Tag Archives: Arnolds park iowa

Enjoying the Lake in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

12 Jul

Recently I took a drive up to West Lake Okoboji at Arnolds Park and spent the day walking about enjoying a cooler day. Temps were in the 60’s with a pretty good gusts coming off the lake.

Choppy waters in West Lake Okoboji at Arnolds Park, Iowa Friday, June 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I enjoy cooler days than hotter ones personally, although some younger people bemoaned the fact they couldn’t soak up any sun, of which there was little that day. The water on the lake was also pretty choppy which figured into my plans for taking a tour on the Queen II, an excursion boat that spends about 1.5 hours on the lake giving the riders a bit of history. And the Queen in one of its iterations has been providing this service for decades.

The Queen II dock side in Arnolds Park, Iowa Friday, June 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I stopped by the office to buy a ticket and heard a couple employees talking about the choppy water and the possibility the ship may not go out. I took that as more probability than not, so found myself a coffee shop for a cup and a snack. And while enjoying myself with a book I had brought along, The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux, I heard the Queen’s whistle blow and knew I had miscalculated. But, with an entertaining read, coffee and a scone I sacrificed. I later found a small art gallery, Summerwind Gallery, and had a nice chat with the proprietor, Roberta, who also paints and explained she is currently working with pastel as her medium of choice.

So I felt my day was still spent well. Not too hot, a bit of a walk, and some really nice artwork to check out. Some days go as planned and some days one makes up as the day progresses. Both types of days are good and I hope to enjoy a few more of them.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Fall in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

5 Oct

It is hard to realize that fall is officially here. The days have much less humidity and the sky is a bright blue and the temperature cooler, which I personally like. But summer seemed to pass quickly with fleeting moments that are gone. A few classes for me start around this time that I teach at a local community college and it is fun to see people get excited about getting out with a camera and shooting better photos and enjoying themselves. Even though I enjoy the fall season most, I will miss summer only because I know winter will be here even quicker.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Shooting with a “toy camera” in Siouxland, Okobokji

27 Sep

On an outing in the Okoboji and Iowa Lakes region recently, I tried out the “toy camera” setting on my Fuji mirrorless camera. I previously have used a Holga toy camera shooting film and loved the effect although the end result was never predictable. The toy camera effect gives a nice feel to some photos, taking whatever focal length lens one is using and enlongating it and foreshortening the perspective all at the same time. I like the effect, but know what should be a little judicious in using it. Still it forces the viewer of your photographs to see what you want them to see. And it is nice for a change of pace to experiment a bit.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Summer Time in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

19 Jun

I hadn’t had the chance to get up to visit the Lakes area of Siouxland in recent weeks. Some work kept me busy, but I always like to get away and explore, even if it is somewhere I have been a few times. Away from home, the senses kick in and one gets a chance to just enjoy the moment. Unfortunately it was a warm moment for that day. The area has been suffering like much of the country with high temperatures. I got to Arnolds Park early in the morning and so was able to enjoy comfortable weather and a walk until it began heating up.

I tried a couple settings on my Fuji XT-1 that I had not used before. In addition to bringing along a plastic Holga lens that I used to use with a Canon camera. I used an adapter to fit it to the Fuji in addition to using the “plastic lens” or “toy camera” setting and the “minature” setting, which is like shooting with a 35mm tilt lens. I liked the results. Shooting with the Holga lens and adding the minature lens effect created images I was really pleased with and will probably use again. It’s nice when something unexpected works out when shooting pics. And gives one faith to experiment and see where it takes you.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Winter Hanging On in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

11 Mar

Made a trip up to the Iowa Lakes region over this past weekend and was hoping to photograph some clear water and spring-time looks around the lake area, but was brought back to reality by Mother Nature when I found a lot of ice still on the lake and people still ice fishing around Arnolds Park and Okoboji. The last few days have been sunny, warm, with temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s. It has been very nice. But spring is taking its time catching its stride and I must be patient to realize that winter has finally passed.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Celebrating an anniversary, Arnolds Park Amusement Park

22 Sep

I kind of missed this particular event. Never a fan of amusement parks, the Arnolds Park Amusement Park though celebrated its 125th anniversary. It is home to one of the oldest wooden roller coaster rides in the U.S. I am not a lover of rides and so have never gotten excited about traveling to amusement parks. But it is something of a testament to the community spirit of Arnolds Park and those who love the history and tradition of this particular amusement park set in Siouxland’s northwest Iowa, nestled along the lakes in that area. Not everyone can celebrate a 125th birthday and still look good for their age.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland Summer, Arnolds Park

19 May

I recently visited the Lakes Region in Western Iowa, specifically Arnolds Park, to check out the area of its amusement park. It has one of the oldest roller coaster rides in the United States and some other shops along its board walk. It also has a cruise boat that people can purchase tickets to and ride around the lakes, imagining the more genteel days of the late 1800’s when the first boat was put into service.

This is history located on a website about Arnolds Park amusement park: “The Arnold’s Park resort was established in the 1880s by W. B. Arnold, and the town of the same name came later.  There were no early coasters.  Following Arnold’s death in 1905, the property was divided into two parts.
The part containing the original amusement park passed into the hands of Dr. A. L. Peck.  The park was called Peck’s Park approximately from 1917 to 1945, although it came under new ownership in 1935.  After subsequent sales, it was Lawler’s Park (or Lawlor’s–newspapers are inconsistent on the spelling) from 1946 to 1950, and then Arnolds Amusement Park beginning in 1951.  This park had three roller coasters, each replacing the previous one, and built in essentially the same location. The adjacent property (to the SW) resulting from the division was developed as Stevens Beach (by 1908) and later as Benit’s Park (around 1922).  The owners incorporated as Lakes Amusement Company in 1935. Although under different ownership, the two amusement parks had contiguous midways and cooperated in most advertising and promotion.  The two parks with the names Arnolds Park and Benit’s Park continued at least until 1968.  It isn’t known when the parks came under joint ownership but a 1985 item suggests this happened in the early 1970s.”

This information is provided about the Queen II: “In the late 19th century, the lakes region became a resort area and the small steamboats and sailboats could not keep up with the flow of vacationers. The Queen, a large steamer, was constructed, along with other larger boats, to accommodate this new need. By the 1920s, the construction of roads around the lakes brought about the demise of most of the fleet. The Queen stayed in service for those people who wished to see the lake by water. In 1973 the Queen was finally retired, after 89 years of service. The Queen II was commissioned and built in 1986 and she was designated the “Flagship of the Iowa Navy.”

I plan to go back there during the summer, understanding that at times the crowds and traffic and be quite overwhelming and to see the attraction in all of its glory.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

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