Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cedar Falls, Iowa

We pulled into a county park outside of Cedar Falls yesterday. I knew that I was going to like this park when I saw the awesome weeping willow tree pictured below. It caught my eye immediately  as we came into the entrance of the campground.
We took a hike into the forest here last evening, and this park also has some grand old oak, hickory and maple trees. There was at one time a grove of red cedar trees along the river which also flows through this park.  Which is how that river, Cedar River, came by its name. We also found the falls while riding our bikes on the river trail this morning. The river trail brought us into the city of Cedar Falls, and, as we were entering the downtown area, we came upon an ice museum. That building was used to store the ice retrieved from the river during the winter months and sold to the citizens of the city during the warmer months. The building was in use for this purpose from 1921-1934.
Near the museum is the falls and the old power plant which it made it possible for the city to become an important milling center after the Civil War.
Cedar Falls has 60 miles of recreational trails which connect various locations in the park. Through the years, when we were taking Melissa and Daniel to colleges in Minnesota and Iowa, I would notice the bike paths in this city and wished we could stop and ride them. So I am finally satisfied that we can now do that. We have a niece Martha, her husband and children who live here, which was the main reason we decided to make this stop before heading to Missouri. Today was certainly a beautiful day for a bike ride, sunny with a cool breeze. On the way back home I just missed hitting a black snake who moved rapidly across my path. Also, on the way home, we stopped at a private residence which had a pile of zucchini sitting out in their yard, free for the taking. Guess it is that time of the year when people have had enough of that vegetable!

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