Sunday, October 18, 2009

Now on Zazzle!

A quick post to let you know that you can now buy products featuring photos taken for randomiowa.com on Zazzle! All proceeds will be reinvested into the site. Currently available are several products featuring a snowy view of Des Moines with more to come!




buy unique gifts at Zazzle

Sunday, September 6, 2009

August 16th - Nevada, Iowa

While summer may now be officially over (especially weather-wise) we still have one more installment in our series documenting some of the cities along U.S. Route 30 in Iowa.

Our last destination is Nevada, Iowa! Like its central Iowa counterpart Madrid, which we also visited back in March, the pronunciation of Nevada is different from that of the well-known Western U.S. state. The county seat of Story County with almost 6,700 residents, Nevada proudly identifies itself as the "26th best small town in America"!

9 shots were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, with two added to the updated article on Wikipedia. Here are a couple of my favorites:







Links
Nevada, Iowa pictures on Wikimedia Commons
Updated Nevada, Iowa article on Wikipedia
City of Nevada official website

August 2nd - Brooklyn, Iowa

After indicating back in May that this city was on our list, we finally made it last month to Brooklyn, Iowa! Fortunately on the day of our visit it was very windy, which helped show off this "Community of Flags". In addition to the central display of flags from all 50 states there are also flags from other nations throughout the downtown area.

I discovered two (of I am sure many) interesting stories about Brooklyn while researching for this post. Firstly, that the community (again, of about 1,400) raised $52,000 in one month to save the William Manatt house, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Secondly,, that the editor of The Brooklyn Paper spent a week in the city covering the Iowa Presidential caucuses.

9 shots were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, with two added to the updated article on Wikipedia. Here are a couple of my favorites:







Links
Brooklyn, Iowa pictures on Wikimedia Commons
Updated Brooklyn, Iowa article on Wikipedia
"Friendly Brooklyn knows how to get things done - The Gazette / iowa.com

Thursday, September 3, 2009

July 12th - Lowden, Iowa

Has it really been this long since we've posted? Where did the summer go? Apologies to our loyal readers!

The fourth stop on our U.S. Route 30 tour was the city of Lowden, Iowa! Incorporated in 1869 and yet another city of around 800 residents, Lowden showed evidence of a prosperous past and present with an impressive & well kept City Hall (built in 1902), a restored train depot, and even a disc golf course!

4 shots were uploaded to Wikmedia Commons, with two added to the updated article on Wikipedia. Here are a couple of my favorites:





Links
Lowden, Iowa pictures on Wikimedia Commons
Updated Lowden, Iowa article on Wikipedia

Monday, August 3, 2009

Now on Facebook!

Just a quick note that in addition to following us on Twitter you can now become a fan of this site on Facebook! You can either search for us from within Facebook or click on the link in the left hand menu. As always, we would love to hear your feedback and suggestions for future destinations. No matter which method you use, thanks for following our travels!


Commons / Steven Walling

Sunday, August 2, 2009

July 12th - Wheatland, Iowa

The third stop on our trip along U.S. Route 30 was Wheatland, Iowa! Another smaller city (800 inhabitants as of 2000), it was certainly not quiet the evening we arrived, including an ice cream parlor off downtown that was particularly popular.

Wheatland is also home to an old city hotel which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Unfortunately it currently appears to be in a state of disrepair, but certainly made for some interesting photos!

5 shots were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, with one added to the updated article on Wikipedia (one other photograph was already present). Here are a couple of my favorites:





And here are a couple of the more artistic shots taken of the Wheatland City Hotel





Links
Wheatland, Iowa pictures on Wikimedia Commons
Updated Wheatland, Iowa article on Wikipedia

Saturday, August 1, 2009

July 12th - Calamus, Iowa

Our second stop along U.S. Route 30 was the city of Calamus, Iowa! With a population of around 400 (as of 2000), we were unfortunate to arrive just after the end of their weekend summer festival!

