Le Mars, IA: Plymouth County (Our 61st County)
Corn, pork, soy beans, beef, eggs. What are Iowa’s most well known food producers….I’ll take Iowa Rockstars for $1,000, Alex. If that’s never been a Jeopardy category, then it should be! I’d like to add another Iowa staple to that list because there’s a magical land in the Northwestern region that creates something that has provided happiness to millions of grins a million times over. Here’s the story of an Iowa ice cream……
The day was warm and the county roads were hilly and long. A shape-shifting lady in flowing silks, at the last golden machine shed we stopped at, told us of a place not far from reality that was close by. However, only the imagination can lead to this legend. The path was ours to take as long as we all believed that it was possible. With a collective smile and sweet tooth, Team Goodvin embarked through the Iowa wilderness to a world we only heard of in stories.
Each track we found turned a brighter blue as we got closer. Farmers tilling the sugary cookie-like soil waved and encouraged us to keep going. They planted thousands of vanilla bean seeds that sprouted immediately and dug post holes for their cotton candy fences. Syrup powered tractors roared past us with the familiar aroma of roasted peanuts coming from the engines.
The blueberry sky was all around us with its marshmallow clouds. There was no grass in this land only lawns of vibrant green mint. Milkshake creeks turned different flavors every 11 seconds and you could shake the bushes to release all the sprinkles you wanted. Rare Herons with striped paper straws as legs stood in the shallow ponds of strawberry soda plucking gummy worms from its fizzy depths. The journey turned into discovery and we knew The Iowa Gallivant would never be the same again. We made it to wonderland where everything that we dreamed of was rich, creamy, sweet and delicious.
The tales of this destination are told differently every time. Not one memory, story, or experience is the same. Some have heard me speak of this day and many have chuckled and wondered what it was “really” like. Then there are the others who ask, “what else was there, JayJay?” I just simply ask them to tell me after they’ve made their own visit. You’ll never find the land where the bunnies are blue by asking if dragons are real. I suggest taking a ride on one to get there.