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STOP #224

"The Hawkeye State"
is our 36th visited state


The Iowa State Fair began in 1854 and has been held every year on the Iowa State Fairground since 1856. It is one of the largest and most well-known state fairs in America, which takes place over 11 days in August, encompassing more than 450 acres filled with campsites, live music stages and over 200 vendors selling food.

Today's travel day was a short one, but we did travel through three different states and we added two new state border crossings to our list.

We started our day at Blue Mounds State Park in Wisconsin. After hooking up THE POD we traveled over to the dump station to, you know, dump. While we were there a trailer pulled in behind us to make their deposit too and Tricia was soon carrying on a conversation with them.

Turns out they just purchased a newer, longer Cougar travel trailer with plans to start traveling more often and at greater distances. I guess they saw our Florida licence tag and figured we were the people to talk to. After about 15-20 minutes we left them to do their business, so to speak, and proceeded down the road.

I sure wish we would have met Georganne and Don earlier in our visit, then maybe we could have shared some time from the comfort of our rocking chairs around a campfire. We wished each other safe travels and then went our separate ways.

After traveling abount 65 miles southwest we crossed our first new state border today (WI2IL). We left Wisconsin and spent a total of about 8 minutes in Illinois before crossing over the Mississippi River into Iowa (IL2IA). While we were in Illinois we noticed the price of gasoline was about 15-20 cents higher than either Wisconsin or Iowa. Guess we will try to avoid buying any gasoline while in Illinois from now on!

Once we made it into Iowa we were only about 10 miles from our new campsite. Before we could get there we had to pass through just one more small town. The town's name seemed vaguely familiar for some reason, Key West. That's right, there is more than one Key West in these here United States. This one however does not hold a place in our hearts like the one down south.

Campsite #42 at Massey Marina and Campground County Park in Dubuque, IA.

A side channel of the Mississippi River right outside our front door.

TUESDAY - This morning we did something we haven't done in nearly two years, we went online and made camping reservations at one of our National Parks.

In 2020 we had several reservations already made at some big name National Parks in New Mexico and Colorado, but they were all cancelled due to park closures and COVID-19.

In 2021 we elected not to visit any National Parks because most of them were only partially open and not offering their Ranger led activities, some did not even have their Visitor Centers or bathrooms open to the public.

In 2022 we've decided not to keep postponing our visits, so we are starting the year off with a visit to a National Park in February. You'll have to keep following along to find out which one it is, but if you pay attention to our map it shouldn't be too hard to figure out.

Immediately after securing our reservation at 9:00AM this morning we hopped into ROVER and drove 4.5 miles to Crystal Lake Cave for our 46th cave tour.

Once again our early arrival rewarded us with a private tour of the cave. It was a short 3/4 mile tour with only a few stairs up and down at the beginning and end of the tour. There were indeed many crystals in the cave and some anthodite formations we've only seen previously in caves back in Virginia.


Most of the tour is spent negotiating long manmade passageways to arrive in the next room full of formations.
This is the crystal lake the cave is named after.
These are the very delicate anthodite formations.
This four ton rock precariously straddles over the pathway.
The brilliant white soda straw formations could be found all over the cave.

WEDNESDAY - Once again we are out and about early this morning at 7:30AM.

We have a service appointment at the Ford Dealership located 13 miles west of our camp. It's time for our 55,000 mile oil change and time to rotate our new tires.

All of this comes just in time for our big repositioning move tomorrow.

Anyone want to guess where we will popup next?
I'll make it easier for you, to win you only have to guess the correct state.
NOTE: There's a Facebook prize to win and of course bragging rights!

Speaking of guessing, I'm "not" going to tell you about the sightseeing location we have planned for after our service appointment today. Instead I'm going to give everyone a few clues about what we have planned and see who is the first person to correctly guess the answer by commenting on our Facebook Group.

NOTE: There's a second Facebook prize to win and again bragging rights!

CLUE #1 - 1989

CLUE #2 - Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones, Burt Lancaster, Ray Liotta

CLUE #3 - "If you build it, he will come."

CLUE #4 - "Is This Heaven? No, It's Iowa."

If you haven't figured it out yet, CLUE #5 should seal the deal.

All right one more clue, CLUE #6 as if you'll need it.

You only have until Saturday, August 21 at NOON to get your guesses in!

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Until next time