5 shots were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, with two added to the updated article on WIkipedia. Here are a couple of my favorites:







Links
Calamus, Iowa pictures on Wikimedia Commons
Updated Calamus, Iowa article on Wikipedia

Sunday, July 26, 2009

July 12th - Grand Mound, Iowa

The first in our series of cities located along U.S. Route 30, Grand Mound is a city of almost 700 people (as of 2000) located in Eastern Iowa, near the larger communities of De Witt & Clinton. Several things caught our eye in this city, including a neat city park, older style water tower and a building (previous City Hall perhaps?) from 1880.

9 shots were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, with one added to the updated article on Wikipedia (one other photograph was already present). Here are a couple of my favorites:







Links
Grand Mound, Iowa pictures on Wikimedia Commons
Updated Grand Mound, Iowa article on Wikipedia

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Iowa Cities of U.S. Route 30

I'm happy to introduce our summer series of posts, which will be focused around the Iowa cities located along U.S. Route 30!


Wikimedia Commons / Fredddie

Running parallel to Interstate 80 from Missouri Valley in the West to Clinton in the East, this stretch of roadway was first designated in 1926, replacing the Lincoln Highway. Major communities along the route include Cedar Rapids, Ames & Carroll.

Do you have any interesting facts around or memories of U.S. Route 30? Any suggestions on cities we should visit or sights we should photograph? We would love to hear about them via the comments section below or on Twitter!

Links
Detailed information on U.S. Route 30 in Iowa

Saturday, June 13, 2009

June 6th - Dallas County, Iowa

As posted on Twitter, for last weekend's trip we headed to Dallas County, Iowa and here (finally!) is the trip report!

Traveling along Highway 141 was not only a quick method of getting to Dallas county, but also provided several interesting cities to photograph. We managed to visit Granger (with it's "Hot" and "Cold" water towers), Woodward (with a really nice sculpture outside the High school and distinctive yellow water tower), Bouton (with it's Sauerkraut days!) and Perry (with an historic hotel & Carnegie Library, unfortunately neither of which we had time to get good shots of!)

Granger, Iowa


Woodward, Iowa


Bouton, Iowa


Perry, Iowa


27 shots were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, with eight added to Wikipedia.

Links
Granger, Iowa pictures on Wikimedia Commons
Updated Granger, Iowa article on Wikipedia

Woodward, Iowa pictures on Wikimedia Commons
Updated Woodward, Iowa article on Wikipedia

Bouton, Iowa pictures on Wikimedia Commons
Updated Bouton, Iowa article on Wikipedia

Perry, Iowa pictures on Wikimedia Commons
Updated Perry, Iowa article on Wikipedia

Friday, June 5, 2009

Now, where were we?

As you may have noticed things have been a bit quiet on the site for the past couple of weeks. Well I'm happy to report that we are still dedicated to bringing you photographs of random Iowa places, and now that "real life" is no longer in the way we will be back on the road again! Thanks for your patience and look for new content coming soon!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 10th - Brooklyn, Iowa

Our biggest apologies to the city of Brooklyn! Due to a miscalculation we arrived there on Sunday with the sun too low to take any good pictures. We also tried to stop by on Tuesday but ran into a storm. Hopefully the third time will be the charm!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

May 10th - Brooklyn, Iowa

This week we will be heading to Brooklyn, Iowa!


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Sharing a name with one of the five boroughs of New York City, this city of around 1,400 people (as of 2000) is known as the Community of Flags, and I'm sure you will be seeing a few flags in our photographs!


Aerial View of Brooklyn, New York. Source: Commons / Flickr / Kris Arnold

What sights do you think we should look to document in Brooklyn? Have your own interesting shots of this place? Feel free to share them via the comments section below!

Links
Brooklyn, Iowa website
Wikipedia article for Brooklyn, Iowa (as it stands today)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mobile Version of Site Launched!

I'm pleased to announce that we've launched a mobile version of the site, thanks to the folks at MoFuse! Point your mobile/cell/smart phones to m.randomiowa.com to find out where we are headed and our most recent photos while on the go! Or, if you are so inclined, here is the QR code:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

May 3rd - Polk County, Iowa

Our first trip to an Iowa county instead of a specific city yielded some great results. Firstly the weather was perfect for being outside, and secondly we were able to take photographs for not one but three different articles on Wikipedia! At this pace I'm sure we will be able to take care of those 1,300 or so articles needing photos in no time at all!

