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Road Trip Diary: Rock-n-Row Adventures, Eldora, Iowa


Dan floats his troubles away on a tubing trip from Eldora to Steamboat Rock on the Iowa River.

Hosted by Dan Kaercher, Iowa's Simple Pleasures is a new series produced by Iowa Public Television that highlights fun things for Iowans to do, see, and taste, right here at home. Below are excerpts from Dan's journal of his travels in the state.


Road Trip Diary: Rock-n-Row Adventures, Eldora, Iowa

… Tubing down an Iowa stream on a sunny summer day is my idea of heaven, and that’s just what I’m doing on the Iowa River with a church group from Cedar Falls and our outfitter, Tracy Morlan, of Rock n Row Adventures in Eldora….

… A repurposed school bus transports us from the big riverside Rock n Row campground in Eldora upriver 8 miles to the put-in point. I get a huge, untippable (thank goodness) VIP “tube“ that features armrests, a cushiony back and cup holders (Tracy’s packing a cooler filled with sodas). The water’s chilly at first, but it soon feels refreshing....

... Tracy and I have lots of time to talk as we glide down river for several hours: the state of agriculture, farm prices, the environment, you name it. He’s one of those enterprising multi-taskers who runs this operation (Iowa’s oldest such excursion) with his wife, Sondra, as well as graphic design and home improvement businesses….

… Our fellow tubers have brought along some snacks and put in at a sandbar as we overtake them, not that anybody’s breaking any speed records here. I have the fun of spotting several blue herons along the way; otherwise the critters seem to be staying in the shade this afternoon (or maybe they’re just watching us)....

…The water is a perfect depth for summer tubing, averaging just a couple feet.. After a few miles in a couple hours (typical trips are 4 or 8 miles in 3 to 4 hours), we hop out, towel down and head for lunch in nearby Steamboat Rock. The folks at tiny Monterrey Tacos there serve me a tasty plate of lunch specialties from their trailer/kitchen in a town park, and we feast outside at a picnic table. Mmmmm….


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Tags: Eldora Hardin County Iowa IowasSimplePleasures nature rivers tourism travel tubing

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