August 2016

Heritage Trail and Four Mounds, Dubuque, IA

Submitted by mag on

The Iowa Heritage TrailAfter leaving the High Trestle area, we drove all the way across the state (BIG state!) to Dubuque where we stayed at the lovely Four Mounds BNB overlooking the vast Mississippi. As soon as we checked in, we went down to the Heritage Trail where were lucky to meet up with Kevin who is knowledgeable about the Heritage Trail, the town of Dubuque and Four Mounds where he is one of the volunteers. If you ever get a chance to go to Dubuque you'll be surprised at how interesting it is - it's worth a journey just because the river is so scenic and interesting with the constant stream of tugs and barges locking through there.  Kevin led us through a bunch of construction and the directed us where to have an early dinner at the Marina on the "Flood Wall"  (what we would call a levy.  We learned that Iowans have their own names for things... no one knew what we meant by "Trail Head"...  they call them "Access Points" in Iowa.)  Anyway after riding around on the flood wall and watching a bunch of barges lock through, we had a great dinner at the Marina.  

Four Mounds was a "Gentlemans' Farm" estate built by a wealthy Dubuque family named Burden high on a steep bluff overlooking the river.  The older buildings go way back to 1909. The "Grey House" looks a bit grim and formidable, but we lucked out by winding up in the White House, which was built for the son and his wife Elizabeth. It's a charming cottage with a great view of the river. We had Frindy's Room - the eldest daughter's and we think in one of the nicest rooms at Four Mounds. The first night we were the only people in the White House and had the run of the place... huge kitchen and porch and lovely rooms. Lots of family photos taken in the house - even Frindy's wedding in 1956.  All the daughters moved away and Elizabeth bequeathed the entire estate to Dubuque in 1982, but the city couldn't afford to maintain it properly. Frindy's son eventually returned to Dubuque and started a foundation to restore the estate and operate it as a BNB and conference center.  He also founded a number of other foundations, reviving old neighborhoods and teaching high school students how to restore old buildings - really changing the face of Dubuque.   

The next day we pedaled a good portion of the Heritage Trail which is very scenic, shady and interesting.  I had to take a break along the way to listen in on a Rails to Trails Webinar.  Friday had a rather long drive back to Michigan.  

Early Dinner at the Dubuque Marina
Early Dinner at the Dubuque Marina
Grey House at Four Mounds is rather grim
Grey House is rather grim
But the White House is a charming Cottage with great views
But the White House is a charming Cottage with great views
But the White House is a charming Cottage with great views
But the White House is a charming Cottage with great views
Great river views
Great river views
our own private lounge in Frindy's suite
our own private lounge in Frindy's suite
The Younger Burden family - Frindy behind Elizabeth
The Younger Burden family - Frindy behind Elizabeth
The Iowa Heritage Trail
The Iowa Heritage Trail
A very HOT break to listen to RTC Webinar (Bar was closed)
A very HOT break to listen to RTC Webinar (Bar was closed)
Shady Heritage Trail in Iowa
Shady Heritage Trail in Iowa
Shady Heritage Trail in Iowa
Shady Heritage Trail in Iowa
Split Rock on the Heritage Trail
Split Rock on the Heritage Trail
Split Rock on the Heritage Trail
Split Rock on the Heritage Trail
Split Rock on the Heritage Trail
Split Rock on the Heritage Trail
Even a ski area on the Iowa Hertiage Trail
Even a ski area
Plenty of cows on the Iowa Hertiage Trail
Plenty of cows
Interesting old bridge on the Iowa Heritage Trail
Interesting old bridge
Interesting old bridge
Interesting old bridge
This here's John Deere Country...
This here's John Deere Country...

IOWA! The High Trestle Trail

Submitted by mag on

High Trestle Trail Madrid, IAWe had to make a trip to Iowa to have some work done on my bike (that's what happens when you have German pedelecs... apparently it was having a firmware issue!) We got it fixed no problem (they do have great service... but you have to find a certified dealer) So while in Iowa, where we've never been excpe to blast through as quick as possible, we decided to make a mini-adventure of it... 2 days at the High Trestle Trail, (north of Des Moines on the West Side) and then 2 days on the Heritage Trail near Dubuque. We decided not to take the RV this time and stay in two awesome BNBs.. Two Bears Lodge within sight of the HIgh Trestle Bridge, and the Four Mounds, a restored "Gentlemans Estate" over-looking the Mississippi. Below are some pictures of the spectacular High Trestle (don't miss the pictures! They are worth clicking through) and the scenic and shady Neal Smith that runs all the way through the park that borders the Big Creek Reservoir and Sayorville Lake.

High Trestle Trail Madrid, IA
Feeling Blue on the High Trestle Trail Madrid, IA
High Trestle Trail Madrid, IA
High Trestle Trail Madrid, IA
Picnic waiting for sunset at the High Trestle
Picnic waiting for sunset at the High Trestle
Sunset at the High Trestle
Sunset at the High Trestle
High Trestle Trail Madrid, IA
High Trestle Trail Madrid, IA
High Trestle Trail Madrid, IA
High Trestle Trail Madrid, IA
High Trestle Trail Madrid, IA
High Trestle Trail Madrid, IA
High Trestle Trail Madrid, IA
High Trestle Trail Madrid, IA
Moon on the gate to the High Trestle
Moon on the gate to the High Trestle
High Trestle Trail Madrid, IA
High Trestle Trail Madrid, IA
East  gate to the High Trestle
East gate to the High Trestle
Neal Smith Trail along Lake Sayorville, IA
Neal Smith Trail along Lake Sayorville, IA
Stopping to smell the flowers along Lake Sayorville
Stopping to smell the flowers along Lake Sayorville
Two friendly dogs at Two Bears Lodge
Two friendly dogs at Two Bears Lodge