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Cool MidWest hikes/climbs?

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Postby Jim Davies » Fri Dec 15, 2006 4:26 pm

Iowa has better pizza (http://www.felixandoscars.com/). For some reason Colorado can't seem to produce a decent pizza restaurant (maybe the dough doesn't rise well at altitude, or maybe the cooks are all daydreaming about climbing). Mmmm, cheese topper...
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Last edited by Jim Davies on Fri Dec 15, 2006 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Postby Drummer Dude » Fri Dec 15, 2006 4:27 pm

I lived in the midwest (primarily 17 years in Wisconsin), and I have been all over the midwest. I was overjoyed to move to Colorado 19 years ago , and have loved living here ever since.( for many of the same reasons listed in the previous posts.
Of all the places I have hiked in the midwest, my favorite , and in my opinion the most beautiful is the Pictured Rocks Lakeshore in upper Michigan. It's a large expanse of wilderness on Lake Superior that stretches about 50 miles . The west end has spectacular high cliffs carved by the lake . The eastern end has incredible sand banks and dunes , some as high as 500' going down to the lakeshore. Climbing the dunes several times can be quite a workout in itself and great fun to come down!. There is a backpackers trail running the whole length. There is acces on the west end near Munising MI, and a couple campgrounds and access points at the east end. Theres not much in between except deep woods, and great lakeshore views.

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Postby Flatland Biker » Fri Dec 15, 2006 4:33 pm

What my wife misses from Iowa is Onion Rings and I have to agree with her. You can't find good onion rings here. If anyone knows of good, good onion rings in Colorado some where, give me a clue.

She also misses AE cottage cheese. She is right about that one too. We haven't found a good cottage cheese in this state.

But, the Iowans think their sweet corn and Muscatine melons are good. They shut up once they have tried Olathe Sweet Corn and Rocky Ford Melons. Of course, Colorado Peaches are antlers above the rest!
"Heaven is only a heartbeat away"

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Postby woodzy » Fri Dec 15, 2006 5:13 pm

I grew up in Eastern Iowa...went to the UI and have lived in both Nebraska and Minnesota. I've gotta agree with most of what's been posted. Iowa beef...way better taste than the vast majority available here. Pizza...we're way too far from Chicago here in Denver to find a really good pie. Cottage cheese....I thought I was crazy until I read other folks think its not the same here.

But as far as outdoor activities go...if you're thinking of driving from Des Moines to the UP of Michigan you might as well just drive back out here to the Front Range. Des Moines to Omaha about 2 hours....Omaha to Denver about 7 if you have a strong bladder (and neglecting the clock changes too/from Iowa). You're pretty hard pressed to get the the UP any faster than that because there isn't a good direct highway. Nine-ten hours is a trip but it isn't that bad....I do it a 3-4 times a year (only it's another 2 hours to home from Des Moines). Just think long and hard about that Iowa weather....I've never heard anyone say they missed it once they've gone. Spring isn't bad, fall has it's moments (interupted occasionally by HOT indian summers or serious cold snaps) but summers and winters are brutal. Can't buy happiness...go where your heart takes you...

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Postby mtnmaniac » Fri Dec 15, 2006 5:38 pm

I was just going to mention Chicago's too far from Denver, and I haven't seen very many full-blooded Italians running around CO either, except for the ones in 1 piece neon suits around the resorts. Youa gotta hava the right ingredientsa. Creamland down here in NM makes pretty good cottage cheese... and egg nog. I was suprised to find out SE NM is supposedly ranked in top 5 in U.S. dairy production though.

Of course I've always heard IA does have one of the highest death rates due to heart disease. Makes sense- bisquits n gravy and bacon n eggs n sausage n buttered hash browns for breakfast; a BLT or tenderloin sammich for lunch; and bacon wrapped fillets, scalloped potatoes n ham, and buttered sweetcorn for dinner, topped off with fresh rubarb pie with some schwanns ice cream. D@mn I'm gettin hungry.

