Tag Archives: lewis and clark state park

Enjoying the Light in Siouxland, Onawa

1 Dec

Sometimes when out taking photographs in Siouxland I just enjoy watching the light and the effect it has on an area or subject. Time of day can play a part and whether it is a clear or cloudy day. Nice light is just nice light.

The moon rises above houses along the lake at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday Nov. 9, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Most times I find myself in the wrong place when this light happens. It is fleeting. maybe 10-15 minutes early morning and in the evening as the sun awakens the day and leaves for the night. Sometimes I get lucky and am near something that embraces the magical light which makes it a magical subject. But not often, so I enjoy the light. Whether I was lucky and was able to make a nice photograph, the jury is still out.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Sun sun sets and light reflects in a body of water near the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday Nov. 9, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying a Fall Day in Siouxland, Lewis and Clark State Park, Onawa

11 Nov

at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Some days in Siouxland are so nice one just wants to savor them as long as one can. Recently a fall day had temps finally getting back into the 50’s with sunshine. The weather has been a bit funky this year and what should have been a great year for fall color found many trees getting close, but continued cold nights and rainy days seemed to stopped the color change in progress.

at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

People were out though enjoying what they thought might be one of the truly nice days this year before the winter season begins bringing a constant chill to the air in the temperature range of the 20’s and 30’s. Indeed chilly and the cold spell helps the trees to drop their leaves before they can reach that peak of color display.

at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But I enjoy what I can and wandered through the park savoring the sunshine, the golden boughs and hoping for maybe one more day when I didn’t have to throw on a heavy coat to go outside and brave the chill.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Exploring History in Siouxland, Lewis and Clark State Park, Onawa

26 Jul

A commemoration of the expedition that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark undertook after the Louisiana Purchase, and where current day re-enactors gather for the Lewis and Clark Rendevous festival at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Lewis and Clark Expedition history display can be found at the Lewis and Clark State Park in Siouxland. With displays that recount the historical journal by the expedition mapping out a way to and back from the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase Territory. The displays give information about the journey itself as well as those who inhabited the local area here in Iowa.

Visitors look over a replica of the keel boat used by the Lewis and Clark Expedition at the Lewis and Clark State Park visitors center near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A wealth of information can be found in the visitors center about the Lewis and Clark Louisiana Purchase Expedition at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But for those visiting the park a popular attraction is riding in a replica keel boat, from which visitors are spared from rowing and oaring it out on the lake. For some a hour’s excursion might turn into a few days worth trying to navigate away from shore and back again. The replica keep boat has a small motor that propels it through the water. I find it interesting in context to see more modern day water craft zipping in and around the keel boat as people learn a little what life was like for Meriweather Lewis’ and William Clark’s men who made the 8,000 mile journey.

Visitors prepare to take off on a motor outfitted keel boat on Blue Lake as re-enactors paddle nearby during the Lewis and Clark Rendevous festival at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Visitors ride a motor-enabled keel boat as re-enactors portray period people during Lewis and Clark Rendevous festival at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But it’s time well spend to understand a little more about how this country had taken shape and what was involved creating a place that many now call home, with many more seeking admittance. In some respects life seems as arduous now as it was then, depending on what advantages an individual has and the opportunity that awaits each person. But I believe they is a saying, ” In order to know where one is going it’s good to know where you’ve been”. Otherwise history could get caught in a loop with repeats a sure thing down the road.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A wealth of information can be found in the visitors center about the Lewis and Clark Louisiana Purchase Expedition at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A wealth of information can be found in the visitors center about the Lewis and Clark Louisiana Purchase Expedition at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A wealth of information can be found in the visitors center about the Lewis and Clark Louisiana Purchase Expedition at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Reliving History in Siouxland, Lewis and Clark Rendevous, Lewis and Clark State Park

6 Jul

This couple has been participating for 30 years as re-enactors of Lewis and Clark Rendevous festivals, this one taking place at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A re-enactors at the Lewis and Clark Rendevous festival waits his turn to throw an axe at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Lewis and Clark State Park near Oanawa has a yearly Lewis and Clark Rendevous where like-minded individuals dress up for the part and re-enact what some might consider a fur traders exposition where they get together as happened in the early days of west exploration. The traders would show off fur trappings they collected and resupply themselves for another year with essentials to once again go exploring. People go all out and try to maintain the the experience by camping in tents and cooking food by camp fire. I attended the rendevous a few years ago, and this time saw there were fewer participants as well as visitors taking in the experience.

In talking with some participants it was sad to hear that attendance for both re-enactors and interested citizens was declining. The surrounding campground area held far few tents than I previously remembered.

Re-enactors of the Lewis and Clark Rendevous festival are camped out at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A commemoration of the expedition that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark undertook after the Louisiana Purchase, and where current day re-enactors gather for the Lewis and Clark Rendevous festival at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And even though during summer there are so many activities going on it seems even local history (Lewis and Clark Slept Here) falls by the wayside for ball games, lake boating and other family activities.

A hide skinning display is set up as re-enactors perform various tasks during the Lewis and Clark Rendevous festival at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Musicians play era-specific songs during the Lewis and Clark Rendevous festival at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But those who attended made the most of it. A group of outliers played traditional songs even though they didn’t dress the part. Well not all of them.

A musician plays banjo along with some others on fiddle, harp, and guitar during the re-enactors festival at the Lewis and Clark Rendevous festival at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A couple join in with other musicians as they play era specific tunes while re-enactors portray period people during the Lewis and Clark Rendevous festival at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And those attending got the chance to ride in a keel boat (motor powered) on the lake at the Lewis and Clark State Park which was probably alright with them as it saved them from oar duty. It was a nice day to be outside, campfire smells and cooking wafting through the air and thankfully, not many bugs, yet. I just hope the history and the sacrifice that these “mountain men” and early explorers doesn’t fall by the wayside, the name of the park referencing some guys long ago that took a long hike, made a few discoveries and then returned home.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Visitors ride a motor-enabled keel boat as re-enactors portray period people during Lewis and Clark Rendevous festival at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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