This year we spent most of our fall hiking at Palisades-Kepler State Park in Cedar Rapids. Palisades is located on Highway 30, between Cedar Rapids and Mt. Vernon. The first time we went was a cold, blustery Iowa fall day, so only a few pictures turned out. Plus my hands were freezing so it was hard to hold the camera! The second time we went, we took “the littles”, our two youngest kids. But they are no so little anymore! This day was a beautiful, sunny day which makes you fall in love with the season.
This limestone lodge was built in the 1930s.
The trail behind the limestone lodge.
The “jagged” tree down by the Cedar River.
Look closely….there is a house across the Cedar River. What a beautiful view they have!
Looking across the Cedar River.
I love this view from one of the trails.
The Gazebo at the top of one of the hiking trails. Notice the 4 wheel truck to the left of the first picture. It is very common to see hobbyists running their 4 wheelers up the trails here!
The view looking out by the Gazebo.
A fuzzy-wuzzy caterpillar hiking along the trail besides us.
The What Cheer Flea Market is one of the top 11 Can’t Miss Flea Markets in the Midwest! It is located at the Keokuk County Fairgrounds in What Cheer, Iowa. The Flea Market is held 3 times annually (Spring, Summer, and Fall). There is truly something for everyone here, and our kids love coming along with us to find treasures.
The Fall Market for 2018 runs from October 5-7. There is an Early Bird Market on Thursday, which has a $5 admission fee. Friday and Saturday admission is $2, and Sunday is FREE! There is a full concession stand and several smaller food/snack vendors.
This weekend was a muddy, rainy, mess of a weekend! Follow our escapades at the Saturday market, and check out our scores from wet, soggy dealers really to wheel and deal! Because of the rain, admission this Saturday was free.
We were lucky enough to be able to park on a side street this year. Usually these spots fill up, and people pay to park in the neighborhood yards (most homeowners charge $5 for parking). A quick drive around the neighborhood was filled with obstacles as people were stuck in mud in the yards—no thank you! We didn’t have our 4-wheel drive with us today so we didn’t want to risk it. We found a free spot on a side road close by. Note: Never park right on Highway 21! It is a tow-away zone and we have seen a whole crew of tow trucks called in to tow dozens of vehicles away in the past!
Plenty of indoor vendors filled the fairground buildings as long as you could navigate your way through the muddy walkways. Stained glass, coin dealers, jewelry, books, Pyrex, video games, dolls, and more filled every available space.
Outside some dealers were still on the race track with bigger items like reclaimed wood, doors, sheet metal, and all kinds of implements.
It did not actually rain in the afternoon while we were there, but it was windy and slightly cold. Many dealers were offering specials of 20-50% off.
Many of the dealers in the grassy area of the pit ended up stuck, like this RV that had to be pulled out by a tractor.
Here are the great deals we got, minus a couple of items that will be gifts for family members later this year. We got excellent deals on Pyrex, Ball canning jars, cigar boxes (for making cigar box guitars), an old gas can, and hedge apples to keep the spiders away. The sprinkler knobs will be re-purposed into towel hooks in our bathroom.
We enjoyed our day at the Flea Market just as much as if it had been a sunny, beautiful day, since we got to actually talk with dealers more and get some really good deals. The What Cheer Market is still open on Sunday, and plan to attend next year!
Do you have a favorite flea market? Tell me about it in the comments!
A brilliant person, Ferris Bueller, once said, “Life moves pretty fast and if you don’t take the time to stop and look around you might miss it.” Well said, Ferris, well said. I took the time this fall to stop and enjoy the beauty around Eastern Iowa as the leaves changed and a new season began.