As you may recall from yesterday, the first part of my tourism brochure concentrated on the amenities Iowa has to offer to the jet-set crowd: The fine dining, the night life, the luxury accommodations, the world-class shopping, etc.

Today I’ll be presenting Part Two of the brochure. As promised, it will be geared toward those of us who prefer to get off the beaten path and into the great outdoors. I will be showcasing Northeast Iowa’s natural beauty and you will discover, via my bicycle ride, that this state is so much more than just a vast cornfield. That’s right, this Mid-western state is an amazing wonderland of remote backroads, amazing landscapes, and beautiful sunsets. In addition, Iowa is the proud home to several national parks. Not many people know that.

Let’s begin our tour.

When it comes to wide open spaces, Texas has nothing on Iowa. When it comes to big sky country, Iowa matches Montana in every way. When it comes to gravel roads, Iowa has no peer.

Sometimes you can be enjoying mile after mile of dusty gravel, cornfields, soybeans and weedy ditches and then, suddenly, your gaze might be distracted by up to 21 colorful flowers. It’s a botanical garden of Eden.

Bike tourists are surprised to learn that Badlands National Park is in Iowa.

So is Great Sand Dunes National Park.

Not to mention Grand Canyon National Park

New River Gorge National Park is here too.

Old Faithless, the great geyser of Yellowstone National Park spews water 24-hours a day in Iowa.

That’s right, Sequoia National Park can be found here too. As a first time visitor to this great park, I am clearly thrilled at seeing such gigantic view-blockers. (Trees)


I don’t have to tell anybody here that the very best way to enjoy all that nature has to offer is to sleep in the great outdoors. Let me tell you, there is a multitude of lovely campgrounds in Northeast Iowa where you can pitch your huge house-on-wheels at a campsite near a bunch of other huge houses-on-wheels. You can sit inside and watch TV all day and all night. You can “rough it” on your couch and sleep on a comfy bed. You can do your cooking in there too. In fact, there is no reason you’d have to go out in that damn Iowan heat and humidity at all.

Of course, if you roll into such a place on your bike with only a tent and sleeping bag, things will be much less luxurious. (If the campground hosts will even allow tent camping.) Assuming they DO let you in, you could always sit at your picnic table, looking very hungry and sweaty with a very sad look on your face, and there is a chance that an owner of a huge RV might take pity on you and invite you inside to watch Cable TV and partake in a meal of Creamettes brand pasta with Ragu spaghetti sauce.

Camping at its finest!

If you’re lucky while “camping,” you might enjoy a fine Iowa-brewed IPA with your “Italian” meal.

Then you can watch a beautiful Iowa sunset.

Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten the pareidolia face.

I’ll see you tomorrow with Part Three of the Northeast Iowa Tourism Brochure for Cyclists. Get ready for some incredible wildlife footage.

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.


  1. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: July 6, 2021

    I think I saw a face at 46 seconds into the video. Iowa looks like the place to be, I bet the locals are friendly too. Everybody must be wondering when the famous cycle journalist from Hastings is going to announce his summer cycle trip this year.

    • By: gregblood Posted: July 9, 2021

      I’m hoping that announcement will be coming soon. It depends a little bit on my dad’s situation and a couple of upcoming weddings that require our attendance.

  2. By: The Navigator Posted: July 9, 2021

    The guys said they’d love to float the gorge but maybe not the Grand Canyon. I have some great video of Kermit floating Medano Creek’s waves at Great Sand Dunes NP – how funny we didn’t think we were in Iowa then.

    • By: gregblood Posted: July 9, 2021

      A quick reminiscence about my visit to Great Sand Dunes National Park (Colorado version): My buddy and I hiked from the campground up to the top of the first ridge of dunes. We were getting sandblasted the entire way, but at the summit the sand stung our eyes so bad we couldn’t keep them open for more than a second at a time. So we really couldn’t get a full appreciation for the wave after wave of dunes in that huge sea of sand.

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