Our scouting adventures of RAGBRAI-2017 takes us to overnight #1 and a first timer to hosting the thousands of Iowa-loving, sun-seeking, carb-craving, cold beverage wanting, tight clothed supporting cyclists. Orange City has experience being a ride-through town but has never been the first leg of the greatest bike tour on Earth. And The Iowa Gallivant is here to tell you that Orange City is beaming at the this opportunity. Let’s get breakfast! And that’s including giant pancakes…
The road to NW-Iowa can be long and we all know that the RAGBRAI one is too. There will be plenty of places to grab your first meal of the day in Orange City, but The Hatchery is the perfect place for your wakey-wakey eggs and bacey. Get a load of that burrito and huge platter of everything you need to survive through the breakfast hour. The crew was more than ready for Team Goodvin and can’t wait for the RAGBRAI nation. It’s the land of the Dutch so let’s tour the town and absorb the culture that created this NW-Iowa destination. We support county museums and we urge as many spandex lovers to do so as well. And it’s great way to absorb some complimentary air conditioning.
The Sioux County Historical Society is a must see for all you history buffs on this ride. You’ll have plenty of chances for all the music, beverages, food, and entertainment, but you may not find a better county museum anywhere. Not only does it have great exhibits illustrating the rich immigrant history of the area, it may also have one of the most impressive collections of Native American artifacts in the entire Midwest.
The history doesn’t stop at the museum. While you’re cruising around town, you’ll notice the Dutch mills and influence everywhere.
The Orange City mills can be seen all over town in parks, trails, and historic buildings. You can also see how they make their iconic wooden Dutch clogs made by hand just like in the old country. Orange City also has one of the world’s best preserved street organs that proudly welcomes visitors with its tunes being cranked out for hours. Is there a world record for miles biked in wooden clogs? I don’t know. We’re hungry again…
A quick carb pick me up and a shot of energy. RAGBRAI’ers will plenty of opportunities to hit up a portable food vendor all along the route. While you’re in Orange City, I recommend you get a rich healthy shot of straight protein with the egg drop soup from 88 Chinese Restaurant and knock back a couple orders of Crab Rangoon. By the way, this was just our appetizer!
Blue Mountain Emporium had the meat, smoke, and cold beers to cap off the night! We’re talking a pizza with pulled pork, smoked chicken and tender brisket. A spicy cheeseburger with hot sweet potato fries. And a country fried steak drowning in creamy gravy. This is what anyone needs to pack in the precious calories to start out the trek in NW-IA. That and a great night’s sleep. Team Goodvin loves tents and we also love historic homes hosting us for a night.
The Gamble House is a historic home located right across the street from the Sioux County courthouse and provided a beautiful night’s stay in Orange City. Full of beds, bathrooms, and ping pong! A great kitchen, living room, and ping pong! A nickle and a free wish to whoever can guess our favorite part of this wonderful home. We checked in but we needed to get a little active and do the healthy thing for awhile. Orange City had that covered so we told the kids to take a hike!
After along hike and fresh Sioux County air, we were more than ready to turn in for the night. And don’t think for a minute I didn’t inspect some of the authentic Dutch candy in that gift basket. Someone had to do it.
Sunset in Orange City and a very comfortable night’s sleep followed for all of Team Goodvin. A huge day in of eating great food and exploring would be followed by eating great food and exploring.
The Dutch Bakery had our road trip morning sweet tooth ritual ready to go with unbelievable traditional and Dutch pastries. The Dutch Bakery is positioned right on the town square and is preparing to bake for the thousands that will flood into Orange City. And they’re not the only ones….
The Woudstra Meat Market will have it’s famous products prepared and ready to eat or cook for the massive amount of visitors descending on Orange City. And if you like what you see and can’t take with you, then don’t worry. They ship! Woudstra has some of the best dried beef in the country and you may need to get as much as you can handle while you’re in Orange City. They’ll have their sidewalk brat stand pumping out sausages and a whole legion of must have specialties. Bratwurst flavors such as Dutch Apple, Spicy Beer, and Cheddar-Jalapeno! Stop in for meat sticks, soft serve ice cream, and alkalized water too. Bet you can’t have just 6 of those brats!
This was our first trip to Orange City and we discovered a dutch culture that traveled here in the 1800’s and has modernized itself into a premier small town Iowa community. The folks here have held on to much of it’s past from the immigrants that settled this region and showcase it’s old world charm everyday. This is truly one of Iowa’s most unique communities and will serve as great launchpad for the beginning of RAGBRAI-2017. Let’s get Dutch’ed!
Be sure to read about our visits to Overnight #1 in Orange City, Overnight #2 in Spencer, Overnight #3 in Algona, Overnight #4 in Clear Lake, Overnight #5 in Charles City, Overnight #6 in Cresco, Overnight #7 in Waukon, Overnight #8 in Lansing and the bonus coverage of Scenic Allamakee County!
And now some very huge thank yous to…..