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Mississippi Traveler presentation & book signing

When Apr 11, 2011
from 06:30 PM to 07:30 PM
Where Decorah Public Library
Contact Name
Contact Phone 563-382-3717
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Join Dean Klinkenberg, author of the Mississippi Valley Traveler guidebooks, for a discussion about travel and finding a sense of place on Monday April 11 at 6:30 pm at Decorah Public Library. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Klinkenberg explains, “We travel for many reasons: to learn local history, to sample new food, to make new friends, to see great places, and sometimes just to lie on a beach with a good book. At its most basic, though, we travel to get a sense of the essence of places, to discover what makes one place different from another. I’ve traveled to over 30 countries around the world and I’ve learned that I don’t need to travel far to satisfy my desire for local foods, culture, and people. I find plenty of that along the Mississippi River.”

Klinkenberg began traveling along the Mississippi River Valley in the summer of 2007 to work on a new series of comprehensive travel guides. The journey, which will continue until he has published guides for the entire Mississippi Valley, has included highs like the John Deere factory tour (during which he regressed into the mindset of a giddy 10-year old) and lows like his solo dining experience at a mediocre Mother’s Day brunch. Festivals, the arts, attractions, and historical research kept him busy filling the pages of what would become detailed and information-packed travel guides.

The Mississippi Valley Traveler series currently includes three books: The Quad Cities Travel Guide (June 2009), The Lansing to LeClaire Travel Guide (October 2009), and The Driftless Area: Along the Mississippi River from Hastings, Minnesota to Lansing, Iowa (November 2010).

The series of travel guides are designed for budget-conscious travelers of any age who want to explore the Mississippi River and the towns that grew up along its banks. The books begin with an introduction and a brief history lesson, followed by an explanation of the author’s approach to researching the books. He then presents separate chapters on each river town (or town along the Great River Road) that highlight the history of the community, attractions, restaurants, entertainment, and lodging. The book concludes with regional information that includes seasonal festivals, when to visit, and a brief discussion of river ecology. Each book has a section of color photos and includes maps for larger cities.

Klinkenberg’s next guide book will cover the river from the Headwaters to Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

Dean Klinkenberg grew up in the Midwest, developing wanderlust at an early age. After finishing high school in southern Minnesota, he went to college in La Crosse, Wisconsin, discovering a home along the banks of the Mississippi River. Once he realized that he had a limited future as a professional bowler, he followed the Mississippi River south to St. Louis to attend graduate school in psychology. After several intense years researching HIV/AIDS, homelessness, and mental illness, Klinkenberg left his university job in 2006 to begin a new career photographing and writing about the Mississippi River Valley. 

For more information, contact Decorah Public Library at 563-382-3717.