.

Now it’s time for us to hit Cody Road- LeClaire’s main business district.

Stop number one is Wide River Winery.  http://wideriverwinery.com/
Stop number one is Wide River Winery.
http://wideriverwinery.com/
Wide River Winery trucks their wines down to LeClaire from just up the river in Clinton. Mersaydes and Emily work hard selling and sampling the Wide River wine to their loyal customers. Well done ladies! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wide-River-Winery/112017943487
Wide River Winery trucks their wines down to LeClaire from just up the river in Clinton. Mersaydes and Emily work hard selling and sampling the Wide River wine to their loyal customers. Well done, ladies!
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wide-River-Winery/112017943487
Let it breathe my aunt Fanny! Started sipping on it right away when the opportunity presented itself. Mersaydes talked me in to the Felony Red.   https://twitter.com/WideRiverWinery
Let it breathe, my aunt Fanny! Started sipping on it right away when the opportunity presented itself. Mersaydes talked me in to the Felony Red.
https://twitter.com/WideRiverWinery

For some reason, we’re craving something pickled, salted, cured, spicy and possibly canned, jarred or dried. Lucky for us, LeClaire Canning Company has us covered!

LeClaire Canning Company has a great selection of salsa, jelly, pickled everything and local honey.  http://www.leclairecanningcompany.com/
LeClaire Canning Company has a great selection of local salsa, jelly, pickled everything, and honey.
http://www.leclairecanningcompany.com/
From the traditional salsa to the death defying, LeClaire Canning Company has you covered. Be sure to have the fish tank full and properly filtered when you eat this. You may need it.  https://www.facebook.com/leclairecanningcompany
From the traditional salsa to the death defying, LeClaire Canning Company has you covered. Be sure to have the fish tank full and properly filtered when you eat this. You may need it.
https://www.facebook.com/leclairecanningcompany
My old factories kicked and didn't allow us to leave without purchasing some of the great products at LeClaire Canning Company.
My old factories kicked and didn’t allow us to leave without purchasing some of the great products at LeClaire Canning Company.
Added this to my breakfast tacos the next day. Gave them a great spite and crunch!
Added this to my breakfast tacos the next day. Gave them a great bite and crunch!

Adam, the owner of LeClaire Canning Company, was very helpful and professional when it came to shopping at his store. But, the sweet tooth was jealous and wanted us to move one. The pulsating sugar beacon led us up the hill from Cody Road to a place that many of LeClaire’s locals told us that was a must visit.

The name says it all. We've found our spot. Very little shame, if any, creeps up on us when we're traveling. Bring it on! https://www.facebook.com/TheShamelessChocoholic
The name says it all. We’ve found our spot. Very little shame, if any, creeps up on us when we’re traveling. Bring it on!
https://www.facebook.com/TheShamelessChocoholic
Chocolate row at The Shameless Chocoholic. Ahhhhh...good times.
Chocolate row at The Shameless Chocoholic. Ahhhhh…good times.
Gigi taking time for her famous pose in front of the massive variety of candy at The Shameless Chocoholic in LeClaire.
Gigi taking time for her famous pose in front of the massive variety of candy at The Shameless Chocoholic in LeClaire.
Working the Chocoholic's  counter is Jen. One of the owners of The Shameless Chocoholic and part owner of the Java House next door and the guest house upstairs. And your day off is when?
Working the Chocoholic’s counter is Jen. One of the owners of The Shameless Chocoholic and part owner of the Java House next door and the guest house upstairs. And your day off is when?

Ok, folks. Take time to enjoy yourselves with the family and take time to break away and have a little grown up treat. Sample your way thorough LeClaire when you can. And luckily for us, the Mississippi River Distilling Company (MRDC) has us covered.

The waters may be choppy at times, but everything is smooth the MRDC! http://www.mrdistilling.com/index.shtml
The waters may be choppy at times, but everything is smooth the MRDC!
http://www.mrdistilling.com/index.shtml
This is how everyone's shelf should look like. With help from the MRDC, it can.  https://twitter.com/mrivrdistilling
This is how everyone’s shelf should look like. With help from the MRDC, it can.
https://twitter.com/mrivrdistilling
Monie having a sample of the River Baron Artisan Spirit with Italian soda at the MRDC. https://www.facebook.com/mississippiriverdistilling
Monie having a sample of the River Baron Artisan Spirit with Italian soda at the MRDC.
https://www.facebook.com/mississippiriverdistilling
Garrett showing off the distillery at the Mississippi River Distilling Company.
Garrett showing off the distillery at the Mississippi River Distilling Company.

We Iowans are very patriotic when it comes to homegrown talent making it big. Iowa feeds the world and you would think that would be enough international publicity for us. However, we’re currently very proud to see that the History Channel showcases one of the premier antique showrooms in the great state of Iowa. Team Goodvin “picks” its way up the hill to the heart of LeClaire and discovers Antique Archaeology and all of its historical splendor.

