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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Koser Spring Lake Park, Cherokee (IA) September 8-9th, 2010

Heading westward towards Le Mars, Ia.  we stopped in West Bend, Iowa to witness the great "Miracle in Stone" called the Grotto of Redemption.  A Catholic priest by the name of Fr. Paul Dobberstein had been gathering rocks and precious stones from around the world for over a decade.  He began construction in 1912 and for the next 45 years he created hundreds of intricate rock settings to form the Grotto's walls and ceilings.  He was helped by another Catholic priest, Fr. Louis Greving and a parishioner, Matt Szerensce who continued his work on the Grotto after Fr. Dobberstein's death in 1954.  This is the largest Grotto in the world.  It is comprised of nine separate grottos, each depicting a scene in the life of Jesus of Nazareth.  It is truly a work of art and touches you spiritually like nothing else.  It is more then beautiful.  The detail and the stonework is amazing.  We took the tour which was very interesting and if you would like to see some of the works by computer only, the website is:
We continued our journey after this wonderful side stop and stopped for the night at Koser Spring Lake Park in Cherokee, Iowa.  It was a very nice city park which had full hook-ups and for only $15.00/night.  We were right next to the railroad tracks, but in our 2 nights there, the train only went through twice -- once at midnight and then during the day on our 2nd day there.  On our second day there we took a side day trip over to see the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge that connected Council Bluff, Iowa with Omaha, Nebraska which opened in September, 2008.  What an amazing bridge suspended over the Missouri River.  It spans 2224 ft. long.  You can walk it or ride your bikes.  Since it was evening, we walked 3/4 of the way over it and back.  While in Omaha, we lucked out and ran into a Habitat for Humanity fundraiser on the riverfront.  So we participated in the 4th annual Brew HaHa where there was plenty of beer tasting  from local brewers and lots of good food donated by the area restaurants and bars. Local radio station got in playing the music/live on the air. What an nice way to end an visit.  As for Koser Spring Lake Park, we would recommend this nicely laid out city park to anyone on their journey's through Iowa.  We hate to say this, but it was a better park then their Iowa State Parks hands down.

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