Tag Archives: Arnolds park iowa

Floating in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

5 Jun

I don’t often get to the Iowa Lakes Region in Siouxland that includes Arnolds Park, Okoboji and Spirit Lake, but I do enjoy my time there when I can make it. On a recent trip the day started out raining, harder as I got closer, but then after a little walking and ducking into places to avoid the rain, it dissipated and turned out to be a nicer day.

I like hanging out near the water. The sound of it lapping up against something is soothing and relaxing and can easily reflect various moods depending on how a person may feel.

A hazy day makes objects to somewhat float in the atmosphere in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Wednesday May 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes one can almost believe you are floating above the water and all, buoyed above all else. Water is so deceiving in a way, reflecting what is around it and “blending” into the scenery, although you know it’s there.

A pier under construction sits quiet and ready for summer action in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Wednesday May 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But water is enjoyed by many, no matter the species or current occupation employed, it just offers a short escape from the hectic world giving one a little time to relax, enjoy and dream.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A fisherman watches his yellow bobber while trying his luck in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Wednesday May 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

While people enjoy their lunch above at a restaurant near the water, so do two ducks enjoy a quiet day on a pier in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Wednesday May 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing what’s new in Siouxland, Maritime Museum at Arnolds Park

2 Apr

Sometimes on a limited time schedule, even a self-imposed one, I like to revisit places in Siouxland, such as the Maritime Museum in Arnolds Park. It has a rich history of the lake region with lots of memorabilia.

Previous photos and advertisement of the Queen cruise ship at the Maritime Museum in Arnolds Park, Iowa Thursday, March 15, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And with some new exhibits underway in the area I got to see a couple new things happening. BREAKING NEWS!!! that online and local media would be flashing across their screens. This not so much. It was fun to see one new item as work was underway and that was a honeymoon tent a couple used in the 1930’s or ’40’s after getting married. It probably made a very memorable experience and bonded the newly-weds even more. If you enjoy the outdoors what is a better way to begin a new life?

Some new items are being added to the Maritime Museum such as a honeymoon tent actually used by a couple in Arnolds Park, Iowa Thursday, March 15, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Also underway next door to the museum and seen through a window but a wholly different exhibit depicts some of the history of the Arnolds Park Amusement Park which celebrated 125th anniversary a couple of years ago.

A facility next door to the Maritime Museum will house historical memorabilia like a slide and another item from a former Fun House from the Arnolds Park Amusement Park in Arnolds Park, Iowa Thursday, March 15, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And sometimes just looking around one gets lucky and can play a bit with available light to create something seen in one’s mind and then shared with others. Light is a beautiful thing and can make an image all the more interesting.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A shaft of light peers into the Maritime Museum in Arnolds Park, Iowa Thursday, March 15, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Winter Clinging on in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

23 Mar

Driving to the northern area of Siouxland and visiting Arnolds Park and West Lake Okoboji I thought it was going to be a pleasant day out with sunshine and warmer temps. But somehow those weather forecasters didn’t cast very far. Most times when I check the weather there, I found it is about 10 degrees cooler or warmer, depending on the time of year. I was really surprised to see the lake still iced over and no clear water in sight except near the shoreline.

The lakes are still frozen over around Arnolds Park, Iowa Thursday, March 15, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Queen II, an excursion boat that takes visitors around the lake area was pretty well socked in. I was curious if the water always stayed clear like this or if someone makes the effort to keep the water from freezing right up the hull of the boat, which could probably cause problems during freeze and thaw situations. And it looks like it will be a while before the Queen will be making any excursions in the near future.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Queen II docked and surrounded by ice in East Lake in Arnolds Park Iowa Thursday, March 15, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Exploring Images in Siouxland

21 Mar

Slowly the weather is cooperating and letting people get about again, although it seems the cold weather in Siouxland just won’t finish. But occasionally the sun peeps out from behind clouds to remind us that spring is coming, albeit, very slowly. Recently on some outings I was looking for images and exploring what I liked about these. And again it was the light play and shadows.

Shadow play in Arnolds Park Iowa Thursday, March 15, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And while in some photos I shot fairly tight, others I chose a more loose image including more information within the frame, hinting at something beyond within the context of where and what I was photographing. In some communities there are homeless living and as warmer weather and sunshine returns it makes it easier for them to find a place to hang out. I haven’t visited Council Bluffs all that much but would guess there are some points in the downtown area where people congregate more than others.

Park benches for pedestrians and others in the historic downtown of Council Bluffs, Iowa Monday March 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And sometimes it is simply the play of light and shadow together creating an image or form and I found it visually amusing to include the straight line while the shadow bent to conform to the object it was seen on.

Shadow play in Modale, Iowa Monday March 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I am hoping for more opportunity to find this kind of interplay but the forecast for the foreseeable is more clouds, snow, rain, snow and clouds. Ah spring, when are you going to get sprung?

 

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Spending Time at the Lakes in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

14 Aug

As summer winds down in Siouxland the area up around the lakes near Arnolds Park and Okoboji and others will begin to take on their fall demeanor. The trees turn color and it becomes very pretty, but the life begins to slow much like sap running through a tree. The lakes are a summer “thing” and people will begin to pursue other avenues of entertainment away from the lakes, except those who live there and others who like the fall.

The recent day I visited I had the chance to ride the Queen II and enjoy a cruise around West Lake Okoboji and learn more about its history. This was during the week. And while there were people about, the morning was pretty quiet as I made some photos and enjoyed a walk about.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Cruising Siouxland on the Queen II, Okoboji

2 Aug

On a recent visit to the lake region of Iowa in Siouxland which includes the communities of Arnolds Park, Okoboji and Spirit Lake, I finally was able to take a cruise on West Lake Okoboji on the Queen II. When the lakes region around Arnolds Park and Okoboji became a resort area, a boat named the Queen brought visitors out onto the lake and showed off the region. The Queen II continues that history.

The Queen II prior to leaving for a cruise around West Lake Okoboji in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday July 24, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A passenger gets a better view of West Lake Okoboji from the Queen II during a cruise at Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday July 24, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The cruise gives a nice background history to the immediate lakes region and for those wanting to know more they can visit the Maritine Museum in Arnolds Park.

Capable of holding about 200 passengers, the skipper this day, Lance Freed, gave some general introductions then played some canned information that was informative and effective.

Lance Freed skippers the Queen II during a cruise around West Lake Okoboji in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday July 24, 2017, something he has been doing for 17 years. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Originally owned by farmers, the non-tillable area was sold off to various individuals who began selling plots of land to those who wanted a place on a lake. The then cottages, although still called that, were modest and small. Now some of them are multi-million dollar vacation homes, one is estimated to be worth $12 million. And the land itself around the lake, depending on which side, east or west, can run from $10,000 a square foot to $17,000 a square foot. Not your granddaddy’s little summer getaway.

Passengers taking a cruise on the Queen II around West Lake Okoboji in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday July 24, 2017 can see mutli-million dollar homes, euphemistically referred to as cottages, which line the lake shore. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But for the average Joe and his family, people can bring their boats, fish, waterski and pursue other summertime activities on or around the water and still enjoy a nice day out. I personally like being near the water but am not exactly a water person and not one to get in it and splash about. But on a warmish day with a breeze, it is hard to beat and just fun to learn a little more history about the area.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City,

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

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