2021 T-Bone Trail · Family Adventures · Northwest Iowa · Outdoors All Year · Roadside Iowa

1670 Feet Above Sea Level: I Can See My Sibley Steak Supper From Here

*The T-Bone Trail led us into northwest Iowa and near the Minnesota border for a large chunk of the trip and that means we had Osceola County on our radar. The feeling of life on the prairie sank in as I easily found peace in its rural terrain. Our trip to this area was sponsored by Osceola County Economic Development Commission. Some of the goods, meals, and services were complimentary and the views expressed in this blog post are of our own. Now, let’s Gallivant!

You know what time it is! It’s time take on another round of communities in NW-Iowa!

Osceola County, Iowa

The roadside attraction warriors of the traveling world have some great opportunities to improve their portfolios when they arrive to NW-Iowa. Especially when they get to Osceola County and it’s rural countryside in all directions. It’s where America’s agricultural heritage is on full display in both modern times and in its history. This with a touch of the prairie scene that I’m seeking more and more these days. We set our heading for this county because of the tasty steaks we’re looking for on the T-Bone Trail, and for more Western Iowa uniqueness we’re discovering with every passing community. Let’s stretch our legs and find some of the highest points in Iowa and they’re both right here in Osceola County!

Roadside Attractions & History

We waited around for some Sherpas to assist us, but they must have been busy with another group conquering Hawkeye Point.

This was our second time at Iowa’s most elevated point and we had much more of the day to spend here during this Gallivant into Osceola County. Hawkeye Point is one of the golden roadside attractions in Iowa. The mosaic marker meets all its visitors at the far end of the property near the crops that semi-surround the area. You’ll pass outdoors exhibits of Iowa’s farming history and local history depicted in the barn. 1670 feet above sea level and still getting that Iowa education near Sibley!

There’s travelers from all over the country that stop by and mark this off their lists. A father and son from Ohio were just about to leave when we got to Hawkeye Point on this day. Their goal was to visit all the highest points in every state someday. They checked off Iowa during Father’s Day weekend of 2021.
Need directions to the rest of America’s highest elevated landmark? Hawkeye Point has that covered!
Take a walk, picnic inside the grain bin, take in some history, and be sure to see the Osceola County horizon from the silo’s observation deck.

I was happy to make our return to Hawkeye Point especially seeing pictures of how little my kids were the last time we stepped foot on these grounds. We came here during Father’s Day weekend and we realized something very interesting when looking around. There wasn’t another travel writer in Iowa wishing the world a happy Father’s Day at a higher elevation in the state than The Iowa Gallivant! Better put that on my portfolio…..

Our Father’s Day at Hawkeye Point!

Something you don’t here about in every state is the history of the second highest point. Here’s another thing you don’t here about; the second highest point was once known as the highest point! That’s the story of the ancient Ice Age formation known as Ocheyedan Mound. And it’s not too far from Hawkeye Point!

Don’t just stop at the highest points, America! Give Ocheyedan Mound a chance and see the rural landscape of Iowa at a scenic vantage point. Thank you to the last Ice Age for leaving this behind!
The prairie is alive at Ocheyedan Mound. The sounds of grassland swaying is unforgettable at these places.
More of Iowa’s proud farmland and the town of Ocheyedan are in full view atop of the mound.

The prairie breeze is what I enjoyed the most at Ocheyedan Mound. It always sounds different at every prairieland I’ve ever been to in the Midwest. Different grass, flowers, dirt, landscape, elevation, bugs, birds, and temperature every time you find these precious patches of land. They never look the same to me either. The one similarity they all have is they know how to pull me in and keep me there. I love feeling the tops of the grass along my fingertips and the smell of earth all around me. The hymns of insects interreacting with the psalms of local birds in the winds is one of the most peaceful ways I can spend time in Iowa.

Shop Local in Sibley

I needed to coffee-up and Sibley was ready for a large man that wanted caffeine. The Lantern Coffeehouse & Roastery was open for business and I nearly broke through the wall like the Kool-Aid Man when I arrived. I’m the right guy if there’s ever a need for Iced Coffee Man. Oh yea!

The perfect message for our travels.
Comfy chairs, refreshing drinks, and plenty of artwork surrounding me. I just might stay until last call next time I show up to The Lantern.

Getting that sweet tooth feeling? We get them often when we start traveling and the Sibley faithful were kind enough to direct us to Shaughnessy’s Bakery for a sugary memory of Osceola County. Yea, you may want to look out for Iced Coffee Man turning into the Apple Fritter Monster. Nom-nom-nom-nom-nom-nom-nom!

Sweet savior of pork bellies! Is that whole strips of bacon I see on those maple Long Johns? It is! And look at the size of that Snickerdoodle! That’s what I’m naming my poodle if I ever get one, btw. And watch out, Gigi! You’re getting in the way of my fritter!

The treats don’t stop at the bakery and coffeeshop in Sibley. When the evening arrives the lights come on and the entertainment begins! The Max Theatres brings a historic touch to your big screen enjoyment and with extra butter if you’re needing it. You’re needing it.

We love small town movie theatres and we know the community does too. Take a break from your travels sometime and take in a movie at iconic places like the Max. It gives you a nostalgic environment and you’re helping the local movie theatre thrive. Movie buff? Then plan a road trip around a historic theatre, silly!

