After enjoying our stay in Sioux Falls, SD it was time to point the RV east and go through Iowa. We loved our last visit to the state of Iowa but since we need to get to North Carolina by late August, we are having to pick up our pace. As a result we planned two one night stays to get us across Iowa and still give us a little time to see new parts of the state.
Our first stop took us 122 miles east into Iowa where we stopped for a single night at the Wild Rose Casino in Emmetsburg Iowa. Emmetsburg is a small little town but has a casino a little way out of town with an RV park beside a small lake. It had no water or sewer but had electricity for $25 per night. It included breakfast in the casino hotel and because they also gave us each $10 in free play it was close to a break even stop. Even better we arrived on Monday night where they offer up a $3.99 chicken and potato buffet that was pretty darn good and at that price couldn’t be beat!
The next morning we drove another 170 miles (a long day for us) and pulled into Deerwood Park where we scored one of the few remaining sites. Full hookups were here for $19 per night. During our stay we checked out the nearby towns of Cedar Rapids and Waterloo Iowa. Waterloo is mostly a blue-collar industrial town that wasn’t very lively or appealing to us. Cedar Falls (where the University of Iowa is) was just the opposite as we found it to be not only appealing but interesting as well.
They have done a lot to make their little town alive and energetic so we enjoyed an urban stroll around the small town. Of course we also walked abound the campus of University of Northern Iowa which is a beautifully landscaped campus that provided a delightful park-like setting. Big trees and lush greenery abound. The buildings themselves are not overly interesting from an architectural viewpoint but we did enjoy the stroll through the “park.”
The next morning we were on the road to stay near Cedar Rapids Iowa to meet up with friends John and Jane former RV full-timers who are taking a small break from full-timing to be near their granddaughter. They saved us a site in Morgan Creek County Park a beautiful and well cared for Linn County Park. At only $20 per night for 50 amp and water service it is a steal (but very hard to get a spot in). Jane and John met us at the site while we set up and afterward we hit the ground running.
We toured their downtown condo and then walked around Cedar Rapids checking out all their favorite places. Sharon loved how everything was within walking distance of their place as she has always imagined city living would be fun. They do seem to really enjoy it. Of course we had to stop at Iowa Brewing for a frosty beverage and then went to an interesting restaurant which offered pizzas that are a fusion between Italian and Chinese. We had the Kung Pao Pizza and they enjoyed the Crab Rangoon Pizza. Yum!!!
The next day Sharon and I walked around the nearby arboretum and hiked out into the prairies where they have mowed trails allowing hikers to get a good look at them. We saw lots of wildflowers and green grass in the prairie with butterflies everywhere. That evening we took in a minor league baseball game where the home town Kernal’s won easily. We sure enjoyed the game and the company of Jane and John.
Our last day in Cedar Rapids we spent playing a little disc golf and then concluded the day back at Jane and John’s condo where we had appetizers and drinks on the patio listening to live music being played by Alisabeth Von Presley. The concert was “free” for us as we are all on their patio overlooking the stage. What a great day and a great way to end our three day stay visiting our friends…. thanks for the hospitality Jane and John…
NOTE: We left Cedar Rapids Iowa today and headed for Moline Illinois with plans our next stop to be near Peoria, Illinois…