Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The End of The Tour

It is Friday – I have to leave Starved Rock because the dreaded weekenders are coming in and weekenders tend to plan ahead, unlike me, and reserve state park sites. The park is full and again, I am siteless. I plan on going up to Maquoketa State Park which is where I spent a night back a couple of years ago. Back then, it was early April and I was the only one in the park – it was a little spooky. I thought I would spend some time hiking some of the trails there. Again, the weekenders have foiled my plans. No room at the inn. I end up spending a night in a little city park in Maquoketa. It was an ok place and I figured on Saturday I could motor over to the State Park and do some hiking.

I have been pretty lucky weather wise – there have only been a couple of days with rain. I was pretty far south and east when the bad weather came through Texas and Mississippi. Then I move north and was farther north than the bad weather that came through Oklahoma and Kansas. I have lead a pretty charmed weather life this trip. Well, Saturday, the skies opened up. I decided that I would move on, since it was raining so hard, hiking would have been sort of miserable. I drove 2 ½ hours north, through the driving rain and wind gusts that blew me around the road a bit. Yes, I've finally made it to Pike's Peak – who woulda thought. Actually, I've landed in Pike's Peak State Park in McGregor, Iowa. Zebulon Pike of Pike's Peak fame was here in this area way before he was putting his name on some peak out west.   I don't know if it was the crummy weather or the fact that this park is way over on the very edge of Iowa, but there are very few weekenders here. There are just a few trailers, a couple of tent campers and some mini trailers. I really felt sorry for the tent campers – it could not have been all that pleasant with the nasty wind and rain.
Every time I looked, there was another one of these RV pup tents showing up

This is really a nice park – it is perched on the bluffs overlooking where the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers collide.

Wisconsin River is directly ahead


Same Place - different day - fog, fog, fog
Off in the distance you can hear a mournful train whistle and the views are wonderful. And even better – my site is nice and level and I have great HD OTA TV!!! I must admit – I did some binge watching – an old James Bond movie, lots of shows from the sixties like Outer Limits. I almost feel guilty for spending so much time watching these old shows. Key word: almost.

I found a website that has the Ultimate Waterfall Tour of Iowa. So, I decided I should do a portion of it. Cause waterfalls are my thing nowadays. First up was Bridal Falls Waterfall which was in the Pike's Peak Park. Can we say underwhelming? Made me rethink this whole Ultimate Waterfall Tour.

See?  Underwhelming

But I persevered and went on to Beulah Springs Waterfall. It was a lovely waterfall. I couldn't really take any good pictures because some young thing was taking her senior pictures and I really felt like I might be intruding.
A much nicer waterfall - actually coming out of a hole in the hillside

She was wearing rubber boots under that pretty dress.  It was freezing out. 
I spent another couple of days at Pike's Peak. Every morning, Miko and I would walk down to the  river and see how the day was going to shape up. I don't know why I found it so fascinating, seeing all the different feels of the river. It was also nice to just hang out and not do too much of anything.

We did go to Effigy Mounds National Monument which I went to a couple of years ago. Bunch of mounds that First Nation people had created. I only went back because I am obsessed with this Junior Ranger thing. We did walk a few of the trails that we hadn't done the first time we were here, so there was some new stuff.

Next stop.......Home – I'm going home.

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