It has definitely cooled down. In the 40’s the first night. Still only needed blankets. I have a 12v electric blanket along for colder weather. I did however wear my thrift store socks to bed, and they stayed on all night. That’s how I know it’s cold. Lol
Pikes Peak State Park
It was pretty full when I arrived and I got on of the last non-electric sites. The other one was right by the entrance to the campground and backed up to the driveway the day use area.
Really nice fire ring. Unfortunately, I rarely have a fire. Kind of a hassle.
Planned day trips for the day after a breakfast of French toast. Wanted to use the bread.
Lookout in the day use area.
Sightings along the way.
I also saw a buck.
Ushers Ferry Historic Village
Closed for a private event! Even if it wasn’t it was closed for the season…bummer.
Maquoketa Caves State Park
These we’re both about 1.5 hours away so I figured it was doable. I chose the caves first in case I had to cut one. Shoulda cut the village.
The front entrance sign (above) and the sign the way we came in (below).
As we were with 3 miles of the park google maps has me drive down a gravel road, without any indication that there was a park down this road. So, I figured google maps strikes again! Just then I saw a couple of fellas and a dog walking on the road and stopped to ask and they said, “Oh sure, it’s right there” and sure enough it was. I think we came in the back way and I saw all these cars and wondered what was going on. I kept driving and there were tons of people and exhibits AND a parking place right in the action. They were having a kind of grand re-opening. They had done some refurbishing. They had a pancake breakfast so I bought one, even though it was already almost noon. Three pancakes, three sausage, applesauce and milk/coffee for $5! With real maple syrup! They had a raptor demonstration. A red tailed hawk and a great horned owl.
That light colored dude or dudette was MEAN! Kept trying to bite the handler. He said you rarely see them in the wild because they hide.
And of course the caves!!
And here comes the blast…
I realized that we were only 50 miles from Le Claire IA, home of Antique Archeology. I had been to their Nashville location so I had to go here too. I where their hat all the time.
Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum
Side trip on the way back.
Sunset over the cornfields and the farm
Heading west, but first a hardy breakfast, sausage, egg and cheese scramble.
Also had a nice talk with my neighbors, Gary and Dianna, Iowa farmers taking a break before the harvest of corn.
After driving through miles and miles of corn fields I finally saw a farmer harvesting yesterday. Pretty cool.
Dolliver Memorial State Park
Had planned to stay here. You’re driving through cornfields wondering where in the world could there be a state park way out here and then the road to the park had “Road Closed” sign. But, you know me, I kept on driving. I did notice the small town of Lehigh had a bit of a flooding issue as we drove through.
Then you suddenly duck into this thick of trees and it’s like your not in Iowa anymore!
So, we’re driving down this winding shady lane and I see this car approaching and now in on another time too!
We get to the park and see why the roads closed.
The slide is half under water.
We did get out and walk around a bit. Saw this weird cavelike structure.
By the way, there was no indication that the campground was closed there or on the website.
We saw this little fella as we were leaving.
And these on our way west.
And took a slight detour for groceries and saw the best thing of all!!!
Yes folks, the Worlds Largest popcorn ball!!!
When I saw the sign I said “Oh, I have GOT to see this!” I was hysterical! As I was checking out, I said to the 6’5′ 300# dude dressed in motorcycle leathers and chains “I love you guys popcorn ball”. He replied, “I’m glad somebody does.” Lol
So, plan “B” for camping.
It is a county park in Early, IA. I was in the day use area first and saw this and was worried.
Then I asked a lady there with her kids and she said it was down a bit further.
The road is right at the end of those bushes.
It is $12/night for non-electric.
Stone State Park
Nice park/campground just North of Sioux City IA.
They have both electric and non-electric sites. Mixed shade and sun. Very close together but there were only three other campers so we each had a section to ourselves.
It is a self pay campground but the ranger and his volunteer showed up right when I got there.
We got there early and I straightened out the van. Then we went on a day trip. Not quite as ambitious as the one to La Claire and tastier.
Ice Cream Capital of the World
We drove north to Le Mars, IA. to the Blue Bunny ice cream parlor.
Headed to Nebraska!