Love Me Two Times, Iowa

We’re back in Iowa—in Elkader, the small town where Tracy’s best friend and his wife live. We weren’t keen on visiting (hence the second take) because they’ve been dealing with all the decisions and stresses you’re faced with as small business owners these days (they own a brewery and tap room here). After Wisconsin though, we thought we’d just peek in to see how they’re doing.

Already we’ve gotten to hang with them a bit: at the trailer last night we brought out the moonshine we’d been given back in Virginia and passed it around, plus the special mead we bought when we first crossed over into Iowa. Dave and Deb shared with us a special stout of Deb’s, with more to come.

So we’re leaving those guys to their work of brewing, bottling, and canning (for curbside pick-up) while we enjoy this peaceful campground with its herons shrieking and the last of Tracy’s old stomping grounds.

Our first stop today was Valley Fish and Cheese in Prairie du Chien (pronounced “Prayer du Sheen,” I think, ha!) where we grabbed smoked carp (they hadn’t pulled out the smoker for long yet this season so had little to sell) but also cheese curds with onions and chives. I can’t believe either made it back to the fridge.

We then hiked up to see the Effigy National Monument area. There were people (how dare they) in front of both sets of informative signs so I’m not clear on the dates that these mounds were created or the people who made them. Fat lot of good I am. The hike was lovely, though, and I’d never seen anything like the mounds there: impossible for me to photograph.

We then drove north along the Mississippi River up to the town of Harper’s Ferry to visit Dave’s parents (also Mike’s and Molly’s and other family members I haven’t blogged about yet, but just wait).

The longest I’ve ever lived in one place is in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, the confluence of the Potomac and the Shenandoah; Harper’s Ferry, Iowa, is near where the Wisconsin River meets the Mississippi. Both are small towns with friendly, retired people in them; both have bald eagles. As my son said after I sent him a photo of where I was and it looked exactly like his Harpers Ferry, it’s like I’m in Night Vale.

I didn’t see a single eagle on this visit though. We were sitting on the back porch of Dave’s parents right on the river and had gotten the dogs to settle down (Stang inside really wanted to meet Banjo but we didn’t want to risk it since Banj can be a grump) and were catching up when a ginormous storm came through.

Hi, Mrs. Meeter! I’m sorry we had to scram so quickly like that.

Next up: hanging more with Dave and Deb, if they have the time, and enjoying beer from Deb’s Brewtopia.

6 thoughts to “Love Me Two Times, Iowa”

  1. How odd to have two Harper’s Ferrys! It’s such a specific name I’m assuming one is named after the other?

    1. I think it’s a total coincidence – the Harper in WV at least was a small figure. I’ll look it up!

      1. There are also two of Pike’s Peaks. One in Iowa, along the Mississippi. The other is on the Front Range in CO. Same Pike.