We stopped at an Iowa visitor center yesterday to pick up the official state road map. Most states have these maps, they are free, and they show all the roads including all the county roads. With the help of Zumo trickster gps of the wolf clan we have been riding mostly north west on those two lane county roads. It’s not the fastest way to travel, but you do get to see the country side.The country side in Iowa is mostly corn. There is so much corn grown here that I think that every human on the planet could come and get 1 ear and there would still be enough for Archer Daniels Midland to make industrial food products.
Today’s goal was to go to Brandon Iowa to see the world’s largest frying pan. It turns out that this might not be the largest frying plan in the world, as there is another pan in one of the Carolina’s that clams to be the largest in the world, but this one is for sure the largest in Iowa.
The pan was only 100 or so miles away from our starting point in Maquoketa, but the reason we had traveled to Maquoketa was to check out the caves Maqueketa Caves State Park
The caves are just a few miles out of town on paved roads. At the park there was a ranger who told us aboot the caves, gave us a wrist band just like at a motorcycle rally, told us aboot the spores that were killing the bats, said we had to walk on a green mat so spores wouldn’t stay on our shoes, and promise not to go to any other caves without washing our clothes, and all this was free.
I will not be going to any other caves, and I hope the spores do not multiply in my dirty clothes bag!Further along the way to the giant frying pan we discovered J&P cycles catalog purveyors of motorcycle parts and accessories, and who will ship to anywhere in the lower 48 for free but not to Alaska. I asked the clerk aboot this shipping policy and was told that they charge to ship to Alaska because we are not connected to the rest of the country. I splained that we are a state and have the post office, ups, fed ex and all other modern conveniences, but he said shipping policy was above his pay grade… My boycott of J&P cycles will continue.
Just down the street from J&P in Anamosa is the national motorcycle museum. Entrance fee was only $9.00 for seniors, and was well worth the price of admission.
Part Of The Dust Free Collection
After the museum we were geared up and heading out of town when looming offs the main street of Anamosa we spotted the Anamosa state prison.
Iowa's Anamosa State Prison
Unlike the prison in Rawlings the one here in Anamosa is still in business, housing over 1000 offenders, and over 400 serving life sentences. It was changing of the guard, when we arrived and pulled into the convenient sidewalk motorcycle parking. One officer chatted us up and even took us inside the main office for a look around the prison curio shop.Back out on the county roads we headed north west for the frying pan, as we neared we had to take a short run on I 380. The pace on these interstates is insane. Huge lorries running at 121 kph, and people in cars who don’t even know how to use turn signals running even faster. I was glad it was only 25 miles…
Finally we roll into Brandon. It’s a very small town, one main street, one connivance store, and I’m looking for the pan, and not seeing it. We inquire at the store and the clerk gives us the look and says it is just up the hill. Up the hill we go and there it is… The largest frying pan in the world, or just the largest one I have ever seen?
Front and Back Brandon's Giant Frying Pan