I could feel the lack of recognition flicker across my face, prompting that comment from Monte, who lives just to the east in Fertile, Iowa. “No, I’m from Minnesota,” I said. And I’m not a camper, I thought, but didn’t speak.
Still, I should have recognized Winnebago Industries as “the leading United States manufacturer of motorhomes and related products and services.” I’m certain the Winnebago Industries Visitors Center and Museum would have educated me, as would a tour of the manufacturing plant. But, since I wasn’t particularly interested, my husband and I didn’t stop while on a brief visit to Forest City.
Monte might not be pleased with my lack of interest. But he laughed when I suggested his name, Monte Topp, sounded like that of a rock star.
He also mentioned that Forest City is home to a mega Winnebago campground. And besides Heritage Park of North Iowa where I met him, Monte suggested touring the Mansion Museum, which was closed when we were in town.
Later I learned from Minnesota Prairie Roots reader Erin, who attended Waldorf College in Forest City some 20 years ago, that Oak Knoll, the college president’s house once decorated in swanky 70s décor; The Lodge, a “hidden gem” hotel and restaurant where some of the rooms once served as horse stables; and Pilot Knob State Park, the second highest point in Iowa and with an historic stone tower, would also be interesting places to visit. (Thanks, Erin. I always appreciate reader tips.)
Yes, I should have done my homework in advance. But, as often happens with my regional travels, minimal planning is involved. It’s just drive and see what one discovers. And, no, I don’t have a smart phone or a laptop to instantly connect me to information while traveling.
FYI: Click here, and then here and, finally, here to read my first three posts from Forest City, Iowa. Check back next week as I begin a series of posts on a recent visit to Clear Lake, Iowa, to the south and east of Forest City. I’ll also take you to Lake Mills in a future post.
© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling