Travelog of the Quad Cities, 2006

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Domination of Eiler Journal #9: Operation Hardroad

What Is the Domination of Eiler?

In one sense, "The Domination of Eiler" is a political entity modeled upon the Holy Roman Empire. Which is to say, it works through national and local political entities, but transcends nation-state boundaries. You may already be a citizen without knowing it!

In another sense, "The Domination of Eiler" is a pen name for an amateur but very prolific web journalist. Perhaps you may enjoy these travel writings, given this simple guide:

  • The Domination of Eiler is led by, of course, the Dominator.
  • Its chief military force, and bodyguard of the Dominator, is the Domination Guard.
  • The Domination's world headquarters is in Scumburg-Illinois, near Chicago. As such, Iowa is an occasional target for Domination patrols.
  • The Domination of Eiler is continuing an annual tradition of March offensives to establish bridgeheads across the Mississippi River. March is almost always after the Domination holiday of Pavement Day, so roads are almost always clear of snow.

    In March 2004, St. Louis-Missouri submitted to Domination - by bicycle patrol. In March 2005, Hannibal-Missouri and Fort Madison-Iowa followed suit. Now in March 2006, the Quad Cities submit! They have museums, brewpubs, and places to ride bicycles, and have therefore been deemed worthy of Domination.

    Operational Map

    Day 0: Wednesday 1 March 2006

    For early stages of the operation, the Domination subjugates DeKalb-Illinois, home of Northern Illinois University!

    DeKalb-Illinois has been considered for Domination garrison before this, because it has many hotels and restaurants, and therefore makes for a perfectly decent night out. But the geography of the town deserves some consideration by visitors.

    Day 1: Thursday 2 March 2006

    Railroad noise thankfully not a problem at fine hotel "Best-Western" of DeKalb-Illinois. But yes, the trains do come by every fifteen minutes or so.

    Historic Railroad
    The historic railroad to Rock Island is mentioned in many museums, so Rock Island couldn't ignore it.

    Geography of the Quad Cities is a consideration for this operation, especially because bicycle conquest is in order.

    Domination forces reported for meager but complimentary hotel breakfast, and moved out in good order at 10 am. Moved quickly out the Reagan Memorial Tollway through farmland which is peppered with Republican campaign signs. (Operational music "Will Jesus Wash the Bloodstains From Your Hands?") Then advanced cool and easy into Moline-Illinois by noon.

    Big Tractor
    John Deere lets the public play with some big farm equipment.
    Moline Brewpub
    Moline has a brewpub.

    The following downtown Moline points submitted to Domination.

    Moline has a clean and interesting downtown area, small but with plenty of hotels, nightlife, and free parking. Still, to support the bicycle patrols, the Domination expeditionary force continued on to reconnoiter Rock Island and Davenport.

    Iowa Cultural Zone
    Iowa Cultural Zone... and Pawn Shop.

    A cross-river bicycle patrol followed. Rock Island has the advantage of a riverfront bike trail, connecting to two cross-river bridges (one of which was technically closed, but that didn't stop the Domination) and then going 60 miles north! This should make access to Arsenal Island trivial.

    The Quad Cities seem worthy of a three-night stay, especially if the Domination does it up right and patrols only by bicycle. For magnitude of Domination, this puts the Quad Cities slightly behind New Orleans-Louisiana; in the same league as St. Louis-Missouri, Taos-New Mexico, Charlotte-North Carolina, and Charlottetown-Prince Edward Island; and slightly ahead of Appleton-Wisconsin.

    With three days to devote to Domination, the usual manic patrols have been postponed until tomorrow. Instead, some hours followed of hanging around the hotel, plugging a drafty window with folded-up pieces of cardboard, answering phone calls from work (on the third consecutive vacation!), reading comic books, watching the local news, and (of course) checking out the local brew pubs.

    Downtown Rock Island is a district known as "The District" for some reason, apparently short for "The Arts and Entertainment District". Several nightclubs are present, but not open at dinnertime, and some not even open at 9 pm Thursday night. But there are signs prohibiting public vagrancy from 3:15 am to 5 am. What, does Rock Island have that many people who want to stay up late instead of getting drunk right after work - and never on Thursday? Friday night could be interesting.

    Day 2: Friday 3 March 2006

    Much resistance to Domination today. Even so, the Domination of Eiler is conquering.

    Once the Domination forces made it onto Arsenal Island, several points of interest submitted to the Domination. (Operational music "Armageddon Days are Here Again".)

    When a traveller crosses Arsenal Island from west to east, this dumps the traveller in downtown Moline. For the Domination forces today, the opportunity was taken to subjugate some currywurst at the Bier Stube German restaurant, and then buy some Matchbox-scale toy tractors at the John Deere Store.

    Quad Cities Botanical Garden
    Big terrarium.
    Eek, Turtle!
    Eek! Turtle on the loose!