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On the flip side...

Postby byproxy » Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:22 pm

Has it been mentioned you could do far worse than Iowa? I've been around the eastern half of the country quite a bit, and while it definitely isn't Colorado (or Utah, or Oregon, or...) at least the people in Iowa really are as nice as advertised. The economy is generally okay, it's a politically "purple" state (how can that be bad?), and the families seem to do as well as the corn there.

[edit: okay, except for the crystal meth thing.]

Des Moines has a cute kind of approximation of city life (compare to Indianapolis, where people take the "whooo we're big and urban" thing a bit too seriously...) and is extremely easy to get around.

Finally, at least you could drive to the Rockies. I wish I could say the same.

Lots of nice things about Iowa when compared to, say Hartford CT. Or Dalton GA. Or... let's see, where is it that the domestic auto industry is imploding, again? :wink:

-Peter
Detroit, MI

CG_old

Re: On the flip side...

Postby CG_old » Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:31 pm

byproxy wrote:Has it been mentioned you could do far worse than Iowa? I've been around the eastern half of the country quite a bit, and while it definitely isn't Colorado (or Utah, or Oregon, or...) at least the people in Iowa really are as nice as advertised.


I rode RAGBRAI about 15 years ago. I gotta say, folks in Iowa are, by far, the nicest people I've ever met... people would invite us into their homes to use the showers, etc. Super friendly people.

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Postby tshesky » Fri Dec 15, 2006 9:25 pm

Drummer Dude wrote: Of all the places I have hiked in the midwest, my favorite , and in my opinion the most beautiful is the Pictured Rocks Lakeshore in upper Michigan.


OMG, yes! I can't believe I forgot to mention that place. I grew up in Marquette, MI (about 50 miles west of Pictured Rocks) and would frequent the area for running/hiking/mountain biking. I guess I forgot about that place given how close it is to my hometown. Funny how we take things for granted...

Anyway, like Woodzy said, the UP is almost as far away as the CO Front Range. But think of it this way, you've got another great place to hike that's just as close (or far) to your new home. Lake Superior is GORGEOUS and view-wise would make-up for what you'd lose in snow-capped peaks IMO.

Anyway I know this thread is getting long-winded and we're probably giving you more than you bargained for. Just want to re-emphasize I understand leaving for professional reasons. Don't let anyone make you feel guilty about leaving. I'm SO STRUGGLING right now to make ends meet out here that it just ain't worth it and know that leaving after my contract expires is a good possibility. I mean is it really worth living somewhere great if you don't even have the means or spare time to enjoy it ??
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

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Postby Flatland Biker » Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:08 pm

They are still clogging up their arteries as fast as they can in the land between two rivers. I was at a country club in Iowa in September and ordered a chef salad. I was surprised they still pile meat on their chef salads.
"Heaven is only a heartbeat away"

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Postby melhiker » Sat Dec 16, 2006 8:22 pm

I was born and raised in Chicago and have lived in Colorado for 23 years. My advice: DON"T MOVE TO IOWA! I still love Chitown and visit yearly but would never move out of Colorado because this place is the best! The only place I can think of to climb in Illinois would be Starved Rock State Park.....a sorry substitution for Colorado! :shock:

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Postby 14mountain » Sun Dec 17, 2006 10:04 pm

Don't know where you would be in Iowa, but I hike in NW Arkansas, which is approx 5 hours south of KC ( I live in Springfield,MO, is 2 hours for me). I hike in the Buffalo River Wilderness areas, is beautiful. Check out Tim Ernst's website http://www.cloudland.net for pics.
I was diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) in 2002. My main symptom is optic neuritis in both eyes. Other symptoms that come and go are - numb feet, numbness and/or stinging sensations in both thighs, dizziness, etc. Nothing major, I'm very thankfull that I can still lead a pretty normal life, and of course hike and climb!

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