Dodge City Trolley Tour: Exploring Queen of Cow Towns

Dodge City Trolley Tour: Exploring Queen of Cow Towns

Bar brawls and gunfights were the norm in Dodge City’s early days. Today, it’s a thriving cattle city. On the Dodge City Trolley Tour we learned about both the city’s lawless Old West days, and about today’s thriving cattle industry, which makes up 60% of the area’s economy. It’s not surprising that Dodge City, located in southwest Kansas, is known as the “Queen of the Cow Towns.” Read more

Touring the Haunted Squirrel Cage Jail Museum

Touring the Haunted Squirrel Cage Jail Museum

The pie-shaped cells of the Pottawattamie County Jail were escape proof. They had no doors. To let an inmate in or out, the jailer rotated the floor until the cell lined up with the one and only opening. If an inmate had an arm or leg hanging out of the cage when the floor began to rotate, the appendage would break, or even tear off. Better known as the Squirrel Cage Jail, today the building serves as a museum—and is believed to be the most haunted building in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Read more

Covington Inn: Floating Bed and Breakfast on the Mississippi

Covington Inn: Floating Bed and Breakfast on the Mississippi

On our summer Great River Road trip we stayed in several hotels along the Mississippi River. But for two nights we actually stayed on the Mississippi River. The Covington Inn Bed and Breakfast in Saint Paul, Minnesota, is one of only a few floating bed and breakfasts in the United States. Read more

Exploring Back Roads of Brown County Studio Tour

Exploring Back Roads of Brown County Studio Tour

We had planned to spend only one night in Brown County, Indiana, last October. We were going to enjoy the area’s natural beauty and browse some of Nashville’s art galleries. But when we discovered that during the entire month of October artists along the county’s back roads open their studios to visitors, we tacked another night onto our visit. We spent several hours that second day visiting artists participating in the Back Roads of Brown County Studio Tour. The area landscape is artwork in itself, with the October leaves painting a spectacular image in shades of amber and crimson. Brown County is an artist’s dream. It’s no wonder it’s considered the Art Colony of the Midwest. Read more

Morton Pumpkin Festival Celebrates Pumpkin Capital

Morton Pumpkin Festival Celebrates Pumpkin Capital

Did you know that ninety-five percent of pumpkins for processing in the United States are grown in Illinois? Specifically, they’re grown in and near Morton, a town southeast of Peoria, home to a large Libby’s cannery. Every September, Morton celebrates its pumpkin industry with the Morton Pumpkin Festival. Read more

Exploring Byways and Trails

Exploring Byways and Trails

In this podcast, we chat about exploring byways and trails. If you’re a regular Midwest Wanderer reader, you know we do a lot of road trips. Some of our favorite trips are along scenic or historic byways. And then there are trails. What’s the difference? You’ll find out in this podcast. Read more

Watson Steam Train: Miniature Railroad Rides

Watson Steam Train: Miniature Railroad Rides

The Watson Steam Train in Missouri Valley, Iowa, is one of only a few remaining 1948 Ottaway steam-powered miniature trains left in the United States. While the 12-gauge coal-fueled steam train is fired up only for special occasions, another train—a diesel-fueled Union Pacific replica—takes kids of all ages on rides around the 1,700 foot track. Read more

Podcast: Great River Road Days 9-13

Podcast: Great River Road Days 9-13

In this podcast, we wrap up our Great River Road adventure. We start in Dubuque, Iowa, and travel south through Fulton, Illinois, and Clinton, Iowa. Then we move on to our last stop, the Quad Cities. Read more

Podcast: Great River Road Days 5-8

Podcast: Great River Road Days 5-8

Listen to our adventures as we drove the Great River Road from the Headwaters in northern Minnesota to the Quad Cities. On days 5 through 8 explored the area from St. Cloud, Minnesota, to Dubuque Iowa.  Read more

Podcast: Great River Road Days 1-4

Podcast: Great River Road Days 1-4

Welcome to the inaugural Midwest Wanderer podcast! As we traveled the Great River Road from the Mississippi River headwaters in northern Minnesota to the Quad Cities, we summed up our daily activities each night in a podcast. We turned the first two recordings into videos while we traveled and posted them on Facebook. But that required late nights, and after two nights of five or fewer hours of sleep, we decided to record and wait until we got home to publish them. So here we are, with the first four days of our Quad Cities adventures. Rather than videos, we’re presenting them in podcast format.   Read more