Hitchcock Nature Center: Preserving Loess Hills

Hitchcock Nature Center: Preserving Loess Hills

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. Read more

Sheaffer Pen Museum: 13 Fun Trivia Facts

Sheaffer Pen Museum: 13 Fun Trivia Facts

Anyone who grew up in the 1960s, or earlier, was required to use a fountain pen in school. I remember how excited I was when I got to the fourth grade and was allowed to use a pen instead of a pencil, sort of a right of passage. In the 1960s we used Sheaffer cartridge fountain pens, never a ballpoint pen. The nuns insisted that the nib on a fountain pen taught you proper, flowing penmanship. I hadn’t seen a Sheaffer cartridge pen in years until my visit to the Sheaffer Pen Museum in Fort Madison, Iowa. Read more

Landscape Across America

Landscape Across America

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. Read more