We took a few days off to go to northeast Iowa over the 4th of July weekend. I was very favorably impressed with northeast Iowa; the landscape is beautiful and the local archaeology is very interesting and well documented. We did Effigy Mounds National Monument first off, hiking all the to the Marching Bears and back on Friday morning. The mound groups were very interesting; I have always been interested in mounds after living near one in Madison for a year, so this was a good chance to see some more and learn quite a bit about the mound builders (or at least what we think we know about them).
Interestingly, Iowa has beautiful roadways. They have an abundance of wildflowers growing in the roadsides and ditches. Crossing the border back into Minnesota, all the pretty went away. We think it's due largely to the fact the Minnesota makes a point of mowing the ditches religiously. I have never been a fan of ditch-mowing due to wildlife impacts, but I can see now I never appreciated the vegetation impact as well.
We took the scenic way back, rounding the west shore of Lake Pepin with over 100 Baby Boomers on Motorcycles (BBMs). We have a hard time not shaking our head at all the BBMs out there. The generation that will never get old, is in fact, getting old. I saw at least 10 motorcycle tricycles bombing along on this trip. If the BBMs are truly Born to be Wild and want to stay young, they should trade in the Harleys and Goldwings for a bicycle, I think.