Garnavillo, IA: Clayton County (Our 47th County)
The Iowa Gallivant has been known to travel great Hawkeye State lengths for a lot of primo Iowa delights. Well, you can add syrup and a bunch of hot pancakes. Sure we could have gone someplace just minutes away, but is this a travel blog or a whatever is closest blog? Team Goodvin dives into the Great River Maple Fest!
The road went from blacktop to gravel and into the wonders of rural Clayton County, Iowa. The scenic by-ways led us to a very long stretch of parked cars past the long lane leading in to Great River Maple’s facilities where they make and celebrate their proud syrup. Luckily they had an entire team of escorts to get us and all who came on this day. The ride in was in the back of a hardworking pickup and a driver very proud to volunteer his time to assist his friends with their festival. Maple we’ll see you later! (Pun #3)
Sausage, coffee, pancakes, and unlimited supply of the certified organic local syrup that’s headlining our trip. The breakfast-goers gathered in a large barn full of tables with a proud army of pancake-flipping volunteers to show support for the local syrup producers. I always thought my good looks and a sharp sense of humor would get me a lot of friends but I have nothing on the first family of syrup.
Sampling out the Great River Maple products are the grinning couple on the left. They help produce and sell an array of delicious creations including a specialized syrup that’s aged in bourbon barrels from the Mississippi River Distilling Company downstream in Le Claire, Iowa. You could say that these two have a pretty sweet job. (#Pun 4)
The whole farm and production facilities were open to the public and we found more than breakfast offered up. Homemade granola with yogurt and….syrup. Lattes made with….syrup.Quickly made homemade taffy formed in snow made from….syrup. And one very impressive machine pumping out gallons of organic made….syrup. I felt like Buddy the elf all day minus the tights. That’s for another blog post. Always remember, a family that treasures syrup together, sticks together.(Pun #5 and remember that you were warned about all this)