The Iowa Gallivant is on our 5th leg to bring you RAGBRAI’s (Register’s-Annual-Great-Bike-Ride-Across-Iowa) second leg. Storm Lake is a veteran when it comes to hosting RAGBRAI and it finds itself on the map as the second overnight destination once again. June is in full swing and so is Team Goodvin. Monie and JayJay have shown you plenty of adventures between the two of us when it comes to our RAGBRAI scouting and now it’s time to show the world that RAGBRAI knows how to welcome families of all ages, too. We give you a Father’s Day gift that can refresh any weary bike rider. How ’bout a dip! Nooo….Not the Copenhagen kind. A dip in one of Iowa’s best lakes and a refreshing plunge into a pool at 30 knots. (Is that fast? Help me out nautical friends) Miles of NW IA lakeshores and a water park fit for a king is absolutely ready for good-time’n RAGBRAI’ers. This is Storm Lake!
80+ degrees with minimal cloud cover means one thing in Iowa. It’s pleasantly hot and we need to be outside in the nearest swimming establishment that engineers or mother nature has to offer. Thankfully, Storm Lake has PLENTY of both! Kick off those riding shoes and soak those bandannas!
After chugg’a-lugging my large ice coffee with two shots of espresso, we were ready for some of Storm Lake’s watery adventures. It’s mid-morning and that means it’s prime time for some high-speed water slide action!
Time to check into our suite. Positioned right on the lake with it’s popular waterpark, King’s Pointe brings professional and exuberant service to all of it’s guests.
Our inner recess bell was going off and that meant it was time for lunch. We took a break from the water and headed to Lake Ave and found one of the most authentic taquerias in all of Iowa. That’s right. Not in L.A. or Austin. Iowa is peppered with some of the best Mexican food in the country and that’s no joke! Storm Lake is home to La Juanita Taqueria. We showed up at 11:15am and it was already busy. A very good indication that the food is going to be well worth it. Not only were we already looking forward to visiting this restaurant, La Juanita also came highly recommended by a fellow Iowa traveler that just happen to be in Storm Lake for the weekend!
What did Team Goodvin order? Interesting question! Prepare yourselves……..
After a great meal there needs to be a great stretching of the legs and constant patting of the gut. All we had to do was make our way to the shores. I know that many RAGBRAI participants will want to park the bikes and relax when they get to Storm Lake. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, the city of Storm Lake may draw you into another mini excursion when you coast in to town. The path around the lake features parks, gardens, countless wood carvings, monuments, and plenty of resting stops. Unwind gradually as you get to Storm Lake and take in it’s local history and pride.
Lunch time and path blazing is over. We’ve hit the water slides and now we need to get our lake fix and get sand in our toes. Just a short walk from our room at King’s Pointe is a local beachhead and another reason to spend a couple hours drifting away. Figuratively and literally speaking. We didn’t recreate the ending to Castaway or anything like that. Although yelling “Wilson” is my best way to impersonate Tom Hanks.
I have no idea how many official miles the kids swam. Perhaps there’s an app for that? Storm Lake, please figure that out. While you do, we need to get ready for dinner. What do we feel like having? How about some Laotian fare. Where could we go for that? California….New York? Nope! We stay in Storm Lake, IA.
After dinner we made our way back to King’s Pointe Resort. Pho is a great way to fill you up and an even better energy booster with it’s high protein packed goodness. With daylight to spare I knew it was enough time to get in a quick 18 holes. After all, it was US Open weekend too.
Dusk is starting to set in and the youngsters are starting to feel it. We had a sun soaked day and there were no complaints when the beds were prepared for slumber. One-by-one, the Goodvin kids fell asleep. Yet, I felt unfulfilled. I needed to sneak out. Perhaps find an icy cold beer that plenty of Storm Lake establishments provide. That sounds great! I mean why not since everyone is sleeping. Or maybe something else that can make the whole group jealous……….
Two happy brain freezes and I was ready for a night of snoozing. Imagine the Storm Lake whitecaps lulling you to a soft and gentle sleep……..This is hard if you’re already thinking about breakfast…….
The breakfast bells were going off and so were the kids. We begrudgingly packed up our backpacks and suitcase and said goodbye to our suite. Charlie asked if we could move to Storm Lake and Leah stated that she would be attending Buena Vista University as her future college choice. Gigi was inquiring why we were doing so much talking and not eating breakfast yet. I thought all the comments and inquiries were well thought out and just. At that moment we decided it would be best to take action on Gigi’s breakfast demands and come up with plans at a later date for the other two.
The Lakeshore crew was handling the holiday rush with an impressive swiftness. No coffee cup went empty. No order came out cold. The buttered toast was popping…The Belgium waffles were wafting….Bacon was sizzling and the flapjacks were jacked and flapping. Lakeshore also had a familiar item to The Iowa Gallivant’s blog. We officially have another contestant for Iowa’s best Biscuits and Gravy!
Overnight #2 supplied us with an action packed family trip to Northwest Iowa. A beautiful lake, exciting water slides, relaxing shores, and a multi cultural experience that is unique to Storm Lake, IA. Only 3 more stops for our scouting trip left and we keep finding the special niches that brings Iowa to light. The beginning is near, RAGBRAI nation. Storm Lake’s cool water and eager population of go-getters have the perfect game plan for any visitor. And now I need another taco…..With a side of noodles…..While floating on a lazy river at a waterpark. See you again, Storm Lake and bring it on RAGBRAI!
Don’t forget to read parts 1 through 4 of our Scouting RAGBRAI series!