Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Villages of Van Buren County

The forecast for St Paul was cold, so we decided to head south and did so in a steady to hard rain. It rained all day so we drove a lot further than we planned,390 miles, all the way to Keosauqua and our intended new campground at Lake Sugema.There we found a nice spot with full hookups and had a place where we could sight see around southeast Iowa.
The Lake itself is about 600 acres in size and is a really beautiful lake. Geese are protected here and they wake us each morning with their honking. Blue jays fight with robins out our back window, (I have yet to get a good picture, grrrrr). We did get a great view of the moon, reddened from the Alaskan volcano. From there, we either drive into Keosauqua where we meet Pam and Roy and began our days adventures or they pick us up at the lake. So the days have passed quickly as we have explored the area.
One of our trips was to Bentonsport and Bonaparte, two small and old towns on the Des Moines river. Once thriving communities the towns nearly died before being reborn as historic sites, filled with red brick buildings.
At Bonaparte we ate the best tenderloin sandwich we have had in quite a while! Greasy but good, (pork tenderloin sandwiches in Iowa are the Louisiana equivalent of oyster and shrimp poorboys), After antiquing, and sampling the local fudge, we next drove to Bentonsport. There we watched a blacksmith, working on an custom iron gate.
(It made me want to work the bellows and then pound the iron....maybe another lifetime.) One antique shop was actually filled with antiques, not the usual modern crafts stuff,(that I detest). Luckily, we don't have a lot of room so we only bought a hand drill, like the one that we had in my parents basement. Another interesting spot was a small private museum filled with arrowheads and fossils.
The bridge had been redone into a pedestrian bike and foot bridge, and we remembered when we had driven across it many years ago.
Returning to Pam and Roy's, we discovered our niece Krista, had arrived and so we looked at her rock and fossil collection before eating and returning home. Another fine day, we are truly blessed. Clear skies.

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