Tag Archives: iowa lakes region

Checking out sights in Siouxland, Spirit Lake

8 May

With warmer weather and lengthening days of sunlight, it is a little easier to get out and check out sights in Siouxland. On a visit of to the Iowa Lakes Region I stopped into Spirit Lake. It has an older historic building, a former hotel built in the early 1900’s listed on the National Historic Registry. I also found it interesting that most settled communities have the typical county courthouses built in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. But Spirit Lakes’s is rather modern looking and refreshing in that sense that it utilizes a lot of glass. I didn’t spend a lot of time driving about this community, but on the early April day I was there, I saw a lot of fishermen taking advantage of warmer weather and waiting for the fish to bite. Summer is on the way and those lazy, hazy days of summer are approaching.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Prepping for Summer, Arnolds Park

24 Apr

I stopped into Arnolds Park, Iowa recently just wanting to get out and enjoy some spring sunshine and warmer temps. After having a lunch I walked about seeing the nice weather being put to use as workers were prepping the sight seeing boat the Queen II for cruising the lakes this summer. Docks along the shoreline near the Arnolds Park amusement park were not yet installed. And a boat was hauling a boat docking device of some type across the lake as boaters will later begin bringing their boats to the lakes for idling away summer hours.

I met another couple out “walking” their dog. Well, part of the walk was in a stroller. The woman explained their pet was 17 years old and not as spry as it had been when younger, but it still enjoys getting out and sniffing to its heart content. And it was a nice day for a warm with blue sky and temperatures in the 60’s.

A woman takes her 17-year-old dog for a walk in a stroller in Arnolds Park, Iowa Tuesday, April 11, 2017. She said the little guy still gets out to walk, but not as well as when he was younger. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Seeing the work being done at West Lake Okoboji reminded one that warmer, sunny days are coming and it is nice to have the opportunity to enjoy these moments.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying Spring Weather in Siouxland, Milford

22 Apr

A week or so ago when the sun was shining and the sky was blue in Siouxland, I went to the Iowa Lakes region. I stopped at a trail head in Milford. I didn’t bring my bike this time but instead walked a ways along the trail. It was just a nice spring day. And others had to agree as I met a variety of people either walking themselves or riding their bikes.  The sun felt fine, temperature in the 60’s. A nice day to enjoy spring and what it brings.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland Farmers prepare for Spring Planting, Sioux County

17 Apr

While driving and checking out parts of Siouxland up by the Iowa Lakes Region and again returning home, I came across some farmers prepping for planting this spring. The two I saw appeared to be disking their fields, although these days I understand that farmers employ a no-till option and just plant directly without any prep work. It’s been a little wet with rain passing through Siouxland, but not all parts are getting rain. I must admit that when I smell newly turned soil in a field it brings back memories while growing up on a farm. Probably the same for people who grew up near a body of water like a lake or the ocean.

Although reminiscing now is easier than the part of growing up, I still have fond memories.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A quick look at History in Siouxland, Okoboji

3 Aug

Earlier this summer I took a drive up to the Okoboji, Iowa area before the summer season and visitors inundated the area to just relax and enjoy some time away from home. It had been particularly warm the days prior to my trip and pleasantly, arriving early in the morning, it was nice walking along the lake shore, finding a coffee shop and enjoying the breeze before the temperature began rising.

When it did get hotter, I stopped into the Maritine Museum located near Arnolds Park Amusement Park where I found fascinating tidbits of history about the region, boat building that had occurred and photos of early days around Lake Okoboji and its residents and early guests. It was a fun day even spending some of it indoors and learning more about the early days of tourism.

 

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The summer is easy and a day off in Siouxland, Okoboji

23 Jul

The other day was a pretty typical summer, those I remember as a kid growing up on a farm in Illinois. There was a nearby river that I could fish in, and a barnyard and fields to run around in, though not much after the crops began growing. But the other day I decided to take the day off and drove into northern Siouxland to the Iowa lakes region around Okoboji, Iowa.

I walked around the area bordering the lake after a 2.5 hour bike ride along the Dickinson County Bike Trail. But it was such a nice day. Warm temperatures, but not yet that stifling humidity and heat, with a breeze and the “smell” of summer in the air. It was nice to sit and watch and not be in a hurry. The scenes of the lake are just plain nice. And when I saw the boy fishing and his friend join him, I thought there is nothing more summerish than this, idling away a day, hoping for a bite, but not worried if there isn’t one. Because it’s summer, and there is always tomorrow to try again. There should be more days like this.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Fall in Siouxland’s Iowa Lakes region, Okoboji

21 Oct

I traveled last week up to the Iowa Lakes region in Siouxland that includes Okoboji, West Okoboji, Spirit Lake and other small communities clustered around that area. It was during the week and quiet. The summer crowds had left. The summer residents have left their summer homes and local workers were prepping them for winter. The resorts and businesses that catered to them were closed. One could see leaves turning on trees around the lake and in amongst the homes. The air was cool and crisp in the morning then turned warm in the afternoon. I had a quiet walk around the place, talking to a few local residents and just enjoying the solitude. Something that at times seems in short supply.

I like fall. A good time for contemplation over a cup of coffee as the sunlight comes and goes more quickly. The quality of light in the fall is just very nice. It has a crispness to it that isn’t as harsh as summer light, but softer, and also a shorter time span. And just makes being outside more enjoyable.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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