About Dean Klinkenberg

Dean Klinkenberg, the Mississippi Valley Traveler, is on a mission to explore the rich history, diverse cultures, and varied ecosystems of the Mississippi River Valley, from the Headwaters in northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. He is the author of Rock Island Lines, a mystery, and several guidebooks for the Mississippi Valley.

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox (Headwaters Guide Excerpt)

To mark the recent release of my fourth Mississippi Valley Traveler guide--the Headwaters Region Guide--here's an excerpt about one of the region's larger-than-life characters, Paul Bunyan. You might be surprised by a few things. And don't forget to check out the photos of Paul and Babe at the end of the post. They get around. To buy a copy

By | September 15th, 2016|Blogging the Great River Road|0 Comments

The Old Clock Tower: Icon of a City

NOTE: This article originally appeared in the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of Big River Magazine. Clock Tower Building When the Army announced plans to raze an aging limestone warehouse at the Rock Island Arsenal, around the time of World War I, locals who viewed the building with great affection convinced the Army to save it.

By | September 6th, 2016|About the Mississippi Valley|0 Comments

Remembering Bill Marshall

Bill Marshall was a generous and gracious man. We sat down for an interview in 2011.

By | July 25th, 2016|Blogging the Great River Road|2 Comments

Recycling Hope

It feels like the world has been full of nothing but bad news lately, but, as often happens around the Mississippi, just wait a bit and something will come along to lift your spirits. That was the case this week, when a crew of six explorers/activists floated into Alton on some trash from New York.

By | July 16th, 2016|Blogging the Great River Road|0 Comments

Life Where the Mississippi River Begins

The first time I visited Itasca State Park, where the Mississippi spills gently out of Lake Itasca, the park was covered in a foot-and-a-half of snow and most of the lake was frozen. It was late January, and I wanted to get an idea of what the place was like in winter. I wasn’t disappointed.

By | July 13th, 2016|About the Mississippi Valley|0 Comments

Swinging over the Locks: The Quad Cities’ Government Bridge

Even at 120 years old, the Government Bridge is an impressive feat of engineering.

By | June 12th, 2016|About the Mississippi Valley|0 Comments