Ankeny Regional Airport


Elkhart, Iowa


Alleman, Iowa


16 shots were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, with seven added to Wikipedia.

Links
Ankeny, Iowa pictures on Wikimedia Commons
Updated Ankeny Regional Airport article on Wikipedia

Elkhart, Iowa pictures on Wikimedia Commons
Updated Elkhart, Iowa article on Wikipedia

Alleman, Iowa pictures on Wikimedia Commons
Updated Alleman, Iowa article on Wikipedia

Sunday, May 3, 2009

May 3rd - Polk County, Iowa

A change in tactics for this week! As it is getting more difficult to find places fitting our criteria within a "commutable" distance, we have decided to also start visiting different counties around Iowa looking for places to photograph. This has been helped by a kind person who divided up the list of needed photographs on Wikipedia by county!

Today we will be visiting Polk County, Iowa! Formed in 1846 and named after the 11th President of the United States, Polk County is home to Des Moines, the state capitol, and an estimated population in 2007 of 418,339.


President James K Polk. Source: Commons / Mathew Brady

Some of the requested photographs include:

  • Ankeny Regional Airport
  • Blank Park Zoo
  • Elkhart, Iowa
  • Living History Farms
  • Runnells, Iowa


What sights do you think we should look to document in Polk County? Have your own interesting shots of this place? Feel free to share them via the comments section below!

Links
List of Wikipedia requested photographs in Polk County, Iowa

Sunday, April 26, 2009

April 26th - No updates

A quick programming note, there will be no updates this weekend. Thanks for your understanding and we look forward to taking you to more random Iowa places in the near future!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April 19th - Stratford, Iowa

Here are this week's pictures from a sunny and windy Stratford, Iowa! It was great to see several references to their famous namesake in the United Kingdom (not one I called out in the original post of course!), Stratford-upon-Avon, including a Tudorbethan style Library and the main street through downtown being called Shakespeare Avenue.

14 shots were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, with three added to the updated article on Wikipedia. Here are a couple of my favorites:








Links
Stratford, Iowa pictures on Wikimedia Commons
Updated Stratford, Iowa article on Wikipedia

Saturday, April 18, 2009

April 19th - Stratford, Iowa

For tomorrow's trip we will be heading to Stratford, Iowa! This city of around 750 in central Iowa shares it's name with several other locations in the United States, Canada, Australia & New Zealand, as well as the area of London which will play host to the 2012 Summer Olympics!


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Stratford Shopping Centre. Source: Commons / Pedleysd

What sights do you think we should look to document in Stratford? Have your own interesting shots of this place? Feel free to share them via the comments section below!

Links
Stratford, Iowa website
Wikipedia article for Stratford, Iowa (as it stands today)

April 12th - Oxford, Iowa

Another week and another set of photos from a random Iowa city! This past Sunday we headed out to Oxford in eastern Iowa. Given Iowa's reputation for being flat I'm always pleasantly surprised to see how rolling that part of the state is when driving around No Rocky Mountains by any means, but still a nice change!

Unfortunately our pictures did not turn out the best, which I attribute to a combination of the gloomy weather and windy conditions (hopefully you've seen by now that we can do better! :-)) but we were able to capture most of the major locations in town, including a neat view of the entire town as you drive to it from Interstate 80.

11 shots were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, with two added to the updated article on Wikipedia. Here are a couple of my favorites:







Links
Oxford, Iowa pictures on Wikimedia Commons
Updated Oxford, Iowa article on Wikipedia

Sunday, April 12, 2009

April 12th - Oxford, Iowa

This Easter Sunday we are heading to the community of Oxford, Iowa! This city of around 700 people in Eastern Iowa shares it's name with the famous university city in the United Kingdom, along with towns in Canada, New Zealand and several other US states. The Iowa version of Oxford is notable in it's own right however, having been the focus of "The Oxford Project", a book combining photos of residents taken 20 years apart with their stories about life in a small town.


