Saturday, August 17, 2019

IA and IL highpoints

We're on a roll with the state highpoints this summer, happily achieving the more difficult goals of summiting Granite and Gannett in July.  Now it's time to explore a new part of the country for us, and it's always fun to having targets along the way.

First up - Iowa!  And what a nice highpoint, a pleasant surprise.  There's so much going on here, we had no idea we'd hang out as long as we did.

The highlight is the tiled summit marker, surrounded by nice benches and arrows in the directions of all 50 state highpoints.  Also a holder for your camera so you can take selfies:

It was fun walking around reading a list of many of the places we've been already, too funny:

The soybean field next door:

Enjoying a nice break from driving:

Beautiful - someone put a lot of work into this, and we always appreciate when a state "does up" their highpoint location:

I couldn't let the selfie stand go unused:

State map with the location of Hawkeye Point:

On the back is a wonderful set of license plates from around the country.  And a rare glimpse of Tug and Howie with us at a state highpoint!

A failed selfie attempt - I think I'll go back to the camera platform:

But wait, there's more - a large decorated rock:

Another photo opportunity we couldn't pass up:

And a little museum in a barn:

Which has some objects previously used at the highpoint - not your normal set of museum items!

Also some old farm tools:

And a photo of Teddy Roosevelt in the area in 1910:

More farm antiques to peruse:

A John Deere plow and a horse drawn cultivator:

AND... more modern equipment in the solar farm around the corner.

All-around wonderful!  Highpoint #44:

Another excellent Harvest Host location for the night - Round Lake Vineyards, with a lovely restaurant, delicious wine, and a peaceful place to sleep near the lake.  We are so glad we're trying out Harvest Hosts this summer.

Just driving down the highway the next day, we happened to notice a giant statue - the Jolly Green Giant, actually!

Next to a cute little museum and shop, with all variety of green things, giant and small:

And since we were in the mood for "not your normal sightseeing"...

I was particularly interested in the mentions of Hawaii, because that's where I tried - and liked! - musubi.  Spam is definitely big over there.

It's Spamalot (of course):

Recipe for musubi  :)

We need to go back to the islands sometime... not just for musubi.

Driving over the Mississippi River on the way into Wisconsin:

Our next overnight stop was at the Potosi Brewery - we could really get spoiled with all these great Harvest Host options.  John found a couple fun murals in town ("Take Photos Here"):

We headed to the highpoint of Illinois the next morning, one of only a few days per year that this highpoint is open to the public.  Sometimes Google Maps does a fun "welcome to" when we enter a new state - and I happened to catch this one as a screen shot:

Not your typical "for sale" sign - this one includes the 2nd highest point in Illinois, funny!

It's next door to the actual highest point.  Time for a stroll up the lane:

Corn and soybeans and another beautiful day:

Welcome to Charles Mound:

An old issue of the Highpointers Club newsletter in the summit box:

Enjoying the view:

We made it!

Some entertainment from the local crop duster:

We met a fellow highpointer named Jim and enjoyed a good conversation during our morning walk.  Thanks Jim!

One more highpoint complete:

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