October Cruise ’03
By Michael Albee
(October 11, 2003) – Our 2nd Annual OctoberCruise to Northeast Iowa was a great success!
The weather was a little spotty from time to time. It started out mostly sunny, and as the cruise progressed, mostly cloudy skies seamed to be the norm. But no one in this group would let a few clouds take any of the fun out of this day!
Our journey began in Independence, Iowa and then it weaved its way along some of the coolest county and state roads in the state. Along with countless chances to do a little “Performance Driving”, we also took the opportunity to enjoy some of the most amazing scenic views available in the northern states.
This year the route included just over 250 miles of amazing roads
and scenery. (See ’03 Cruise Map).
One of the most memorable stretches during the morning run was the last few miles into Lansing. The best two words I can think of to describe that section of the cruise would be: ROLLER COASTER!!!!!!!
After winding our way through the countryside for a few hours and riding the “Roller Coaster”, we arrived in Lansing, Iowa where we met up with a few new friends from across the river in Wisconsin. We took time for a light snack and a few refreshments at Sweeny’s on the River, and then it was “back on the road” for some more breath-taking driving and great scenery.
Our plans took us North to within a mile or so of the Iowa border, and then West, across a fabulous stretch of Highway that was full of big curves and even a few switch-backs. We then headed South to Waukon. When we reached Waukon we turned East toward Harpers Ferry and the bluffs that overlook the Mississippi River Valley.
All in all we crisis-crossed Northeast Iowa four times during the day and made several stops to enjoy the great scenery.
We reached our supper stop in the small town of Gunder about 4pm where we enjoyed some of the best eating in Northeast Iowa. The restaurant is called The Shanti, and the food is amazing! If you are ever in the area, be sure to stop! You won’t be sorry you did! (Unless you eat to much). Right Al? And by the way, don’t let the size of the menu fool you. If you leave the restaurant hungry, it’s your own fault! (See Menu)
During the day we also had a little poker game going between the cars. Every time we stopped somewhere, we drew a card, and the car with the best hand at the end of the day won! Congratulations goes out to Jerry and his wife, (she actually drew the winning card), he had the best hand of the day (Two Pair – Ace’s and 5’s) and the runner up was Gene with a pair of aces! There were also two or three other hands that had “pairs” but they aren’t worth mentioning!!! (Right Dale?) This year 1st prize was a free 1 pound Gunderburger with all of the fixin’s. Next year ……. who knows!?!?!?
If you missed OctoberCruise ’03, you REALLY missed out on a lot of fun….. But hey, Don’t take my word for it!!! Ask anyone who came!!! Based on some of the radio chatter and the big grins on everybody’s faces at supper, I’d say that all of them are planning to be back again next year!
OctoberCruise ’03 Photo Gallery
| Onramp I-380 CR | Leaving Independence | Headed North | South of Wadena |
| Southside of Wadena | The Road to Elgin | The Group | Great View |
| Almost to Elgin | Great Curves | Just South of Elgin | Hills/Curves |
| Slow Down | Sheriff Running Hot | West Union | More Curves | Awesome View |
| The Cruise Director | South of Clermont | Coming into Clermont | Waukon |
| Roller Coaster into Lansing 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 |
| Parked in Lansing | Parked in Lansing | Bridge (IA Side) | Bridge (WI Side |
| Hangin’ Out in Lansing | Mike’s Car | Downtown Lansing | 62 Galaxie |
| Sweeney’s | Dale’s Car | The Cruisers in Formation | North of Monona |
| Brandon draws a Card | North out of Lansing 1 2 3 4 | South of New Albin |
|County Rd A-26 West of New Albin 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 |
| The Bluffs at Harpers Ferry | Highway 364 South of Harpers Ferry |
| Cruising into Gunder |
The Scenic View
| Trees | Fall Colors | Tree Lined Valley | The ridge @ Clermont | Waukon |
| City Park Lansing | Leaving Lansing | Leaving Lansing | House in Lansing |
| Mississippi River @ Lansing | House Overlooking the River | Log House |
| Log House on A-26 | Harpers Ferry | The bluffs @ Harpers Ferry |
| Sunset on the way Home | Sunset near Independence |
This Year’s Photos where taken by: Mike A.- Brandon E. – Dale P.