Just south of Dubuque, IA lies Mines of Spain State Recreation Area. This land was mined for lead for centuries, first by the Mesquakie tribe, then by European settlers – most notably French Canadian fur-trader Julien Dubuque. Under Spanish rule he established a settlement (now his namesake city) and continued mining and trading in the area. Mining ceased in 1914 and the 1380-acre park was designated a State Recreation Area in 1981. It offers both hiking and cross-country skiing trails, wildlife watching opportunities, and great views of the Mississippi. The park also features the Julien Dubuque Monument: having married Mesquakie Indian Chief Peosta’s daughter Potosa, Dubuque was buried here with tribal honors in 1810.
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- Happy National Trails day 2023!04.04.23 : Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads… In order to get to Mariscal Canyon, one of the most remote areas of the park, we had to drive 29 miles each way on “primitive dirt roads. Our big red truck opened up tons of new experiences in Big Bend.04.03.23 : Views from the top. We hiked the 10-mile round trip from Chisos Basin to the top of Emory Peak, the highest point in Big Bend. First pic is looking south over the South Rim toward Mexico, second one is looking north into Chisos Basin with Casa Grande Peak at the right.04.03.23 : Looking out through the V-shaped “Window” of Chisos Basin. We were on our way to the summit of Emory Peak along the Pinnacles Trail.04.03.23 : More sunrise scenes from our shipping container home Airbnb in Terlingua.04.03.23 : Waking up to sunrise over the Chisos Mountains and also my favorite desert plant, the ocotillo.
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