The Antique Archaeology emblem shines on Team Goodvin as we make our way in to their rusty showrooms.   http://www.antiquearchaeology.com/
The Antique Archaeology emblem shines on Team Goodvin as we make our way in to their rusty showrooms.
http://www.antiquearchaeology.com/
Antique Archaeology's faithful worker, Morgan, greeted Team Goodvin and helped us enjoy our visit. We enjoyed talking with all the workers of this great antique store. https://www.facebook.com/AntiqueArchaeologyLeClaire
Antique Archaeology’s faithful worker, Morgan, greeted Team Goodvin and helped us enjoy our visit. We enjoyed talking with all the workers of this great antique store.
https://www.facebook.com/AntiqueArchaeologyLeClaire
To me, a great antique shop must be part unique, part rustic, part historic and most importantly, part creepy. Antique Archaeology has all of this covered   https://twitter.com/AntiqueArchIowa
To me, a great antique shop must be part unique, part rustic, part historic and most importantly, part creepy. Antique Archaeology has all of this covered
https://twitter.com/AntiqueArchIowa
Our favorite relic at Antique Archaeolgy-LeClaire. An old rusty Indian motorcycle. The back story of its discovery is amazing. But you'll need to visit and read about it. The message is attached to its handlebar. I think Frank and Mike are still recovering from it. https://twitter.com/americanpickers
Our favorite relic at Antique Archaeolgy-LeClaire. An old rusty Indian motorcycle. The back story of its discovery is amazing. But you’ll need to visit and read about it. The message is attached to its handlebar. I think Frank and Mike are still recovering from it.
https://twitter.com/americanpickers
Team Goodvin's number one fan of American Pickers! Leah standing in front of a classic Vespa Scooter. Just think.....Frank may have sat on this. (Sorry Mike and Danielle and Mike. She's a Fritz fan) https://www.facebook.com/AmericanPickers
Team Goodvin’s number one fan of American Pickers! Leah standing in front of a classic Vespa Scooter. Just think…..Frank may have sat on this. (Sorry Mike and Danielle and Mike. She’s a Fritz fan)
https://www.facebook.com/AmericanPickers

The day is nearing an end for us in LeClaire. Before leaving we must explore the riverfront. No matter what time of year, the mighty Mississippi will draw you to its banks like it has to many curious fun having families and adventurers before us. Just south of town is Lock and Dam 14 Recreational Area. We make our way to it’s inviting trails…

Say
Say “Cody”! A family pic at Lock and Dam 14 Rec Area near LeClaire, IA.
LeClaire's Lock and Dam 14 may be the best area in Iowa to spot bald eagles. Audubon enthusiasts descend on #14 all winter long.
LeClaire’s Lock and Dam 14 may be the best area in Iowa to spot bald eagles. Audubon enthusiasts descend on #14 all winter long.
Artist Ray
Artist Ray “Bubba” Sorensen II has spearheaded an amazing project unique to Iowa called Freedom Rock. The goal is the have a veteran inspired paintings designed on boulders in every Iowa County. LeClaire was lucky enough to land Scott County’s Freedom Rock. http://www.thefreedomrock.com/
In case you were wondering just how far down the river you were.
In case you were wondering just how far down the river you were.

Our day is done and we can’t thank the fine people of LeClaire enough. The cooks, servers, shop keepers, pickers, antiquers, and distillers keep this old river town vibrant and primed for good times all year long. The summer plans keep filling up and we hope we can make a return visit to LeClaire in 2015, 2016, 2017………

And now a special thanks to……..

Cindy Bruhn and everybody at the LeClaire Information Center. Cindy helped us with our schedule and was available every step of the way.   https://www.facebook.com/LeClaireIowa
Cindy Bruhn and everybody at the LeClaire Information Center. Cindy helped us with our schedule and was available every step of the way.
https://www.facebook.com/LeClaireIowa
Marsha and Bob of the Buffalo Bill Museum. You made our family feel right at home and your hard work is just as much on display as your proud exhibits. See you all again!
Marsha and Bob of the Buffalo Bill Museum. You made our family feel right at home and your hard work is just as much on display as your proud exhibits. See you all again!

Please take time to visit…

Cant do a blog about LeClaire without one of these shirts!
Can’t do a blog about LeClaire without one of these shirts!

Thanks for reading! -Team Goodvin

9 thoughts on “Sneaky-Cody-Pickers: Late February in LeClaire

  1. Thank you for visiting Le Claire and including Wide River Winery as one of your stops! Please visit again soon. We have live music in the courtyard every Friday evening beginning May 22.

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      1. Sounds great! We have live music on some Sunday’s in Clinton at the winery beginning May 24 – October from 2-5pm. Check Facebook or wideriverwinery.com for schedule.

        Like

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