Good morning, and Happy Saturday! I've had a leisurely morning sleeping in, eating breakfast, and now I'm relaxing here with my cup of coffee. I promised all of you yesterday that today I would talk about our Father's Day adventure in the Iowa Mountains (i.e. the Loess Hills). My husband went back to school full-time, starting this summer, and, as a result, we have to pinch our pennies tighter. While we have all of our bills and necessities covered, disposable income is pretty much at zero.
Now, if you've been following my blog from the beginning, or even for a good while now, you all know how much I advocate for spending smart and for living well on a smaller income (more on that to come in the following weeks, so stay tuned). I love to live a life of adventure, and I will find a way to make an adventure, even with little to no money. Father's Day, then, having no disposable income, I wanted to have a fun adventure that my husband would love regardless of whether we could spend money or not.
I woke everyone up on Father's Day, we cleaned up the house, I packed a nice picnic lunch, and we hit the road for the Iowa Mountains. I thought we should do a little new and a little old, and we did just that.
We took I-29 to Missouri Valley, where we got on the Old Lincoln Highway, an old highway that travels along the Iowa Mountains. Our first stop was in Missouri Valley itself at the City Park. This is a large park, with plenty of things to do for the whole family, and it has a steam train exhibit/museum. We had never been there before, and it was free, so we stopped in. It has a large main room and a smaller room in the back. The smaller room had an entire Christmas town train display! It was so cool and Nature Girl was fascinated.
On display were lots of model trains and pictures of old train stations and old towns in the area.
They even had a little outdoor steam train for the kids, and while we didn't have money for NG to ride it, the conductor invited her to sit in his seat.
After the Watson Steam Train Exhibit, we headed on towards the Iowa Mountains. Our next stop was at the Harrison County Historical Village & Iowa Welcome Center. If you ever get a chance, stop here! We've been here a few times before and it's always a great place to go. There's a huge Museum & Visitor's Center where one can see a lot of history of the area as well as stop for a restroom break and some valuable visitor's information. Another cool thing about it is that it has an actual historical village, Loess Hills viewing platform, trails, and covered picnic spots.
We took a trail to the top part of the park where the viewing area is and gazed out over the lovely Iowa Mountains. We were hungry by this time and went back down, when we were finished, to eat our picnic lunch. After that, we wandered around the historical village.
An old cabin dwelling. This was the only building not open to the public, at least on this day.
The buildings here are actual old buildings that have been moved to this location. One of the buildings is an old general store, and an old sign sits right out front, letting you know how much things cost in 1857. I'm surprised at how expensive the fruit was!
A look inside the General Store where everything is labeled.
A view outside the store looking down past the Cabin and the VC picnic shelter (one of three). The flowers were so pretty.
An old tractor outside the old Schoolhouse.
The old Schoolhouse.
Inside the old Schoolhouse.
After our visit at the Historical Village, we made our way further into the Iowa Mountains, where we stopped at one of our favorite hiking spots: Murray Hill Overlook. This is an unadulterated view of the Iowa Mountains as we walked along the ridges. You can see the well-worn path.
A view down to the Old Lincoln Highway from the ridge. You can see the Iowa Mountains on the left as it curves into the landscape. It was a gorgeous 83 degrees that day, and the visibility was nearly perfect. We were able to see for many miles into the distance.
After a pleasant, non-grueling, walk along the ridges, we made our way to our final stop: Preparation Canyon State Park. We have hiked in a remote area of the Canyon but had never gone into the actual park area. It was so pretty!
PCSP has a cool overlook which we stopped at. Just look how far you can see across the Iowa Mountains and how gorgeous they are!
My husband had such a wonderful time on Father's Day. He gave me a big hug as we looked out over the Iowa Mountains and told me thank you. We spent only what it cost in gas for the car, and we had a wonderful, fun, adventurous day. I've included links all throughout this blog so you can see more information on where we went, and, if so desired, plan your own little adventure in the Iowa Mountains.
I hope your weekend is great!
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