Need something to take back to the hotel room or campsite? Looking for an awesome gift to randomly send to your friend, JayJay of The Iowa Gallivant? Or just want to belly-up and chill out for a little while? I suggest beer for all these ideas and Sibley had a local brewery that can facilitate your needs for a cold one. It’s Drink Me Brewing Company for the bands of beer lovers looking to find a new brewery to enjoy!

A renovated building turned into a local brewery. More stories like this, please! Beautiful woodwork, brick walls, and great beer to go with a playful atmosphere. The list of Iowa’s breweries seems to get longer every year and it’s very nice to see Drink Me in Sibley!

It’s not all restaurants, landmarks, donuts, and Main Streets in our travels. Especially when you’re in the middle of a three week road trip in Western Iowa. After getting to some much needed laundry done, we got to know the local grocery store. Sibley Super Foods helped ice-up and fill-up our coolers for the next few counties on the T-Bone Trail!

Oh, look. Gigi found the candy aisle. Darn the luck anyway. Mike and Ikes, and peanut butter cups to checkoff the road tripping food pyramid bingo card.
If it isn’t Ginger and Misty! They heard about the T-Bone Trail coming to town and recognized us from previous counties we promoted. We love it when our fans have good times with us even when it’s getting a few groceries. And the answer is yes, Misty. Yes, I will holler the next time I’m in town and need some clothes washed. I’ll bring the fabric softener and popcorn!

Let’s Eat Steak!

It’s always 1015 in Sibley, Iowa! 1015 Steak Company for a beef filled supper in Osceola County. 1015 2nd Ave

1015 Steak Company was a very fun restaurant to visit. The servers and owners were great to talk and so were the other customers! Two other tables saw our promotions in previous counties and were excited to see us in Sibley for the night in their local steakhouse. We knew the T-Bone Trail was gaining steam and it was awesome to meet more fans of this tasty road trip through Western Iowa!

I love butter and I love steak. It’s a match made in heaven and 1015 pairs a big scoop of butter with a juicy charbroiled Ribeye. Top right is a hearty breakfast sandwich with 16 hour smoked brisket! And you better take advantage of their house made soups while you’re here.
Smoked Prime Rib is another specialty here and they made sure we received a healthy slice of theirs. Just the right amount of smoky hints that doesn’t block the wonderful tender and beefy flavor we want in a slow cooked Prime Rib.

This was such an all around great way to spend an evening in Sibley. The meal was delicious and the energy in the whole dining room was very positive. I could hear customers laughing with the staff and multiple people came to our table to chat with us. The smoked brisket breakfast sandwich leaped off the menu and I knew it would was going to be a perfect partner with the thick-cut steaks and everything else on the T-Bone Trail. 1015 Steak Company created another memorable meal during our family’s summer vacation of lifetime. Click here and watch our video from this popular Sibley restaurant! That Ribeye was buttery goodness in every beefy bite…..

Stay Active

Let’s walk that meal off a little bit. There’s something very trustworthy about a person named Ed Winkle. I will enjoy your trail, sir.

Check-In

It helps to know some folks that work at ISU Extensions all over the state. Especially when one of them lets you and your family borrow their own camper! Thank you, Ashley Peters!

Remember when I said that we were going to spend much more time at Hawkeye Point than we did last time? The main reason is because we had the opportunity to stay at the nearby campground! Just across the street from Iowa’s highest point may very well be the highest elevated campground in the state. I like how that sounds! And we weren’t the only ones enjoying the campground and juicy Iowa beef on this day.

I like our neighbors! Huge steaks and a lot of them. I had a great time visiting with this group and they also heard about the T-Bone Trail wave hitting the region. I think we may need to make more trips up to Osceola County!

Bonus Beef

My buddy, Doug showed me around his family farm near Ocheyedan and it was an exciting day here for the Schmidts and their cattle. Two mama cows were giving birth to their calves and within minutes of each other when I arrived. Watch the video below and get another glimpse at this longtime farm in Osceola County!
Thanks for the tour, Doug!
Back in the business district of Sibley is Jake’s Meat Market. These lockers are busier than ever and we saw pounds on top of pounds getting loaded up for just one of their many happy customers. Look at those steaks! A big’ol bundle of beef I wanted to hug.

Northwest Iowa showed us another beautiful day and evening. The very much needed rainfall came early the next morning making the area greener and brining a little relief to the locals. We wrapped ourselves around the small-town joys when it comes to shopping local and meeting the locals that make it all happen. Seeing the hard work that goes into serving the customers at the 1015, packing custom meat orders at Jake’s, and the daily grind that goes into keeping the Schmidt Family Farm going was very inspiring. A short chit-chat at the grocery store, bakery, coffeeshop, and being greeted by Ashley and Stephanie at the campground is what traveling Iowa is all about. Folks taking time to welcome you to their community in their own special way. I could really go for some cheesy hash browns right now with a side of bacon donuts….

That’s an amazing way to close out a day in Osceola County.

Find information about camping at Hawkeye Point on the My County Parks website.

Get more information about Osceola County on their website.

Like ISU Extension and Outreach-Osceola County on Facebook.

Like Western Iowa Tourism Region on Facebook.

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

See everything we’ve covered on The Iowa Gallivant in the Northwest Region of Iowa!

Be sure to like the T-Bone Trail-Western Iowa on Facebook!
And then I was telling my kids, “Sometimes I wish I could just take a time machine back to the 90s and…….OMG!!!!” Thank you for this beautiful moment, Jackrabbit Junction!

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