2021 T-Bone Trail · West Central Iowa

I Think Anita Cass County Getaway: Why We Oughta Go to Wiota

*The T-Bone Trail started in Cass County a few weeks ago right in time for Beef Month! We were happy to be hosted by the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce for another trip back to where we have so much Iowa Gallivant history. Some of the products, meals, and services were complimentary. The views expressed in this blog post are of our own. Let’s Gallivant!

When you cross the county line and the perfect song comes on for the moment. Over the Hills and Far Away by Led Zeppelin!

Cass County, Iowa

The first ever town ever referenced on TIG was Massena, Iowa. It was only fitting that we start the inaugural T-Bone Trail here in Cass County as well. We’ve become regulars to the Atlantic area, and we’ve always found more places to see and do each time we come back. Especially when there’s big honkin’ steaks involved. Oh, baby! We’re big on beef but as usual we Gallivanted Cass County like crazy again!

Get Active

Cold Springs State Park…Why did we take so long discovering you? Just outside of Lewis, Iowa and ready for your hike, fishing boat, picnic, camper, tent, birthday party….

State, county, and anything with “park” in it are very much on our radar this year. Its only May and I have already lost count of how many we’ve visited. Good thing there’s a neat little website called The Iowa Gallivant to remind me! We’re not the only ones circling the landscape searching for these local treasures. Legions of American travelers are too and they’re looking for these beautiful off the beaten path areas.

You can see the fish swim right up to the edge of the lake and take a walk along the hiking trail while you observe them. Who needs an aquarium? Get your steps calculated on that fancy app you have counting them in Cass County!

I love a county with a state park. I REALLY love it when they have TWO state parks! One of the most popular lakes in the area is in Cass County, and they have a long list of folks who have flocked here over the decades. One of the reasons they travel here year after year is to experience Lake Anita State Park. And the recent showers are making this lakeside area pop!

That sculpture is telling me to get my legs moving and see Lake Anita from its long trail around its banks. I always follow the advice of public art. A beautiful lake in rural Western Iowa with all sorts of camping possibilities. Get your boat in a new lake this year, Gallivant nation! See the state from a waterway you may have never been to because you never know when you just might become a regular to another area all over again.
Guess where we’re at. We’re in a classroom! CAM school district, you are doing it right. They call this picturesque patch of land they’re Outdoor Classroom and now I’m wondering why my school never had something like this. It’s open to the public and with more ways to take a long walk, bike ride, or jog in the countryside of Cass County near Massena!

Roadside Attractions & History

You’ll be seeing a lot of these signs all over Cass County! Historic US Route 6ers love this cross country HWY and you might find yourself sticking to it’s path in Western Iowa.
Cass County has its ways of getting you to stop at its welcome signs. This might be the third or fourth time we’ve taken a pic here. This whale of a town gets a lot of travelers to keep stopping and enjoying themselves under a big bear holding a whale. I want to hear that story, Grandpa!
Atlantic is the proud Coca-Cola Capital of Iowa and you wouldn’t believe how many of its truest fans make the pilgrimage here to Cass County. Another refreshing welcome sign!
Lewis, Iowa can keep you entertained at the nearby lake as well as educated and active at the Hitchcock House just outside of town.

Iowa has a rich history in two very important plights that have shaped our nation’s history. If you were to say “meet me on the corner of the Underground Railroad and the Mormon Pioneer Trail” you may have your landmark here at the George B. Hitchcock House.

Along came the desire to be free and Iowa was right in the middle of it all during the 1800s. The expansion west and the ongoing struggle to be free from bondage made the Hawkeye State a hub for the weary Americans seeking another life somewhere else.

It’s always handy when you can view a historical site and then take in a much needed hike on a Cass County spring afternoon. The grounds, gift shop, museum, and the long nature trail, that’s just steps from the front lawn, are all kept up with great care at the Hitchcock House.

