26 February 2012

Exploring Iowa

I saw this article in the Register today about a 61 year-old retired stock broker who has pretty much seen every corner our great state has at this point.  He's visited every town...all 1,191 of them.  Pretty impressive although I would opt for seeing fewer towns and spending a bit more meaningful time in them, but whatever works I guess! 
So I thought I'd check on how I would do on seeing all 99 counties.  Turns out I still have quite a way to go.  I think I have 38 left to see.  Looking at the quick map I made, after you shade the paths from traveling I-80 and I-29 from border to border, I haven't gotten out much to the corner areas.  A couple trips to Burlington and Dubuque helped and I had an underwriting territory in north central Iowa when I first started at the insurance factory.  I guess that means there is lots of Iowa left to see for me.  Hopefully riding a RAGBRAI will cross a few more off. 
As I was looking at the Iowa map in detail I started making some trivia questions but I quickly scrapped the idea as it was making me work too slow, but here are the first few questions I came up with.  Score yourselves and the answers are in the comments.
  1. Where is the highest point in Iowa? (Bonus if you know the elevation)
  2. What organization does BNSF stand for?  (Bonus if you know its parent company)
  3. What town is home to the Grotto of the Redemption?
  4. Name the town for each of these IIAC colleges:
    • Buena Vista
    • Simpson
    • Central
    • Luther
    • Loras
    • Wartburg
    • Bonus: Only one of the colleges matches the name of its country. Which is it?
  5. Name the county for each of Iowa's state universities: Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa.
  6. What major roadway is the Iowa Veterans Cemetery beside? (Bonus: what exit?


  1. 1.North of Sibley, Osceola Country in the far NW corner (1670 ft)
    2.Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railways (Berkshire Hathaway)
    3.West Bend, Palo Alto County
    4.BV = Storm Lake, Simpson = Indianola, Central = Pella, Luther = Decorah, Loras = Dubuque, Wartburg = Waverly, (Bonus - Buena Vista)
    5.ISU = Story Co, Iowa = Johnson Co, UNI = Blackhawk
    6.I-80 (Adel)

  2. Ignoring the previous comment & just guessing:
    1. I don't remember. Something "Mound" in NW Iowa?
    2. Don't know
    3. West Bend
    4. Storm Lake
    Bonus: Buena Vista
    5. Johnson, Story, Black Hawk
    6. No idea.

  3. Well I answered first with no map--
    guessed highest pt was near Decorah, no, wrong side of map vertically, had it about right horizonally.
    2. did not get railroad, I was thinking something like Best northern self sufficient Farmers. :)
    3. got this, been there, My mom was nuts about this place. We drove there one vacation and I mean we never went on trips like this, we were a little disappointed it was rocks only.
    4. got where they all were but Wartburg, I guessed Davenport, dang Clark is there shouldn't have guessed that.
    5. Got Iowa, that was it.
    6. guessed Des Moines, we will have to go here. I want to see it. Fun. I don't know how you know when you are driving and going through counties, unless you had someone watching for signs. Nice job, you have been to a great many.

  4. whoa, i did terrible. but this was fun!

  5. Eek - I only anwered questions 4 and 5 correctly.
    Sidenote - you've never been to Clinton County?! I think a roadtrip is in order. Can't offer you Flava Flav's Chicken anymore but it does offer a wide variety of fast food chains, the mighty Mississippi, and a great industrial area :)