2022 T-Bone Trail · Family Adventures · Iowa Food · Iowa Wine, Beer, and Spirits · Northwest Iowa

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch & Beyond in Clay County, Iowa

*The Spencer area is a busy Northwest Iowa town and we made it back for another Grand Avenue experience and into Everly! Our trip to Clay County was sponsored and funded by the Western Iowa Tourism Region. Some of the goods, services, and meals were complimentary. The views expressed in this blog post are of our own. Now, let’s Gallivant!

The Spencer Fire Department was quite literally polishing up the town when we arrived at Grand Avenue!

Clay County, Iowa

Think about some of the busiest streets you’ve been on in Iowa. Is Spencer’s main business district on that list? The constant stream of Clay County locals, travelers, folks heading to the lakes, and gallivant’ers like us find themselves in this great Western Iowa community every day. It’s time to explore Spencer once again on the Western Iowa T-Bone Trail!


BlackEarth Java coming in clutch for the caffeinated cup of bean juice to get this Spencer trip going properly!

Grand Avenue

The historic path through the heart of Spencer is Grand Avenue and there are always going to be some interesting and entertaining stops along the way. This is a classic Highway 71 community that features a lot of great local buisnesses!

A roadside attraction right off the bat on Grand Ave! This bridge and its design have been capturing the attention of visitors for a very long time in Spencer. Look at those magnificent Northwest Iowa skies!
A tradition for the armies of regular visitors and locals alike in Spencer. Carroll’s Bakery opened in the roaring 1920s and they’re still creating some of the area’s best-baked goodies you’ll sink your teeth into!
The folks who work here know they’re a popular choice for customers in search of something sweet, buttery, flaky, and wonderful!
Carroll’s rolled out the Red Velvet cake on this day! Always a crowd pleaser and this girl’s favorite!
The Butchery on Grand can make your day meaty in Spencer! This shop is a part of the family of Ruthven Locker location in NW-Iowa with this one directly on Grand Ave!
Here’s a tip, folks…Always travel with a cooler! The Butchery on Grand has a ton of options to keep your family fed and keep the BBQ going during your getaway in NW-Iowa!

Sometimes the best souvenir you can buy is one that was handcrafted by one of the talented locals. Sometimes it makes you look and feel a whole lot better. What I’m trying to say is that I really needed a haircut!

You can watch the Spencer world flow by from the comfort of your chair at Ira’s Barber Shop!
The infamous “before” picture! Ira knew I needed to hop into his shop so I could show off my true potential. Click on the video below and meet the Spencer superhero that puts the cape on his customers!
One of the most hilarious days we had during summer!
And now the famous “after” picture! My melon and beard were trimmed up with professional precision at Ira’s which came with a power-operated back and shoulder massage at the end. Looking handsome as ever and totally relaxed thanks to Ira!
A short break from taking laps on Grand Ave was needed and it’s always best with a cold beverage. Iowa Project Brewing Company had a tall craft beer for an afternoon of kicking back in Spencer!

You’ll work up an appetite when you’re exploring Grand Ave which means you’ll want a memorable meal. We have just the place for that experience and it’s where you’ll always find the locals!

One of the most well-known restaurants in NW-Iowa is Weasy’s Lounge & Grille and they made it back on The Iowa Gallivant!
Cheesy potato skins with a healthy dose of crispy bacon to start our lunch at Weasy’s!
Let’s go for a dip! A juicy roast beef sandwich with melted cheese and a cup of rich au jus to make a delicious sandwich even tastier. Click on the video below and see this sandwich take a legendary swim on The T-Bone Trail with my new haircut in action!
Welcome back to TIG, Weasy’s!

Stay Active

Scharnberg Park is where I added more mileage to my day in Clay County. Near the town of Everly and it provided picturesque opportunities like this. It’s also a popular place for campers where I saw several families enjoying this county park while kids zoomed by on their bikes.


We had a great day of gallivanting, but we were also looking forward to checking into our modern and comfortable accommodations in Spencer!

Our suite was awaiting at Spencer’s Holiday Inn Express & Suites! 916 13th Street Southwest 712-580-2200
George the plant is so easy to talk to. He greeted me right away and urged us to enjoy the vibrant lobby of the Holiday Inn Express & Suites. I miss him…
A little more screen time in the lobby. Keep clicking and see what you can find all around the area!
And here’s the suite’st part of Spencer we were waiting for!
King-size bed, pull-out bed in the couch, large flatscreen TVs, plenty of space, and a rockstar of an air conditioner. The housekeeping crew did an amazing job of prepping this suite!
Teriyaki chicken from Chen’s Garden was immediately ordered when we checked in and enjoyed within the comfort of our suite.
You can slip down to the lobby and make this happen, too!
Breakfast is a big deal at Holiday Inn Express & Suites. They have a diligent staff that’s devoted to keeping everything hot, refilled, and tidy for the Spencer guests that want to start the day with their complimentary breakfast!
Never turn down a warm cinnamon roll when we’re staying at Holiday Inn Express & Suites.
And there’s the Papa Bear portion. The morning ritual was successfully accomplished in Spencer!

This hotel was seeing a constant trickle of guests checking in for what was going to be a packed house. Our greeting from the front desk was a genuinely good time with plenty of NW-Iowa cheer and it made us feel incredibly welcomed. The lobby, dining area, pool, and modern suite were a pleasure to utilize during our stay. I’m going to give those cinnamon rolls a big hug next time!


We showed up in Clay County during a very important weekend. Each summer the Spencer community gets together for their annual Flagfest with the parade being the headliner!
They take the red white and blue seriously in Spencer!
Float after float was carefully put together and the excited locals were geared up for another eventful festival and long parade route down Grand Ave!

Let’s Eat Steak

We took a short drive outside of Spencer to partake in a steak night concept you don’t see everywhere. Let’s meet the kitchen crew at The Ranch in Everly!

The Ranch has the design that one might expect here in Everly. 207 North Main Street
Main Street was Sirloin Street for this steak special at The Ranch! Perfectly charbroiled and served with a HOT baked potato and fresh salad. Click on the video below and see how you pick up your order at The Ranch!
This cowboy was more excited to meet the crew that makes this steak special happen every week in Everly, Iowa!
It was like being at a neighborhood BBQ inside The Ranch with old friends rotating in. The Ranch and the entire staff possessed the Western Iowa hospitality we experienced all year long. The sirloin was tender, flavorful and taken good care of on the char-broiler. I could see why so many folks in the area rave about this popular Everly restaurant!

Spencer made it onto our summertime agenda for the third time and we got to see more of the area and stop into places we’ve gotten to know over the years. Highway 71 road trips need a large portion of Spencer and we’re already wanting another portion!

Make your reservations for Holiday Inn Express & Suites-Spencer on their website.

Be sure to like the T-Bone Trail-Western Iowa on Facebook!
Goodnight from Thunder Bridge over the Little Sioux River….

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