Sunday, September 26, 2010

Anamosa to Minneapolis – Exploring Parks

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Two weeks ago I rode my SV650 home from the sidecar rally in Anamosa, IA. On the way to Anamosa, I passed through Denver.


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.

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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.

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The paths were nearly empty and very enjoyable.

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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.

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I was surprised at how many flowers were still blooming.

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Just north of Pike’s Peak is Marquette, IA. I noticed a scenic overlook sign and followed it to this:

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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!

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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.

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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.

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More amazing scenery. I will have to try camping here next time.

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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)


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  1. Is the header new? I like it.

    I've also been surprised at how many flowers are still blooming. I suspect it has to do with all the rain during this growing season.

    Thanks for taking me along.


  2. Keith: Yes, I'm playing with a new header. I'm still working with it, but it's a step in the right direction.

    We had a lot of rain last week which is causing flooding in southern MN.

  3. Looks like a good ride Chris, good photos too. thx for taking us with us..

  4. Dear Chris:

    How I wish I had your stamina to ride. I have the stamina, just not the hips and knees anymore. This looked like great ride.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  5. Bash3r: It was a fun time exploring new places. :)

    Dear Jack: Thanks! I don't really think I have a lot of riding stamina though. I just like riding. Taking breaks and staying away from the interstates makes it easier. I guess I'm lucky my body is still mostly cooperating.