Gayle Harper`s Words and Images Honor America`s Beauty, her Greatest River and her Colorful People


Quad Cities - When Gayle Harper learned that a raindrop falling into the headwaters of the Mississippi would travel the River for 90 days to reach the Gulf of Mexico, she knew immediately that her project of a lifetime had appeared.  Harper made a 90-day road trip along the nearly 2,400-mile course of the Mississippi, while keeping pace with a raindrop called "Serendipity."

Harper`s journey on the Mississippi River led her through the Quad Cities area, and she will be back again next week to talk about her book, Roadtrip with a Raindrop, her journey, and the people she met along the way.

Thursday, September 17 at 6:30 p.m.

Bettendorf Public Library, 2950 Learning Campus Dr., Bettendorf

Quad Cities Photography Club Meeting - Public Welcome

Friday, September 18 at 6:00 p.m.

River Music Experience, 109 Main Street, Davenport

Harper wandered back roads without plan, meeting people in farm fields, on their porches, in cafés, even while stopped for road construction, who invited her into their lives.  She went to dances, birthday parties, a wedding, a powwow, neighborhood barbeques and festivals. She was invited home to dinner, to meet friends and relatives and onto boats of all sizes, from a canoe to a towboat.

"The people of this journey," says Harper, "are the soul of it. They were welcoming, inclusive, playful, curious, colorful and authentic. There was two-year-old Hazel, who plopped down beside me to show me her green shoes, and 87-year-old Marshall Bouldin III, who moved me to tears when we talked about art. There was a north woods adventurer, a Southern Belle, a "river rat," a Delta Blues man and a pixie-like nun. "

"The Mississippi River is the aorta of our country," says Harper, "it is essential to our ecology and our economy and it is deeply embedded in our history and our very identity.  I watched it grow from a fragile stream into a massive force of nature, yet its essence is always the same."


Roadtrip with a Raindrop is a celebration of America and of the simple moments that make life an adventure. In its 240 pages are 55 stories, with nearly 200 full-color photographs. Together, the words and images invite us to leave our agendas behind, to travel at the pace of a raindrop and to rediscover the fine art of letting life happen!

The book is an Award Winner in Foreword Review`s INDIEFAB "Book of the Year," in the Travel category. It has also won The Clarion Award from the National Association of Women in Communications!


Roadtrip with a Raindrop: 90 Days Along the Mississippi River

By Gayle Harper

Hardcover, 240 pages, $39.95

Available at

Also at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Acclaim Press