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May 27, 2020

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Can you believe it - there's a Bluffton, Iowa

And the Icon has photos to prove it

By Fred Steiner - Bluffton Icon
FROM BLUFFTON ICON - Note: Sorry to say, Ada, Iowa, wasn't on the map, or we'd have stopped there also.

Ever visited Bluffton, Iowa 52101?

We have. And we have photos and a couple tee-shirts from Randy’s Campgrounds in Bluffton to prove it.

Earlier in this summer we settled on a vacation week in early September.

Where to take it?

First choice: St. Petersburg, Florida - where Mary spent her sophomore year in high school, while her father, Richard Pannabecker, was on a Bluffton College teaching sabbatical.

Second choice: Key West, Florida. We wanted to see why Hemmingway liked it.

Third choice: Tybee Island, Georgia, just north of the Florida coast. We’ve visited here before and we liked it.

Fourth choice: Lacrosse, Wisconsin, to visit our daughter, Lindsay. It’s on the Mississippi River. It has bluffs as tall as Bluffton, Ohio, stands above sea level. It’s a college town with lots of art, history, scenery and great places to eat. We took choice four.

And, as the aged knight in Indiana Jones’ movie stated: “We chose wisely.” There were no evacuations due to a hurricane.

We took a day trip to Rochester, Minnesota. We took another to Decorah, Iowa. There we visited Seed Savers Exchange, where we’ve purchased heirloom seeds over the years.

Wouldn’t you know that the road from LaCrosse to Decorah passes next door to a familiar-sounding place – Bluffton, Iowa.  We couldn’t pass up the chance for a visit. Nestled on a bend in the Upper Iowa River next to the Bluffton Fir Stand State Reserve, our sister village lies in a beautiful, remote, hilly bluff-laden countryside.

We stopped at Randy’s Campground where we met Randy, one of the friendliest guys you would ever want to meet.

He asked how close Bluffton, Ohio, is to Bluffton, Indiana.

They reason? “I get truckers who stop here with deliveries for Bluffton, Indiana. One even stopped on Christmas Eve one year!” he chuckled. It certainly is a small world. We shared some similar Bluffton stories with him.

Then we cruised the Bluffton countryside. Our photo album follows below.

We’ll hold out on visiting Hemmingway some later calendar year.