Larry & Cheryl's 2016 Travels travel blog

Spring Grove MN to Montpelier, IA

A herd of goats

I liked this blue and white farm

Crossing into Iowa

Another cute barn

One of several Quilt Pattern Barns

Mowing the road sides

Lots more cows

Upper Iowa River, I read it had good trout fishing

Calmar, Iowa has lovely murals

Another Calmar mural

St. Aloysius Catholic Church

Love seeing the wildflowers

In a fast car this road would be fun

Interestng patterns in the corn fields

Crossing the Turkey River

More bluffs of layered sandstone

Long stretches of tree lined road

Bright Red Dairy Farm

University town in between farms, established 1857

Volga River, flows to the Mississippi

Veterans Memorial in Maynard, IA

Hello, a hot pink Gorilla !!

Large modern architecture courthouse

St. John's Catholic Church in Independence is very large

City of Independence, IA City Hall, looks pretty old.

Typical Iowa home

Older brick church

Wapsipinicon River (say that 3x's real fast)

Farm equipment rolling along the highway

Haven't seen these before in farming areas

Another Quilt Pattern Barn

Hiawatha, IA

Cedar Rapids Elks Lodge, time for lunch

Lovely Copper Elk inside Cedar Rapids Elks Lodge

Corn field advertising the brand of seed

Soy field advertising the brand of seed

Farm equipment lined up along the edge of the road

The Cedar River, also flows into the Mississippi

Oh oh, dark skies ahead (again)

Following along the Mississippi River

Seriously !? (it's a boat launch ramp)

Our campground on the Mississippi River

Our campsite at Clark's Ferry COE

Continental Cement Plant ships product by railroad & barges

Another big employer in the area

Arriving Davenport Iowa Elks Lodge

Placing another state on our map

There she is - Iowa

Larry enjoying the Mississippi River

People boating on the river

Even the geese enjoy the lovely river

These campers have four very active Cogri dogs

Back of their trailer has their dogs painted on it

The boys are having fun fishing in the Mississippi

The view looking "down river"

The campfires are starting up at dusk

The view "up river" as the sun sets


We decided not to stay at the ROD resort in Spring Grove due to the lack of necessities – no cell coverage, no wifi and inability to use the pool and Jacuzzi. We found an Army Corp of Engineers campground on the Iowa side of the Mississippi river.

We headed south on the small paved farm roads with views of goat herds and dairy farms before crossing the state line into Iowa. We saw a few barns with Quilt Patterns painted on them, many more cows and several rivers that flow into the Mississippi.

We passed through Calmar, Iowa with its many lovely murals and large brick churches, like St. Aloysius Catholic Church. There are more forested bluffs and small towns honoring their veterans with memorials.

We saw that there was a University in this area that was established before the Civil War; and we drove through the larger city of Independence, Iowa which had very tall old brick buildings, like their City Hall and St. John’s Catholic Church.

We noticed that the roads were all neatly trimmed, and then saw how as we came across a fellow riding a large mower, trimming the road sides. I was thinking that would be a long day’s ride and then you would do it again the next day, etc. etc.

We stopped at Cedar Rapids Elks for lunch and got their lodge pin. Afterwards we were crossing the Cedar River back and forth several times.

We reached Montpelier on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River and our campground, Clark's Ferry, a Corp of Engineers Campground. It was beautiful, lush and green with concrete pads and a gravel sitting area with grass all around for $10 with our Golden Age Pass.

After setting up and resting, we went for a ride along the Mississippi to see the area and saw that there were several COE campgrounds along the river. We also went to visit the Davenport Elks.

Back at camp, it was cooling down (had been really hot and humid), so we walked around the campground and down along the river. There were dozens of Canadian Geese floating on the river, young boys fishing on the bank, and an occasional boat or barge glided by.

There were mostly young families camping, nice people. I chatted with a young mother whose husband was a John Deer salesman as her toddler enjoyed meeting Daisy. I also met a couple with 4 Corgi dogs that they were training for show. Their trailer was painted with their dogs pictures.

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