Cool MidWest hikes/climbs?

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TK
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Cool MidWest hikes/climbs?

Postby TK » Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:03 pm

Hey everyone-

I've got a chance at a great job that would require me to move back to Iowa, the land of zero climbing opportunity.

I previously lived there for several years and loved it, but know that I would drastically have to cut down on my peak-bagging if I moved out there. Can anyone think of some cool hiking/climbing projects out in the MidWest that can help me keep things interesting if I were to take this job? Ragbrai doesn't count because it only happens once a year.

The only thing I can think of almost seems like an act of despiration, and would involve crossing lots of private property; 99 county high-points in Iowa.
"If you're not sure where you are, but you haven't taken the time to stop and look at the map, you're not lost, just lazy." -Darran Wells
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Postby Flatland Biker » Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:20 pm

Sorry, it can't be a great job if it is in Iowa. I wouldn't live there again even if I got paid twice as much as I am making now. Stay here. You will hate yourself until you move back here. Only climbing I know of in the state is over by Maquoketa. Most Iowans 'Escape to Wisconsin' to climb.
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Postby skier25 » Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:31 pm

I don't think I would want to live there...

As a native to Colorado, I like the altutude, dry air, and the snow. I am quite fond of Colorado, and am proud to live here. I don't think I could live happily anywhere that doesn't have mountains...
I get acute mountain sickness when I am away from the mountains.
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Postby CG_old » Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:39 pm

Don't do it! No job is good enough to live in Iowa!
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TK
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Postby TK » Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:46 pm

As much as I hate to say it, I did enjoy living there during the years I was there.

Flatland Biker-

I've done plenty of climbing along the Maquoketa River. Climbing at Maquoketa Caves State Park has *unfortunately* been closed to make room for hikers. It sucked to loose access here. The main cave has a 70' ceiling, and there's 40-50 feet of rock above this (with a road driving over the top). There was an unfortunate (but entertaining) incident where two climbers used the guard-rail of the road as an anchor and rappelled into the main cave from above. This resulted in the park being closed to climbers because they dropped their rope on a woman hiking along on the floor of the cave.
"If you're not sure where you are, but you haven't taken the time to stop and look at the map, you're not lost, just lazy." -Darran Wells
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Postby ADKben » Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:22 am

money over mountains...weak
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Postby Flatland Biker » Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:38 am

Don't Give Up Your Mental And Physical Health For Money!

My wife visited Iowa last week and it was 15 to 20 degrees cooler there almost every day. While I was washing vehicles in the driveway with shorts and no shirt on and biking 15 miles, they were huddled in a house around a TV on a couch with the furnace running.

The report I received was people were depressed as they were overweight, out of shape and had not seen the sun or blue sky for days.
"Heaven is only a heartbeat away"
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Postby johnner » Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:16 am

TK, I used to live in the Chicago area and I've done some climbing in East Iowa. If you must move there! Try Devil's Backbone State Park, or Mississippi Palasades State Park (which is on the IL side of the Mississippi Rvr). They both have some good rock climbing. I don't think you'll find any decent peak bagging though.
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Postby Skip Perkins » Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:43 am

Where in Iowa? It makes a difference. Sterling, Colorado makes most of Iowa look pretty mountainous and it sounds as if Craig is pretty cold right now too. From Council Bluffs you can get to CO in 8 hours. From northwest Iowa you can climb at Blue Mounds State Park in southern Minn.
Western Iowa has pretty quick access to Devils Lake in Wisconsin. over a thousand routes and easy access. If it's southern Iowa, you're screwed. No, I just don't know much about the climbing in that part of the state. We used to say that if they annexed the southern part of Iowa to Missouri, it would raise the average IQ of both states. Ssorry!!
The North Country Trail and the Ice Age Trail are both great backpack trips but in northern WI and MN.
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Postby Iguru » Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:59 am

It would be a bit of a drive, and would be a long weekend kind of thing, but the Superior Hiking Trail along the north shore of Lake Superior starting in Two Harbors, MN and going all the way to Canada is a popular destination if you just want to hike and not climb. It offers great views of the big lake on many sections, and can be done in segments. The farther north you go, the more remote it gets. Camping areas abound.
If climbing is what you seek, Taylors Falls has some very popular rock climbing opportunities in Interstate State Park along the St. Croix River, although I haven't done any there myself.
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Postby birdsall » Thu Dec 14, 2006 7:17 am

I spent 24 years there before moving to CO. aside from "don't do it", the only thing I'd have to say is that it does matter whereabouts. winneshiek county has some great biking, camping, etc.
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Postby Kruck » Thu Dec 14, 2006 8:45 am

If you're going to be in the civilized part of the state (somewhere between CR and IC), try Palisades State Park over by Mount Vernon on HWY 30. Nice limestone bluffs along the Cedar River that manage to kill and/or injure Cornell College students every-other-year.

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