Saturday, May 6, 2023

Cinco de Mayo at the garage...

The full moon tonight.

Today we celebrated Cinco de Mayo at the garage, that is Pat's brother Luke's garage. There's been a gathering here on Fridays and plenty of other times for years. Food and friends.

Iowa has some of the most beautiful state parks. When I was little we spent many weekends and vacations camping at many of them. Next week we will be going on a canoe trip on the Des Moines River and we'll be staying at Lacey Keosaqua State Park. This past week we took a day with Mike and Sally and went hiking there. It's a little less than an hour from Ottumwa.

One of the largest state parks in Iowa, the 1,653 acre park was dedicated in 1921. We took a couple mile hike around the park which is characterized by it's Oak-hickory bluffs and valleys. The Mormons crossed the river here during their western trek in the early 19th century. 

Originally it was called Big Bend State Park, after the big bend in the DesMoines River. Later it was changed to Keosauqua S. P. after the nearby town and in 1926 it became Lacey-Keosauqua S. P. to honor John Fletcher Lacey, a Civil War Veteran, U.S. Congressman from Iowa, and a naturalist.

Why are some captions bigger than others? I have no idea and I could not find a way to fix them! 🫤

The 770 acre lake was created in 1934. We passed by the beach and bathhouse on our hike. The beach was a long way down. 

Many projects, including the lake itself, were completed by the Civilian Conservation Core (CCC). They carved out the hill by hand, built the bathhouse at the top, and the spectacular quarry rock staircase down to the beach. I remember the beach being a lot bigger.🤔

A CCC walking bridge. 

We startled a beaver. 

The dam

The fragrant Wild Blue Phlox, also known as Blue Moon and Sweet William was everywhere.

Bluebells also called Virginia Bluebells are native to Iowa.

Creeping Buttercup

A 1988 camping trip to Lacey Keosauqua. Josh, Chris, Eric, and myself above. We camped there with my parents and I believe my brother Mark's family.

Pat and the boys in Grandpa's boat.

A 1963 trip with me, my Mom, and brother Mark.

Wow, look at that stylish headscarf, lol!

From 1925 through the late 1960's the Lacey-Keosauqua's 9 hole golf course was located next to the park. I loved the ball washer, but not so much the "horsehoppers". My oldest brother John, my Mom and Mark.

Where are the Piepers now? Ottumwa, Iowa

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