    The Quad Cities Botanical Center was subdued on the way back to Rock Island. It's mostly notable for its 70-foot-tall terrarium - complete with a live turtle that goes where it wants! And popular for weddings too; one young couple was hogging the prime territory for a photo shoot. Aww, sweet!

    Domination forces returned to hotel, enjoyed some down time, then re-emerged for bicycle excursion along bike paths into Iowa to forage for dinner. (Operational music "The Other Side of Life.") Arsenal Island bridge surprisingly reopened for auto traffic. Aww, competition!

    Cute village of East Davenport briefly occupied. It was absorbed into the greater Davenport a hundred years ago, but still clings to a separate identity, with an odd combination of saloons, cute stores, and brick alleys that they're quite proud of. Primary feature there was... another Bier Stube restaurant!

    Domination patrol instead returned to downtown Davenport for a proper brewpub dinner, at Front Street Brewery. Six beers on tap, with some interesting flavers like cherry. And steak and mushroom pie, though many people may prefer the Friday night prime rib special. $8 growler refills (but they won't fill other places' growlers), and $2 pints during Happy Hour (3-6 pm weeknights)!

    Front Street gave intelligence on other local brewpubs...

    Dessert back at the Blue Cat Brew Pub. Rock Island has other choices, but not many. One nightclub in The District was observed closing at 7:30 pm! And the local comedy club has one show a night - at 7 pm. This is the strangest nightclub district the Domination of Eiler has ever seen.

    Oh well, tomorrow's a new day, and worth staying in town for. Free aerobics classes in the Fancy Hotel gym for guests! Then sunny again, with some targets left within bicycle range, including the Black Hawk Historical Site. If targets run out, it never hurt to sit and watch a mighty river and read a good book. Later, there is a (buffet) dinner theater "Circa 21" in The District, now playing "Grease". And an improv comedy club "Comedy Sportz", which is probably preferable to 1950s/70s music and a buffet.

    Day 3: Saturday 4 March 2006

    Judging from hotel hallway noise at 3 am, there is a nightlife in Rock Island. Oh joy.

    Unlike night club clientele, Domination forces reported in good order for morning calisthentics. Unfortunately, the instructor didn't. Oh well, more time for bike riding. (Operational music "Take the Long Way Home".)

    Observation Tower vs. Floods
    Mississippi River observation tower. The floods have come up to the middle story.
    Scenic View of Real Illinois
    If Chief Black Hawk stood here today, he'd see a gravel mine.
    Black Hawk Memorial Lodge
    Chief Black Hawk and his lodge.
    The Belgians Among Us
    The Belgians are among us in Old Town Moline.

    Not having had enough of bike riding, the Domination Guard refilled the water bottle, picked the flecks of Belgian sausage blood out of the Dominator's teeth, and then remounted to ride the Iowa bike trails and conquer Bettendorf! Downtown Bettendorf evaded conquest, though - assuming such a thing as "downtown Bettendorf" even exists.

    Dinner at hotel restaurant "Bennigan's", courtesy of 20% off coupon for hotel guests. Bar mistress Theresa noticed the writing of travelogs. Hi, Theresa! And thanks for confirming, there is no downtown Bettendorf.

    No evening entertainment for the Dominator at comedy club! The Dominator's bodyguard aborted the excursion, when a group of rowdy underage patrons was observed entering the venue. And by "underage" is meant "junior high school girls", enough to make a youth group. Accompanied by two haggard chaperones as required by church law, even.

    All in all, a day of much Domination. Wise decision to spend extra day in Quad Cities. Some up-river points such as LeClaire-Iowa and Clinton-Iowa still call out for Domination, but that may be worth a return trip.

    Day 4: Sunday 5 March 2006

    Scheduled return to EilerBase Scumburg is aborted! Snowstorms are predicted near Chicago and most of the way back. Obviously with the Dominator out of town, the elements are disregarding his declaration of spring. Road too hard for the Domination. Operational designation "Hardroad" therefore oddly prophetic.

    But there's no grand holy reason to be at work on Monday, especially when it's dangerous to go there. The upriver points would submit to Domination this day, except even just driving around town is unpleasant on slushy roads in the rain. So the Dominator will just hang around town(s).

    Day 5: Monday 6 March 2006

    Rapid deployment mode directly back to the Domination's engineering facility. The extra day in Quad Cities only counts as half an extra day of vacation! This practice is to be considered in future.

    Ribbon of Domination

    This operation shows practically all the signs of success:

    Still, Domination of Eiler forces return triumphant, all praise to the One Maker.

    (signed) Dominator S. Eiler, Fist of the One Maker, for the Domination of Eiler.

    The Domination of Eiler believes in free sharing of information. But if you wish to reproduce significant parts of the commentary within, or the photos (which are what everyone seems to want to see), be aware that they are © copyright 2007 by Eiler Technical Enterprises. And have a niiiice daay.