Iowa Journals

Five Fall Finds

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An October 2013 trip to Iowa by two cruisers

Museum Entrance Photo, Cedar Rapids, Iowa More Photos
Quote: The MidWest in Autum is a great place for a mini vacation. I linked five towns (Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Galena, Quasqueton and the Lake Okobiji area) and enjoyed the mild Fall weather and the changing color of the landscape.

Okoboji: In shut down mode

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West Oaks Resort Photo, Iowa, United States
Quote:
We had a time-share week to use but a limited budget, so we looked for a place within a day’s drive of home. We chose a place on West Lake Okoboji and our visit was out of season in October. True, many activities are closed. True, many stores are closed. True, many shops are closed or have limited hours. True……we had a really good time and no traffic hassels.West Oaks Resort Our time-share exchange was at 25 Lake Shore Drive, Arnolds Park, IA. We lucked out and got a two bedroom, two bath unit that was locate shoreside. We had a full kitchen and fixed most of our meals at home. We had one kitchen problem. The sink was set at angle. In most places that works out fine, but here there...Read More
Cedar Rock Park Visitor Center Photo, Quasqueton, Iowa
Quote:
Just 90 minutes from Dubuque, 40 minutes from Waterloo and an hour drive from Cedar Rapids you will find a jewel in the prairie. In 1945 Lowell Walter asked Frank Lloyd Wright to design a summer home for Lowell and his wife. He had property just NW of Quasqueton, his home-town. The house they wanted would sit on a ridge overlooking the Wapsipinicon River. His request also included a boathouse and an outdoor fireplace. Wright took on the project, as usual insisting on complete control including the furniture and décor. This Usonian style dwelling followed Wright’s every order and earned the coveted FLW red tile. Wright only affixed the red tile to works that completely followed his plans. The house ...Read More
Shops in Galena Photo, Galena, Illinois
Quote:
Galena, Illinois is rooted in the lead mining industry. US Grant was one of nine Civil War generals who had connections to Galena. The town’s most prosperous era lined the streets with lovely brick and stone buildings. Located in the picturesque hilly NW corner of the state, it has become a destination vacation spot. Tourism has become a major industry here with scores of bed and breakfasts and specialized hotels. In the winter there is skiing. In the summer there are water sports on lakes and rivers including the Mississippi. Spring blooms and fall leaf-peeping bring hoards of tourists to town. The area has become an art colony with studios and galleries mixed in with many many fun shops, antique sto...Read More

Dubuque: River and Bluffs

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Breitbach's Country Dining Photo, Dubuque, Iowa
Quote:
Dubuque is an old river town. It is so old, it dates back to the first explorers of the area. Lead mining, river traffic, timber and manufacturing have developed the city. However two strong influences in the community are religion (11 Catholic churches alone) and education (5 colleges or universities and 3 seminaries). Fenelon Place Elevator Company: Many spots in town offer scenic overlooks of the Mississippi River and the adjoining states. My favorite spot is at the top of the Fenelon Place Elevator. Billed as: "The world’s steepest, shortest scenic railway." It is 295 feet in length and transports you 189 feet from Fourth Street to Fenelon Place. As I child I remember riding the ...Read More

Cedar Rapids: Immigrant Pride

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Bobbin Lace Photo, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Quote:
Flood Museum:Cedar Rapids is famous for Quaker Oats, Ashton Kutcher and having its city government located on an island in the Cedar River. That is until 2008. That was the year of the great flood. After that the city government decamped to higher ground. At least three earlier floods have occurred here and all are featured in a wonderful little museum located in the Czech Village Visitor Center (87 16th Street). It is open Mon-Sat 9:30 am to 4:00 pm and Sunday 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Strolling through the museum be mindful of the almost 32 foot high highwater mark on the wall. On display are objects that have been found in the flooded area and restores. Some are fine collectible pieces from the Na...Read More