Favorite Rides & Destinations

Fall 2017

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Right: Located in Stone City, St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church was built in 1913 using limestone from local quarries and later featured in a Grant Wood painting. Due to declining population, the parish was closed in 1992 and the church became an oratory. Below: In addition to the 385 miles of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway's main route, there are 75 miles of "loops," side trips to original stretches of the highway or other scenic locations. www.FavoriteRidesAndDestinations.com | ridermagazine.com PAGE 80 FALL 2017 ISSUE 02 / VOL. 02 I did manage to get lost on the island, but after asking directions and crossing the causeway I was back on the mainland. Iowa is justly known for its produce, with corn and soy high on the list, and edible animals, with some five million cattle and 20 million hogs. More than 90 percent of the land is given over to crops and grazing, and that provides a beautiful view. The terrain is not flat, but rolling, with lots of low hills and rivers; fertile is an understatement. Tractors plowing, cattle deep in green grass, blue skies and a few white puffy clouds— all is well with the world. Arriving at the town of Maquoketa, a sign told me that I was now on the Grant Wood Scenic Byway. Anamosa, my destination, is also the birth and burial place of Grant Wood, one of America's great artists. He is best known for his "American Gothic" painting of a very dour farmer with a pitchfork standing by his wife. In nearby Stone City, he set up an artists' colony in the 1930s and painted a memorable landscape of the place with the Wapsipinicon River flowing down the middle. Much has changed in three-quarters of a century, but the old St. Joseph's church of the painting is still there. I was wondering how to find the motorcycle museum, but as I came into an intersection with Route 64 and U.S. Route 151, a big sign told me I had to look no further. The place is housed in a former Walmart store, a perfect museum venue, with acres of flat floor. Although it was a weekday, a dozen bikes and a few cars were parked outside, and inside was a bike-lover's dream. There were upwards of 300 beautiful motorcycles of all makes and ages spread out through the thousands of square feet, along with hundreds of moto-memorabilia items, from movie posters to racing leathers. The collection is eclectic, with lots of Indians, including one once belonging to Steve McQueen, half a dozen Vincents, a slew of Kawasaki triples—way too many marques to try to list here. They were well displayed, many of them on standalone platforms allowing the visitor to see all sides. All this is due to John Parham, CEO of the big aftermarket company J&P Cycles, who rescued the museum when it was financially foundering and turned it into a self-sustaining non-profit organization. Good work. Parham hired Mark Mederski, who had been working at the AMA's museum in Ohio, to run the show, and Mederski does know his stuff. Also, there is a very cool shop attached, with all sorts of things to buy, from postcards to posters, T-shirts to tin signs. Can't afford a 1911 Harley? Get a postcard of

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