Mad In Pursuit Notebook

historic hunter school, fremont township, iowa, us rte 275

St. Louis MO to Missouri Valley IA

6.2.2013. On this trip, we wasted no time exploring Missouri backroads: straight west on I-70, then a right turn at Kansas City to I-29. But as soon as we got to Iowa, we left the interstate for a town called Hamburg, where it was said that the Loess Hills Scenic Byway commenced. We knew our roadtrip had finally taken a turn for the earnest when no scenic byway signs were found and Main St led to a dead end. A little intuitive meandering got us to the route north and after about 25 miles we spotted our first sign. These sorties into ambiguous secondary roads are always characterized by mild bickering and mad map shufflling. Ah, the open road!

The Loess Hills are unusual geological formations formed by fine windblown dust, or "loess" [luss]. The only more striking example of these formations is in China. So far, to my eyes, the terrain is lovely and green with farms, but really no more beautiful than the glacial hills of western New York State.

Our trip across Missouri was chilly, with heavy gray clouds. The Missouri River had overflowed its banks in several places, especially west of Columbia. But when we hit Iowa, the sun came out to brighten the cool day... all we needed for a mighty fine drive.

Map Iowa Missouri ValleyLocation of Missouri Valley, Iowa, along the Loess Hills Scenic Byway.