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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- 07.22.21 : Explored a secret little permit-only area of Vermillion Cliffs National Monumenr. No, it’s not “The Wave” but it’s similar and we were the only people to be found for miles around, so it was even better.07.21.21 : Hiked 10 miles round trip down the North Kaibab Trail to Roaring Springs. The 3,300 feet of elevation gain in the heat was tough, but it’s an incredible trail. This is the Redwall Bridge about 2.8 miles and 2,100 feet down from the rim.07.20.21 : Saw some crazy rain and thunderstorm action while at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Second pic was later that evening with clear skies.07.18.21 : The Zion Canyon Narrows hike was even cooler than anticipated. We hiked nearly 4 miles up the canyon through water ranging from ankle to waist deep.07.17.21 : Zion Canyon viewed from Observation Point. We got there via the 3.5-mile East Mesa Trail from the east edge of the park. Angel’s Landing is the point at the center right.07.17.21 : Thor’s Hammer viewed from the Navajo Loop trail at Bryce Canyon.