Larry & Cheryl's 2016 Travels travel blog

Side Trip to Decorah IA

Sheep ranch

Railroad history in Mabel, MN

Small road to Decorah

Forest and bluffs

Interesting homes

Such different styles

Made it to Decorah

Great mural of the town

Norwegian American Museum

Old lodge, they have a smaller number

More farms

Oops, we scared her and she bolted across in front of us

Our little gravel dirt road back to camp

Crossing back into MN from IA

Soy fields forever . . .

Back through Mabel

Mabel's Steam Engine Park for the festival

Beautiful Steam Engine

Little stream in our campground


In looking for an Elks lodge to visit, we saw there was on about 14 miles away in Iowa. So we set off to find it.

Our GPS was set on shortest which took us on an "adventure" through farmland on dirt roads. First we went through Mabel, MN that celebrates Steam Engines with a festival in the Fall in their "Steam Engine Park". There is a beautiful restored Steam Engine on the main intersection of Mabel.

On our way to Decorah we passed by corn and soy fields and forested sandstone bluffs. There were some interesting Iowa homes with such different styles. In town we saw a Norwegian American Museum ( but it was closed at this time).

We found the lodge and enjoyed chatting with the bartender and one of the officers. They could not find a lodge pin for me, they need to order more, and said they would mail one to me. They told us that the Decorah Elks celebrates Nordic Festival in the town since the area was settled by Norway.

On the way back to camp, the only indication that we were crossing the state borders was a Street sign saying State Line.

The next day we went into Spring Grove to donate blood because we heard they were haveing a blood drive. First we had lunch in a nice cafe then walked across the street to the American Legion Post where the Blood Drive was taking place. Larry was able to donate, but after they learned that I was scheduled for a removal of skin cancer, I was rejected. I tried.

After seeing how crazy the kids were playing in the pool and jacuzzi, the fact that there was no cell phone coverage and no wifi, we decided to cut this visit short and move on after just two days here.

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