We launched for a couple of days in a mild Midwest June to explore nearby northeastern Iowa again. Lots to do and see in this rural part of the State within the Driftless Area. The Driftess Area is a hilly part of the four corners of Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Our first stop was in Guttenberg along the Mississippi River for a visit with old friends at the fish hatchery run by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. A very historic building that to this day still produces fish for stocking in Iowa's waters. Also picked up a couple of tasty snacks at the River's Edge Bakery on the downtown strip of Guttenberg.
The next stop on our journey was Elkader. A town with rich history as many of them in this neck of the woods. Elkader was named after an Algerian leader. There is an Algerian eatery in town that we have to come back and enjoy another time. We did a little shopping at the Turkey River Mall which was formerly an old hotel. Lots to see and buy here. Then took a short hike along the Turkey River to see the historic arch keystone bridge. Lastly had supper at the Fennelley Irish Pub. Mike had fish 'n chips and Melody had Shepard's pie. Our appetizer was Irish egg rolls - got to get back for more of these hors-devours.
Then off to Decorah. We spent the morning at the Seed Saver's Exchange. We took a hike up an algific talus slope on their property that took us through a mature white pine forest. The jack-in-the-pulpit were in bloom. We visited their apple orchards with many near extinct varieties. Picked up a few seed packets from their heirloom collections and off we went to the Oneota Co-op for a late lunch. What a great place and delicious hot lunch items. A quick stop at the fish hatchery in Decorah run by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and then off to Lansing along the Mississippi River. You can feed the fish at the hatchery for a quarter. The cold water for the trout hatchery comes out of the bluff.
Lansing is another charming river town. We found some keeper items at The Painted Lady antique store and became amazed how much stuff they packed into the local downtown hardware store. The gentleman claimed he could find anything that we needed. I believed him.
The last stop on our journey was in McGregor - Marquette, Iowa and then a quick jump across the Mississippi River to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Lots of shops in downtown McGregor. There is a quaint city park in downtown McGregor that happen to have a small farmer's market happening while we were in town. We also found a little co-op type place in downtown Prairie du Chien called Driftless Edibles. Got some snacks for the ride home.
Can't wait to go back to these places. Happy Trails...