Look at that happy wife of mine! This is Monie being very grateful that warmer weekends and the summer are approaching. Her shirt does say Texas Chica!
And then there’s the random roadside attraction that just creeps up on you. Wayne’s World is a little spot outside of Atlantic that’s a tribute to a local citizen that spent his life creating art and sculptures. All the while never letting his physical disabilities get in the way of his talents. This gave us another reason to come back to Cass County because many of his works are on display in Griswold at the Cass County Historical Museum.

Sometimes you get invited to a place and you think all the times you may have seen what it is they specialize in before you get there. I keep an open mind, but I am guilty of assuming things every now and then. I’ve seen a lot of motor cycles. I’ve seen them in museums and I also lived in the Black Hills for a few years. So, ok…Let’s see what they have and…….HOLY CRAP! THIS CAN’T BE WHAT I’M SEEING!!!!!

Meet Randy Baxter of Baxter Cycle in Marne, Iowa. The authority in Royal Enfield, Triumph, Norton, BSA, and just about anything else with a history of going vroom-vroom!

Baxter Cycle is in the very small town of Marne, and the motor cycle inventory is higher than the population of it’s home base. From brand new models to unbelievable vintage models that make you wonder when James Dean or Marlon Brando will show up and ride away into the Western Iowa sunset. If you’re not a big bike kind of person than no biggie. Stop here anyways because you might be when you leave. Oh, by the way…They ship these motor cycles all over the world too. That would be the coolest care package ever!

From, “Yea that’s for sale and it’s a brand new model” to vintage bikes for sale to, “No way we’re selling that because there’s like 5 left on planet Earth.” Click here and watch our video from Baxter Cycle!
Some of my favorite bars have pictures of good times throughout their history. I can see that my favorite cycle destination has a wall of fame too!

I am very genuine when I say this…My jaw almost dropped to the floor like a cartoon character when I stepped inside the first of multiple showrooms. This place gets the blood pumping even before you get your bike on the open road. The best part was the walk to the backroom where some of the rarest bikes in the world were located. You go past hundreds of thousands of parts and all unbelievably organized for models of motor cycles you may not have known existed. The majority of them for sale with a few collectables that will never leave the property of Baxter Cycle. Seriously, click on that link above and see our video from this place and get revved up!

Check-In

The word “thunk” comes to mind when I see this picture. 1902 East 7th Street, Atlantic, IA 712-243-4723

Nature trails, lakefront strolls, warm Cass County sun, window shopping on Chestnut Street-Atlantic, more walking trails…..Time for a gosh-darn nap! Atlantic Inn & Suites had the runway open for a smooth late afternoon landing into this much needed bed. Hey, Mom! My socks are matching! An Iowa Gallivant first!

What a crew that welcomed us to town and made sure we started making plans for a return trip! There is never a doubt in my mind when we come to Atlantic that we’ll meet locals like this. See you again ladies! Atlantic Inn & Suites was just what we needed!
Coffee in the lobby, yall! Woot-woot!!
I think we found a useful headquarters for future trips into the area. I mean, the trophy kind of says so. Well deserved my Atlantic friends!

The hotel business is picking up and during our stay at the Atlantic Inn & Suites the entire staff were keeping up with the busy weekend. We arrived to the front desk and less than 10 minutes later I was in comfort country shamelessly taking a little power nap. Atlantic Inn & Suites is just a short drive to everything in Atlantic and walking distance to restaurants, bars, stores, and more. That’s what we like to hear when we Gallivant! Stay tuned because this is just a taste of what we have to say about Atlantic Inn & Suites!

Let’s Eat Steak-Wiota Steakhouse

Just follow the billboard when you hit the town of Wiota and eat up!
Look at the outdoor seating when you’re waiting for your table! This little town park is right beside Wiota Steakhouse, and that spring loaded ducky ain’t going to start bouncing on its own!
It’s a steakhouse so you know this cut is on the menu and coming at you! 16oz of certified char-broiled Black Angus Ribeye ready to tear into! You need to click here and watch our video from Wiota Steakhouse and see what we had to say about that beautiful Ribeye!
The classic Chicken Fried Steak smothered in peppery country gravy. A little crunch to go with your juicy steak!

