Sunday, November 13, 2016

Arrowhead Park, Pottawattamie County, Iowa

This past weekend's fun was a jaunt to the most fun county name in Iowa. POTTAWATTAMIE, baby. Arrowhead Park is near the small town of Neola, maybe 20-30 minutes from Council Bluffs and the Nebraska border.

Needing a peaceful retreat in the election aftermath, I reserved one of Arrowhead's three cabins for my first visit to this lovely park. And peaceful it was. It's not a big park but it has several camping areas, for tents and RVs, all of which are first come, first served. You can pitch a tent right on the shore of the lake if the geese will clear space for you. Next time.

Pretty, right??

The cabins have plenty of space, and provide the luxuries of electricity, heating/ac, a small microwave and refrigerator. No running water, although there is a hydrant outside. No TV, which was fine with me. A surprisingly clean pit toilet is nearby, and a shower house is a longer walk (or a short drive) away.

I had some issues getting my microwave to work, and the park staff quickly responded to bring me a working one. (The only meal I came prepared to cook over the fire was veggie dogs, and I didn't want those for every meal. Even though they're pretty good.) 

Sunset view from my front porch

I explored some of the park's trails. The trail map didn't have distances marked, but I would guess a total of 2-3 miles of trails, and they were groomed well. One trail followed the south shoreline of the lake, and others went into wooded/hilly areas. (You could add distance by following the road and looping around the north side of the lake.) I saw horseshoe prints, so it's apparently equestrian-friendly as well. 

Every park should have a station like this.

I also enjoyed driving into the village of Neola. Adorable! I made a couple trips to the Blue Cow Market, absolutely the cleanest, most immaculate little grocery store I've ever shopped. And I got a pizza from the cute and theme-y "Buck Snort" restaurant. They were busy, and the pizza was good. This is apparently THE PLACE in Neola.

It was a weekend free of chain stores/restaurants and away from the 24-hour news cycle. Bliss. 
Arrowhead/Neola are right off I-80 and just an hour and a half west of Des Moines.