When asked we tell people the destination for our road trip is Duke's High School reunion in Manchester, Iowa. The reunion was Saturday night. When we leave Iowa tomorrow we will have spent 5 nights here in Iowa. We had a great time site seeing and visiting family and friends.
Thursday, Duke's sister, JoAnn, came to Manchester. She drove in from western Iowa. We arrived at Jim (Brother) and Marilyn's (Sister in law) house ten minutes before JoAnn did. We did a lot of visitingand catching up. Then after dinner we drove around Manchester and checked out the new white water park.
JoAnn headed home Friday. Friday afternoon Duke and I went to Marion, Iowa to get together with a group of friends Duke has known since college. We had dinner in Stone City where massive amounts of beautiful sandstone have been quarried and there are many old butter yellow sandstone buildings It was raining hard but we had a great dinner.
Saturday was Duke's 45th High School Reunion.
Sunday was a beautiful clear day with temperatures in the law 70s. Jim, Marilyn, Duke and I went to Backbone State Park near Manchester. We grilled brats for lunch and then hiked along the lake. It is a gorgeous spot, the weather was perfect and there weren't even bugs!
Today we went out for breakfast with Jim and Marilyn then headed south. Since today is another beautiful day we stopped at Stone City where we had dinner Friday night when it was raining. Stone City is also one of the places Grant Wood lived so we tried to recreate his American Gothic. We didn't have a pitchfork or anyone to take the picture. I put the iPhone on a timer and rested it against a water bottle!
We also checked out a couple of the old sand stone buildings.
The nearby prison is pretty amazing too.
From Stone City we went to New Windsor in Mercer County, Illinois to look for the graves of my Great great great grandparents Jacob and Anna Menold. They were buried here in the 1880s. Once we got to the cemetery Duke and I went in different directions to start searching. I turned around and there it was! We had parked right next to it. The stone is very weathered but by looking very closely from different angles I was able to decipher it. I have been studying my family history since I was about 16. This stone filled in some new information! Very exciting!
Our next stop was Duke's Grandfather's farm near Montrose Iowa. Duke's Dad grew up on this farm and Duke visited the farm as a child. We found it and walked all around. The old barn is still standing. Duke's Dad worked for Kent Feed. We found a Kent Feed sign on an old shed.
We have had a wonderful time in Iowa. I think that in summer it is one of the prettiest places in the world, and it sure was fun to catch up with friends and family!