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I didn’t see any mountains. I suppose Iowa has to have it’s Denver too to go along with it’s Pike’s Peak.
I left Anamosa early in the morning and headed east to Dubuque, IA. I didn’t stop as I’ve been there a few times already this year. I decided to take the the great river road north from Dubuque into Minnesota. This section is one of my favorite parts of the entire route.
It has a lot of gorgeous scenery and the weather was perfect to match.
I stopped at Pike’s Peak State Park in Iowa which is named after the same Zebulon Pike as the Colorado one.
I enjoyed the motorcycle parking:
And the many scenic views.
Since I had lots of empty space in my bags, I took off all my gear and put it inside the cases on the bike. I had a nice time hiking around the park. I’ve been here at least five times, but never went more than 100 yards from parking lot. I even camped here two nights in 2009 while riding the fabulous roads nearby. I think i walked about two miles.
The paths were nearly empty and very enjoyable.
My Sidi On-Road motorcycle boots make pretty decent hiking boots!
I found this little waterfall that I think would be a lot more exciting in the spring.
I was surprised at how many flowers were still blooming.
Just north of Pike’s Peak is Marquette, IA. I noticed a scenic overlook sign and followed it to this:
I’ve been through Marquette at least a dozen times, but never noticed this spot before today.
From Marquette, I continued to head north along the Great River Road to the Effigy Mounds National Monument. I spent some time looking around, but the park wasn’t suited to my plans for the day. The first group of mounds was a few minutes from the parking lot, but the second was a 45 minute hike!
It seemed a bit strange to be touring an ancient burial ground. I looked around the museum learning about the artifacts and history of the site.
I continued on the GRR into Minnesota and stopped for a quick bite to eat in La Crescent, MN. While eating, I was browsing around on Google maps trying to find a suitable road. When I saw N Ridge Rd, I knew it was the road for me. I was quickly rewarded with twists and turns and a great view:
From there I stopped for another short hike in Great River Bluffs State Park, MN.
More amazing scenery. I will have to try camping here next time.
It was getting late and I was getting tired from all the walking around and riding. I decided to take the fast way home and headed east on I-90 to US-52N.
I ended the day after 351 miles of great riding. I left the hotel at 8am and arrived home at 7pm.
Full Flickr Album here (129 photos)