With summer finally upon us, that can only mean one thing: day trips with my camera-wielding bestie, Mrs. Jo Zilla.
For our first trip of the summer we decided to head to western Iowa and explore Old Lincoln Highway and the Loess Hills. In this post I’ll be focusing on our unintentional but awesome stop in the small town of Woodbine, Iowa. Pulling over to explore this quite little town was not a part of our plan, but it turned out to be so much fun. We were so glad we spotted an old grain elevator with some unique metal art that caught our eye as we were driving by. A couple hours later, we’d walked up and down main street, browsed some shops, and chatted with some locals.
Our exploration of Woodbine’s downtown (on a brick street, none the less) led us to an old ag supply mural, several unique art pieces, another funky mural at a shop called Back Alley Glass, a rusty old mailbox that I fell in love with, and some unique buildings.
One of my favorites places we stopped was Heavy Metal Renaissance. If you’re in the area, check out Jefferson Davis’ metal work. He’s got some great pieces in the gallery and does some awesome custom work as well. The work he did for the Iowa and Omaha police officers was incredibly moving and a truly unique way to honor the fallen officers. Davis also has several pieces of his metal art displayed around town including the guy in front of the gallery and “The Smithy” depicting the town’s tradesmen. In addition to the metal art, they sell jewelry and other locally created goods. His wife, Nikki, also runs a coffee shop, Building Grounds, inside the gallery and was great to give us some suggestions for things to do and see around town. She even recommended we grab a bit to eat at a local farm-to-table restaurant, Roux’s. Since it was early when we were in town, we decided that after a day of hiking in the Loess Hills, we’d take her advice and stop back by Woodbine on our way home for dinner. Everything was delicious–I can’t recommend the mashed potato wantons enough. They were epic.
Our last stop before heading out of town was at Brickstreet Station, a small old gas station and shed that tells visitors the distance to New York City and San Fransisco as they travel along Old Lincoln Highway. This old shed is decked with license plates for each state travelers pass through heading toward each coast and a slew of old rusted signs and colorful, peeling paint.