Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ledges State Park, Boone, Iowa

(Chuck) We are just finishing up a visit to Grandkidville in Ames, Iowa. Brent and Donna are the ones with six children and we just had one of the most enjoyable visits with them. Jan brought a cake to celebrate their 14th anniversary. The weather was good and we spent time on their large deck.

Michael who is 8 years old has recently purchased a chess set. He seems to use it with his friends at recess and it shows. He has command of a great skill level for his age. Next in line was his older brother Steven, also a good player. I was fortunate to come out with two victories. Brent and I watched the boys play each other and it was exciting play. I don’t think there was any dust gathering on the board.

When we visit the Ames delegation we usually stay at Ledges State Park near Boone, Iowa. The campground is located on high ground and there are thirteen miles of hiking trails that lead up and down steep slopes to scenic overlooks and through dense woods. A road continues down through creek crossings where cars drive through the water. Trails continue on each side of the road. It is a hiker’s paradise with constant bird songs to accompany your travels. The park gets its name from the sandstone "Ledges" that rise nearly 100 feet above the floor of the streambed.

The Ledges has a long history of being flooded by the nearby Des Moines River. The major flood water levels have been recorded on a "flood pole" located in the lower area of the park next to the river.

The park has 40 campsites with electrical hookups, 42 non-electric, and 12 hike-in sites. It is heavily used and if you want to get an electric site you need to be here by Wednesday or Thursday at the latest. We arrived Friday and we were fortunate to find a non-electric site that we could get into. They are primarily tent sites and most are small and have trees with low limbs. Non-electric is no problem for us because it isn’t air conditioner season yet. Our solar equipment does anything else that we need, although most who saw us in here could not figure our how we could survive without electricity. As with all state parks in Iowa, advance campsite reservations can be made online for one half of the sites and the other half of the sites are first come first serve. I seem to have this loathing of reservations and sometimes we pay the price for it when it comes to fighting for space with the weekenders. I must tell you I will take BLM land any day, any place, any time.

1 comment:

Eric Moore said...

good pictures. mom by the "flood pole" is amazing.

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