I love to travel and always thought that going abroad to see the foreign lands would be an adventure I couldn’t resist until recently. I was doing a little research on an area in my own state and discovered just how much I was missing by not vacationing in my own state. I had over looked what was right in my own backyard.
I grew up in Iowa and never really thought of it as that big a deal because everything was ordinary to me here. Then as I discovered today my home state is a lot more interesting than I had ever imagined. I didn’t need to leave Iowa to have adventures! I rediscovered the famous trails of Lewis and Clark, the Orphan Train, and the Oregon, Mormon and California Trails all going through Iowa. Who would have thought that the Midwest was full of vineyards and breweries. I had grew up in beautiful Loess Hills. Did you know that you wont find another ridge of hills made up of the same composition without having to visit China.
I rediscovered also that Iowa has its share of historic places such as in Winterset where the birth place of the legendary John Wayne still exists not to mention the now famous Bridges of Madison County and not to forget the Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum in Burr Oak, remember Little House on the Prairie? Not to be outshone by the glamor,Anamosa also has the National Motorcycle Museum and it is a treat to see. I have been there many times with my husband when we were buying motorcycle parts from J&P; Cycles. They had on display the Captain America bike from the movie Easyriders and the Steve McQueens bike from the movie The Blop, several bikes of Evil Kinevil fame, and the only snowmobile I have ever seen made by Harley Davidson.
Iowa also has museums open to the public concerning Buffalo Bill Cody, the Union Pacific Railroad and can you believe it a doll museum and a Matchstick Marvels. Believe it because they have been featured on such shows as Ripley’s Believe it or not! The Matchstick Marvels is complete with models of the USS Constitution, and aircraft carrier, a 1930’s train and even a semi tractor trailer of a model freightliner.
My home state I found even has a stagecoach stop complete with murals, winery, a smokehouse and gift shop and not far away is a working buffalo ranch where you can take a tour, feed the buffalo or eat one if you wish. They even offer hunts. Much to my surprise I also discovered that we have caves here complete with tours and gift shops, camping grounds, and nature trails. I even discovered that my state has an actual national cemetery where Union and Confederate troops were both buried.
The most surprising to me had to be the ghost tour I found right here in Iowa. Who would have thought that you could go looking for ghosts on what they call a lamplit or overnight haunting tour. I thought surely you’d have to go to Louisiana for something like that. I was wrong. Right here in the Midwest you can tour a town who had a horrible Axe murder of an entire family that was never solved.
I haven’t even mentioned the Amish or Amana colonies that exist in Iowa. Now your really talking vineyards, old world crafts, stone hearth bakeries, smokehouses, bed and breakfasts, handmade furniture, clocks, not to mention the antique stores and huge outlet malls dotted around the state. Traveling abroad would be fantastic but before making your plans look around your own backyard first. You just may be amazed at what is in your own backyard!