Sunday, August 16, 2020

Day Trip Through Eastern Iowa

We've been having a blast this summer as we check out State Parks all around the state. This weekend took us to two parks we've never been to: Wapsipinicon and Palisades-Kepler. The first park gave us caves to explore, while the second provided our favorite trail we've hiked on this summer (so far). Both parks lie on the banks of river, which gave us beatuiful cliff views. We've spent a lot of time in creeks and rivers, hiking, and exploring. While not my favorite bodies of water, the minis and pup seem to love creek hikes.

On our way to Wapsipinicon we drove behind this truck. The middle mini said, "oh my god mom! Are there bodies in there? Is that the real CSI?" It should be noted I've been watching re-runs of CSI lately.

I had short trails all picked out at Wapsipinicon State Park, but the first thing we saw when we pulled in were caves. Naturally, cave exploring won out, so we spent our entire time at the park playing in the creek and caves. We never have long before Zeus is ready for a nap, so we're quick with our explorations.

Most patient dog in the world. He's constantly stopped in the middle of trails or playing or sleeping and given kisses.

Catching minnows...until the dog caught on to what he was doing and tried to join in.

Again, pausing for kisses. Her choice, not exactly his.

Harrison, Elizabeth, and I played in the creek while Max and Dad stayed behind with a sleeping Zeus.

Since we were in Anamosa at Wapsipinicon State Park, we decided to visit Grant Wood's gravesite. The minis studied his work this past spring and instantly knew he was buried alongside his mother and sister (who is the woman in the American Gothic painting, for those who enjoy little tid bits of information).

So many hands on him at once.

It was still early enough in the day that we decided to add on a second state park for the day. Palisades-Kepler State Park in Mt. Vernon, Iowa is fairly close to Wapsipinicon that we decided to check it out. I'm so glad we did because it was gorgeous! We found a trail to hike along the ridge of the Cedar River and it might just be my new favorite hike in Iowa!

Zeus loved it so much that he started running through the trail (much faster than the rest of us could move). Hubs had to take over leash holding as we moved through the trail.

Of course the middle one spotted a cave up on a cliff and climbed up the cliff so he could see inside of it.
I have this issue that goes like this: when I'm on the top of a mountain, I want to be at the bottom and when I'm at the bottom of a mountain, I want to be the one climbing to the top. It gets me every time because I always wish I could be in two places at once. So, naturally, when I spotted a way down (safely) the cliffside to go to the river, we took it. The river was like many Iowa rivers, gross. But it's water and my three and dog must go in it.

With still a few hours left of daylight, after our hike at Palisades-Kepler, we drove through the Amana Colonies. We stopped for ice cream and a walk through the colony (we also drove through Middle, High, West Amana, and Homestead. While we travel, we like to learn about the places we visit. As I told the minis about the Amana Colonies, they naturally had many questions that I couldn't answer, so I turned to my bff Google. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the Amana Colonies were not, in fact, an Amish colony as I had been taught! So, we ALL learned about the Amana Colonies and decided we needed to come back soon to explore the colonies more.

Everyone stopped to see "the cute big puppy." That's my doggo!

Zeus has learned to do great in the car. However, this was the first time we were in the car during his "witching hours" as we refer to the time between 6:30 and 8 p.m. for him. He suddenly has TONS of energy during this time, likes to run, go on walks, plays hard. He was not happy to be in the car and let us know it! 

Slow Down Sunday was the usual Indian food for lunch (a favorite for the minis and myself), grocery shopping, and business books (which in this case was writing pandemic policies for fall for daycare. It was not fun).

Working and watching CSI while everyone else relaxed.

"Mom, can we have candy so we can see our tongues." Nothing thinking anything of it, I said sure and then was shown this.

I'm thoroughly enjoying our day trips throughout Iowa on our Saturdays exploring. We've visited state parks that I didn't even know we had in Iowa!