The Wiota Steakhouse is located between Anita and Atlantic and has a long list of regulars that have been filing into this wonderful small-town restaurant for many years. It was a traditional busy Friday night and it was a great way to get the T-Bone Trail started. I mean look at the char marks on that Ribeye! It was thick-cut and you can see with your own eyes how juicy it was. Our server was hustling all over the dining room and never missed a beat. Restaurants are seeing more people returning and I know Wiota Steakhouse is getting ready for a huge summer ahead. They have prime rib night every Saturday and that would pull me back in a heartbeat. Thanks for the steaks, Wiota! Your mouthwatering Ribeyes have a good home there in Cass County! Oh wait….You gotta see this!

If this is going to be the theme in Western Iowa then I’m moving here! Look at the ranch you get when you order….RANCH! Wiota Steakhouse knows how to keep the Iowa crowds refilled with the state’s favorite condiment!

While we were at Wiota Steakhouse, we met a very special group of locals that congregated by the table next to us. Coleen Babe of the Cass County Cattlemen brought in a family for us to meet. And why not, right? It is the T-Bone Trail, and Western Iowa is loaded with Iowa Beef producers. We even got to meet Paige Jensen who on that day was crowned Cass County Beef Queen, and one of the first things she did in her early reign was sit down with The Iowa Gallivant. Click here and see what this great group of Cass County locals had to say about what they love about Iowa Beef!

JayJay, Monie, the Jensens, and Coleen Babe. That’s a steakhouse loving crew if I ever heard of one! Congrats to the Cass County Beef Queen, Paige Jensen! Her sister Jenna is gunning for that crown! Thank you to the Cass County Cattlemen for hosting our steak supper!

Bonus Beef

The Cass County meat locker tri-fecta! Meat sticks from Henningsen’s Processing, jerky from Atlantic Locker, and summer sausage from Anita Meat Processing! That is always perfect road trip food!
Dusty’s Place in Griswold, Iowa! A cheesy-saucy Reuben sandwich loaded with Corned Beef for the lady. The Tiger Burger with double the hamburger patties in between a buttery grilled cheese inspired sandwich. Juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuicy!
You gotta love the taste of Cass County!

That sums up the Cass County leg of the T-Bone Trail! We traveled and walked many miles of the area and would do it all over again. Cass County gave us another reminder of how tight-knit small-town Western Iowa can be. The whole time talking with Coleen and the Jensens at Wiota Steakhouse I thought they were all one family unit out on the town. It wasn’t until I left when I realized that Team-Jensen were close friends with Coleen. That’s how it works out here, folks. The table you share with your kids is the table you share with your buddies and you all treat each other like kin. Then we showed up and this Cass County Cattlemen crew treated us like we’ve been yucking it up and ribbing each other for decades. This is why we Western Iowa our tails off when we can. It’s why we will always return to Cass County. That and giant sides of Ranch dressing! Sweet bless’ed mother of condiments that was awesome!

Like Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce on Facebook

Book your stay at America’s Best Value Inn-Atlantic Inn & Suites on their website.

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Like the Iowa Beef Council on Facebook to keep up with info, updates, events, and promotions!

See everything we’ve covered on The Iowa Gallivant in the West Central region of Iowa!

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What did we do on Chestnut Street-Atlantic, Iowa? I thought you were wondering! Coffee at Sweet Joy and a much needed haircut and beard trim for JayJay at The Uppercut Salon! Just look at that melon!

Way back in 2014….

Our first trip to Cass County was early August of 2014 where this picture was taken with Massena being the first town ever referenced on this seven year adventure. It was here where The Iowa Gallivant began.

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