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Iowa Discoveries

I run into some pretty interesting things while putting together The Iowan that don’t make it into print. I thought I’d share some of them with you here each Friday morning.
 
If you don’t mind, I’ll also ask your opinions, advice, and suggestions from time to time about subjects and story ideas we’re considering. I’d love to get your feedback — leave a comment below, or email me at editor@iowan.com. Either way, I look forward to hearing from you.
 
Happy Friday!
 
Dan Weeks
Editor

October 24, 2014

So I’m sitting the cab of a tractor, seemingly two stories above Earl’s barnyard in Grimes, Iowa. I’m surrounded by a bewildering array of controls. Each is labeled with a cryptic icon. I get that the thing that looks like a steering wheel is probably a steering wheel, and that...

October 17, 2014

It is amazing how old-world Iowa can look from the Great River Road. My wife Randi and I just returned from a 1200-mile trip down that spectacular route for a major travel story for the Sept/Oct 2015 issue of THE IOWAN.     Eastern Iowa looked familiar to immigrants in...

October 10, 2014

  0 0 1 253 1448 Pioneer Communications 12 3 1698 14.0 Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-style-parent:""; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria;} Iowa has some beautiful back roads and state highways. Given half a chance, I’ll take them over the four-lanes every...

September 12, 2014

I’ve spent thousands of miles on Iowa two-lanes and main streets during this past year or so, en route to writing and photographing stories for THE IOWAN magazine. One of the delights of these trips is that I always return with more than I’ve set out to find — including...

September 5, 2014

It may be a bit early for combining corn and beans, but if you’re a gardener, you know we’re well into harvest time in Iowa. My wife Randi and I were in Corning, Iowa recently, visiting with Jaime and Amanda Sandoval, young friends of ours who we’d helped plant their...

August 29, 2014

One day last week, this little gal and her brother took a last romp in the Des Moines River where it’s no more than a creek flowing through the sandstone canyon at Ledges State Park in Madrid. When her mother said “time to get out — school starts tomorrow,” the...

August 8, 2014

My wife Randi and I gave a genial barefoot guy with a backpack and a banjo a ride home from the annual Conference and Campout at Decorah’s Seed Savers Exchange [“Heritage Farm,” March/April 2014.]   Huck Finn turned out to be more entertaining than public radio. The details are hazy,...

August 1, 2014

  While researching the story about state fair stunts in the current July/August 2014 issue [Train Wrecks and Other Genteel Amusements, page 40], I came across this 1953 photo in the Iowa State Historical Society archives of two human cannonballs.  Before OSHA and liability lawsuits put an end to it,...

July 11, 2014

The yacht club overlooks a sprawling marina with dozens of docks and hundreds of boats. Launches ferry folks out to still more power yachts and blue water sloops moored in the basin. At least one of the boats was sailed here by its local owner — all the way from...

July 3, 2014

Every July 4th, my wife Randi and I like to head someplace new. Last year, we spent the holiday weekend in Charles City [“Surf Iowa,” July/August 2014]. I was wandering around with my camera at the citywide party in the town square that Saturday night when some folks said I...

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