Monday, June 27, 2016

A Visit and a Hike at the Devonian Fossil Gorge, Iowa…

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With our time winding down for our stay in Iowa City we had a few more things we wanted to do. One thing we found interesting was a visit to the Devonian Fossil Gorge. Believe it or not Iowa was near the equator and the entire state was once covered by shallow warm seas. As a result of the seas being in the area as time passed there were Devonian aged fossils left behind that are about 350 million years old.

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The limestone bedrock found in this park is densely packed with fossils. We picked up a self guided tour brochure at the entrance and went hunting. We found a large variety of fossils to see  including  brachiopods, crinoids, bryozoans, corals, sponges as well as other fossils. Some of the coolest ones we found and enjoyed were the colonial corals  or Hexagonaria. It was fun searching the rock for these ancient marvels…

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Afterward we took a walk down a hike and bike trail along the Cedar River. The rivers are still high from the recent and plentiful rains.  During one such storm we experienced a bit of hail hit late at night causing me to dash out of the motorhome to save our basil and parsley plants. Anyway, we saw lots of butterflies and birds along the trail and we even spotted a wild turkey. We always enjoy the peaceful strolls in the woods looking at and listening to the beauty of nature.

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We also made a day trip up to see Jane and John at their new digs north of Cedar Rapids about 30 minutes north of us. Once again Jane and John took us all around to show us the town they know so well. Interesting to know was that Cedar Rapids flooded in 2008 as the Cedar River crested at 19 feet above flood stage!!! Some 1,300 blocks (nearly 10 square miles) were inundated. This included nearly all of the downtown area and more than 5,000 homes were destroyed or damaged by the flood waters. Even now there is still considerable rebuilding going on and the town has yet to achieve the status of full recovery.

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Of course we couldn’t visit Cedar Rapids and John and Jane without visiting a local brewery. So we ambled across the Lions Bridge over the once flooded Cedar River to the Czech Village and stopped at the Lions Bridge Brewing Company. With good beer and good company what could be better?


NOTE: We leave here today, Monday, and are headed to the town of Dubuque Iowa for three nights and then on towards Madison, Wisconsin…


  1. Love fossils. We will keep this place in mind if we do Iowa.

  2. Thanks for this great suggestion!! As we head east, we can plan to include this place. Very cool!

  3. Another great ending with good beer and good friends, what's not to like about that?

  4. Devonian Fossil Gorge is pretty neat. Another add to Pinterest.

  5. Good beer and friends. What more could you want?

  6. This is the second blog post recently that I've seen about Iowa. We lived near Iowa for years and never knew it had much to see.

  7. We will add the gorge to our to do list. Travel safe!!