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Oxford University. Source: Commons / Wallace Wong

What sights do you think we should look to document in Oxford? Have your own interesting shots of this place? Feel free to share them via the comments section below!

Links
The Oxford Project
Wikipedia article for Oxford, Iowa (as it stands today)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

February 15th - Rhodes, Iowa

Due to a combination of bad weather and illness we did not venture outside today. To make up for that, here are photos from our visit to Rhodes, Iowa, a city of approximately 300 people in central Iowa.

Sharing it's name with a Greek island in the Aegean sea, Rhodes was an extra stop back in February after visiting Melbourne. Cold yet sunny, we were able to get a few great pictures. Particular highlights included a tank (not sure if it was real life or replica!) next to the city park and a still standing (just!) hall for Eden Township from 1899 (Rhodes used to be called Edenville)

7 shots were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, with three added to the updated article on Wikipedia. Here are a couple of my favorites:







Links
Rhodes, Iowa pictures on Wikimedia Commons
Rhodes, Iowa article on Wikipedia before
Rhodes, Iowa article on Wikipedia after

Monday, March 30, 2009

March 29th - Madrid, Iowa

Another Sunday and another Iowa city as we took a tour of Madrid! The second biggest city we have visited so far required a little more time than usual in order to locate everything (some might say due to lack of preparation on my part!) but was still good fun, helped by the much improved weather from Saturday. Items of note included the centennial time capsule buried in front of City Hall (here's hoping I'm still alive in 2083 to see it dug up!), a tribute to the city's coal mining history, and an incredible Hindu temple along Highway 17.

9 shots were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, with three added to the updated article on Wikipedia. Here are a couple of my favorites:







Links
Madrid, Iowa pictures on Wikimedia Commons
Updated Madrid, Iowa article on Wikipedia

Sunday, March 29, 2009

March 29th - Madrid, Iowa

For today's trip we will be heading to the community of Madrid, Iowa! This city of 2,264 (as of 2000) in central Iowa shares it's name with the capital and largest city of Spain!


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Flag of Madrid, Spain. Source: Commons / Valadrem

One interesting note is that while the name appears the same the pronunciation is different, "MAD-rid" as opposed to "Mah-drid". This also applies to several other Madrid's in the Unites States.

The Iowa Arboretum is located in Madrid, and we are looking forward to seeing what else is there to capture!

What sights do you think we should look to document in Madrid? Have your own interesting shots of this place? Feel free to share them via the comments section below!

Links
Wikipedia article for Madrid, Iowa (as it stands today)

Friday, March 27, 2009

March 22nd - Sheffield, Iowa

After a busy week in real life I'm finally able to blog about our experiences in Sheffield!

Having gone into this not knowing what to expect (Google Maps and Live Search were no help) we came away with a great impression of Sheffield, which seems like a very neat city. In particular I noted the striking military memorial, along with the preservation of historic city hall and fire station buildings downtown as private offices. It also appeared to photograph well, as we had the most pictures of any city so far to upload. The only real downside was the gloomy weather!

15 shots were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, with two added to the updated article on Wikipedia. Here are a couple of my favorites:







Links
Sheffield, Iowa pictures on Wikimedia Commons
Updated Sheffield, Iowa article on Wikipedia

Saturday, March 21, 2009

March 22nd - Sheffield, Iowa

For this week we will be heading to northern Iowa, and specifically the city of Sheffield! With around 1,000 inhabitants and founded in 1855, Sheffield shares it's name with a city in northern England famous for its past as a steel producer and also home to the world's oldest football (soccer) club, Sheffield F.C. This amateur team was founded in 1857 and in 2007 played Italian professional side Inter Milan as part of their 150th anniversary celebrations in a match attended by none other than Pelé!


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Source: Commons / johnthescone

The Iowa Sheffield however is believed to be named after a long time friend of the founder, as per the very neat city website.

What sights do you think we should look to document in Sheffield? Have your own interesting shots of this place? Feel free to share them via the comments section below!

Links
Wikipedia article for Sheffield, Iowa (as it stands today)
City of Sheffield, Iowa website
Wikipedia article for Sheffield F.C.