Sunday, February 28, 2021

3 State Parks In 1 Day

Our first 50 degree Saturday of the year!! We "celebrated" by getting a start on our State Parks Tour (read about that goal here). We visited not one, not two, but THREE State Parks! We got a relatively late start to the day because we chose to leisurely get ready. I enjoyed coffee and leftovers from dinner the night before. All Pho You is quickly becoming one of our favorite Pho place, although my favorite isn't the pho. I enjoy this spring bowl and bubble teas.

By early afternoon, we were two hours away in Lake View, Ia checking out Black Hawk State Park. I'm not sure what to expect from the State Park visits, but two of our Parks were a surprise! In the middle of farmlands is this little lake town. The entire lake is surrounding by a paved bike path (it was not cleared off from snow) and lake houses galore.

It took us a hot minute to find the nature trail we wanted due to road closures within the park. The snow made it hard to see the trail, but for the most part, we enjoyed it!

On our way to the second State Park, we saw a sign the read 'World's Largest Popcorn Ball' 2 miles. We figured, "why not?" and did it. I can't say I'm a better person for seeing it, but we saw it!

This was our next Park and this one threw us too. The Park roads, or what we could find of them, hadn't been plowed at all. We stuck with the main highway that wraps around the lake, along with tons of lake houses. We came to a small park with a beach access. The minis played, we walked along the lake, but not on the icey lake. The lake was clearly cracking and had water seeping on the top of it. Imagine our surprise when four snowmobiles came rushing from the lake. The dog got excited and tried to chase them and the minis asked when we would be getting snowmobiles to try out. 

Yes, Zeus climbed up on the climber to play with the minis.

We decided on an early dinner since we were close by Fort Dodge. Our drive thru dinner from Tom Thumb was okay-ish, but our next State Park took the cake! Brushy Creek Recreation Area has amazing trails to hike, a lake, beach area, playground, camping, and so much prairie area. I can imagine how gorgeous it will be in several weeks when the wildflowers pop! We did two miles of the lake trail. While rated as moderate, the trail definitely had it's challenges thanks to the melting and re-freezing that's been going on. We spent most of our hike manuevering on solid ice.

I had to get a picture of this. Not to remember him peeing in the woods (this happens often), but because I reminded him to take his gloves off. What did he do? Threw them behind him in the snow instead of putting them in his pocket.

We finished our hike as the sun set and we watched the moon rise. There were still plenty of people in the Park, so unlike many other trips where we felt alone, I didn't get that feeling here. Brushy Creek is definitely a place I could re-visit in the spring or fall, when I think it will be gorgeous! Black Hawk and Twin Lakes State Parks were small lake towns that could have been fun if we were ice fishing or had our own snowmobile. Having lived in Iowa all my life, I thought I had a pretty decent grasp on where all of the lake towns are. A good majority of our lake areas are camping and recreational areas, not lake towns. I wasn't expecting that at all! I'm interested what we'll learn about all areas of our state as we continue our Tour.