The Great River Road

The GRR neatly skips around Chester, “Home of Popeye,” via a pleasant riverbank detour, returning to Hwy-3 on the downstream side of town. Popeye first appeared in print in 1929, and a memorial to Elzie Segar, local creator of the spinach-guzzling scrapping Sailor Man, stands in a picnic area beside the bridge to Missouri; if you miss it, you’ll have to turn around on the other side of the Mississippi. As the story goes, Chester locals Frank “Rocky” Fiegel and William “Windy Bill” Schuchert were the inspiration for Popeye the Sailor and Wimpy the Hamburger Fiend. If you pass through at the beginning of September, drop by the annual Popeye Picnic, a weekend full of games, food, shows, and amusement rides.