Leaving the Amana Villages we made the very short drive on small Iowa roads over to Sugar Bottom Campground, a COE park just north of Iowa City, Iowa. After less than 30 miles we pulled into the campground hoping to score one of the walk-in full hookup campsites. We had been texting our RV friends Jane and John who pen the blog Flamingo on a Stick since they were staying in the campground located across the street from the only full hookup walk-in site coming available that day. The checkout deadline is 5pm but we timed it to be there about noon where we planned to park somewhere and wait if the site wasn’t yet open.
We pulled into the park after managing the 2 miles of a tight and winding entry road and as luck would have it the occupants of the site we wanted were packing up to leave. We only had to wait about 5 minutes in the parking area before pulling into a full hookup level 50 amp site (site number 310). We originally planned to stay 5 nights but since we scored a walk-in full hookup site we decided to stay 8 nights. With the 4th of July looming ahead we knew we had better make some reservations soon or not have a site to camp in over the holiday weekend. By staying here 8 nights we were then able to reserve three nights at a campground in Dubuque Iowa and also reserved six nights in Madison WI which means we are now covered through July 6th.
Jane and John invited us over to join their Father's Day celebration that evening with son Mitch and granddaughter Evelyn. What fun we had sharing great food, lively conversation and laughter. We really appreciated the invite for sure! The next day at Sugar Bottom campground Jane and John graciously drove us over to tour Jane's alma mater, the University of Iowa, a Big 10 Conference school. We love touring campuses but this one was made more interesting having someone show us around who loved their time there. The University of Iowa is a huge campus and we walked a lot before finally giving in to the unusually hot day by catching one of the inner-campus busses (the yellow and black Cam-Bus) available to the public for free.
A highlight was we were able to check out the football stadium since there was a summer camp in full swing there. However, as successful as the University of Iowa is in football we both expected a more flamboyant stadium. It did appear as if they installed new (very large) scoreboards but otherwise the stadium was not as impressive as some we have seen. Likewise due to the eclectic styles of architecture with no common theme on the main campus, it sort of lacked the wow factor for us. We did enjoy seeing the stately Old Capitol building on campus however and really did enjoy the insights offered by Jane all along our tour.
Rounding out the day Jane and John took us to a few of their old haunts where we partook in a few adult beverages trading more tales of our travels taken since last seeing them. It is so great to reconnect with like minded people who have the same love for RV’ing as we do on the Road of Retirement…