"River to River: Iowa's Forgotten Highway 6" will screen FREE on Thursday, May 19th at 1:30 p.m. at the Bettendorf Public Library, 2950 Learning Campus Dr, Bettendorf, IA. Award-winning filmmakers Kelly & Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films and Dave Darby, Director of the Iowa-US Route 6 Tourist Association will take part in Q&A following the film.
By Jonathan Turner
If there's one lesson to be learned in the beautiful, nostalgic documentary, "River to River: Iowa’s Forgotten Highway 6," it's this -- at least once when you travel on an east-west link, get off I-80 and sample the truly historic U.S. Route 6.
Another award-winning visual and educational feast from Moline's Kelly and Tammy Rundle, it literally takes viewers on an ambling, affectionate two-lane journey from Davenport, on the Mississippi River, to Council Bluffs on the Missouri.
First built as a dirt road all in one July day in 1910 by 10,000 farmers and businesses across the state, Iowa’s Route 6 is part of the second-longest transcontinental highway in America. Mostly paved by the end of the '20s, U.S. 6 stretches 3,652 miles from Provincetown, Mass., to Long Beach, Calif.
The 53-minute film -- premiered last fall in Davenport and shown in March on WQPT-TV -- was inspired by the research and photography of Dave Darby, executive director of the Iowa division of the U.S. Route 6 Tourist Association. One of the key subjects interviewed on screen, Mr. Darby launched the first River to River Retro Road Trip when film production began in 2011. He's also writing a book on Route 6.
The retro tour (also lovingly featured in the film) draws more than 100 classic cars each year to the Quad-Cities, where the Route 6 adventure begins, with stops at events, museums and restaurants along the way to Council Bluffs.
"Highway 6 was really the Interstate 80 of its time," Mr. Darby says in the film. Once the four-lane super-highway came in, it allowed motorists to travel much faster, without slowing through towns, but "you also don't see anything," he says.
"The interstate is an empty way of travel," the eloquent Mr. Darby says. "You're very much disconnected from the land and your neighbors. It'll take you anywhere, but in between you're really nowhere."
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River to River: Iowa's Forgotten Highway 6 will be presented at a free public showing on Thursday, May 19th at 1:30 p.m. at the Bettendorf Public Library, 2950 Learning Campus Dr, Bettendorf, IA. Q&A with the filmmakers and Dave Darby will follow the film.
Click link to order the award-winning River to River: Iowa's Forgotten Highway 6.