Tag Archives: small towns

A Siouxland Small Community and its famous author, Doon, Iowa

11 Apr

On a nice day I headed in the northern area of Siouxland with a specific destination in mind and to revisit and see what was new. But along the way I got sidetracked. Too many side and back roads, too little time? I came across a sign for Doon, Iowa. A small community with a population of roughly 590 residents. Like most small, rural communities, Doon’s downtown was anchored on side by a grain elevator. It had some nice features and a memorial to those who served there country. It was a pleasant place to hang out for a while as I was making my way further north in Lyon County.

The community of Doon, Iowa Friday March 31, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

It was a pleasant day to be out and about finding new places. I talked to a young lady as she was returning home after fetching her mail downtown from the post office. I asked her a few questions about the community and she told me there was an author who was born in Doon, now buried in the cemetery outside of town in the country. Frederick Manfred wrote an number of novels and according to his site, coined the term “Siouxland”. The New York Times also wrote an obituary about the author after his passing. Even famous people remembered by a national newspaper came from someplace. And it is fun to explore one’s region and find such nuggets of history. I searched a bit through Hillside Cemetery that day but was not able to find his headstone.

As the days get longer and warmer, I am looking forward to more exploration with the hopes of being surprised by other such gems. One never knows what one might find over the next horizon, but it is always to fun to find out.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Good Karma in Siouxland, Storm Lake

31 Mar

I took a recent trip in Siouxland with a friend to Storm Lake, Iowa as she checked out some items for possible use in a move to a new place. Previously my friend traveled to a location to check out an area she thought she might like to relocate to, and after a few incidents of getting there which were more annoying than harmful, she decided the universe was trying to tell her she needed to look into a more specific direction to find her happiness. My friend was happy with her choice. In Storm Lake while waiting for this friend to run errands, I met a local proprietor and got to chatting about eateries in the town. Somehow we drifted to a conversation about one particular restaurant that is located in Peterson, Iowa and this person told me the story of her unmarried daughter living out of state, the chance meeting of a young man who actually grew up not far from them in their community and how things might work out that her daughter and this young man might eventually make a go of life.

We never really know how life might turn out, but generally I believe it’s true that one gets back what one puts out. If it is all hate and vile, why should a person expect different? While waiting for my friend to finish errands I walked to the lake in Storm Lake and just sat watching what was before me and contemplating the two ventures or journeys these two different people have taken and ended someplace where they could find happiness. Fairy tales? Maybe, but a person must still retain hope for the best while, sadly, sometimes expecting maybe the not so worst, but events that can detour or even slow down one’s path to where you hope to be.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Two geese paddle about in the lake at Storm Lake, Iowa Monday, March 27, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A short walk to infinity in Storm Lake, Iowa Monday, March 27, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Siouxland’s Double Decker Walking Bridge, Yankton, SD

21 Mar

I have made a few trips to the small community of Yankton, SD. It originally was  the gateway to the Dakota Territory in the late 1800’s. The first territorial Capital of the Dakota Territory when North and South Dakota was one large land mass. On every trip to Yankton I always take a walk on the Meridian Bridge, which is a double decker bridge built in 1924. According to the National Park System the bridge’s lower deck was designed to carry a rail line which never materialized. Eventually the bridge was sold to the city of Yankton in 1946 and from there the ownership came to the state of South Dakota. Just upriver is a newer vehicle bridge the double decker is now a walker’s paradise connecting South Dakota and Nebraska that give an individual a “bird’s eye” view.

I am never disappointed when I walk it, always finding something new to view and enjoy. The different seasons present different images a person can photograph. One of these days I will need to make an early trip to see what the bridge looks like during sun rise. For now, I think I will sleep in and get there to enjoy the late morning, have lunch downtown and again enjoy it late afternoon, maybe catching a sunset.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying the Play of Light in Siouxland, Okoboji

5 Mar

I must be stuck in a spting-fever mode after the recent warm up that occurred in Siouxland. Seeing sunshine just makes a person happy I think, or maybe it’s just me. On a trip up to the lakes region and stopping to watch some ice fishermen/women trying their hand, as well as shadows created on the ice covered lake area it was just nice to be out and about enjoying what is come to come.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying a Day of Sunshine in Siouxland, Okoboji

27 Feb

During a brief “warm up” that in Siouxland that saw temps reach 70 degrees in February, a few people were out and about enjoying it, even though snow still covered the ground in places. In Okoboji this particular day I chatted with a gentleman who was fishing off a walkway bridge on one of the area lakes. He told me a whopper of a fish story that made me smile, although I do believe him. But he wasn’t mad, just enjoying the nice day.

The gentleman said he had caught a 19′ walleye or pike or some other type of fish whose name I don’t recall in West Okoboji Lake just minutes before I spoke with him. He said he has had pretty good luck fishing in the region and got lucky another day. But as he was reeling the fish up to where he was standing on the walkway, a muskrat comes scurrying over the ice on the lake and stole his fish. He said he watched the critter scurry again across the lake carrying his fish and hook. He sounded sad he had lost the hook. The gentleman though didn’t have ill will toward the little guy since all creatures have to eat, and this particular day the muskrat didn’t get unduly wet getting his lunch. And minutes before I was photographing an otter who came out to explore the sunshine along with the humans getting teased by mother nature that spring is on the way, but not quite yet, as later the following week 10-12 inches of snow blanketed much of Siouxland.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Reflecting on Good Weather in Siouxland, Yankton, SD

1 Feb

Before the first of the New Year on a trip to Yankton, SD, I was happy it was a warmer day than normal. It was nice to get out and see some country and visit another place. The wind along the Missouri River was fairly calm so it made it a nice day to be walking and for some nice images. I haven’t seen a reflection yet that doesn’t captivate me even when I can’t get a perfect shot. And if you don’t photograph what you see, you may never see that particular scene again.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Reflection of a lookout along the Missiouri River near downtown Yankton, South Dakota Friday, Dec. 30, 2016. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Reflection of a lookout along the Missiouri River near downtown Yankton, South Dakota Friday, Dec. 30, 2016. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Reflection in the Missiouri River near downtown Yankton, South Dakota Friday, Dec. 30, 2016. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Reflection in the Missiouri River near downtown Yankton, South Dakota Friday, Dec. 30, 2016. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sun setting along the Missouri River near downtown Yankton, South Dakota Friday, Dec. 30, 2016. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sun setting along the Missouri River near downtown Yankton, South Dakota Friday, Dec. 30, 2016. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Exploring Siouxland, Anthon

21 Jan

Toward the end of last year I explored the community of Anthon, Iowa. The sun was shining and it wasn’t a blistering cold day to be out and about. Winter is still here in Siouxland and already I am feeling antsy to once again drive about some backroads and see what other places I will find. Recent weather has made me hesitant to venture too far. Driving in snow is okay, but driving in ice is a whole different matter. But the warmer days will come again and new places to explore not far behind.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

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