Western Iowa is one of only two places worldwide with a Loess Hills landform, and the only place that still possesses some of its natural characteristics. Hitchcock Nature Center near Council Bluffs was formed to protect the Loess Hills and to provide low-impact recreation for visitors.
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain
–Katharine Lee Bates
During our twenty-day road trip from Chicago to Monterey, California, down to Santa Monica and back across Route 66, my favorite patriotic song, America the Beautiful, came to mind. The topography constantly changed. From mountains, some still with snow, to lush valleys, to the hot, dry desert and ocean views, the landscape painted a beautiful backdrop for our trip. We’re sharing some of the scenic areas that we drove through in this video.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in U.S. Long Cuts. We are merging U.S. Long Cuts with Midwest Wanderer, adding a “Beyond the Midwest” menu option.