Left: House in sandstone bluff.
I’m not sure what’s inside, but this looks like my dream house. A nice fenced patio courtyard with steps leading up to a home in a cliff.

We caught a glimpse of this cliff cave home when stopping for lunch in McGregor, Iowa, after hiking Effigy Mounds National Monument on the Mississippi River.

McGregor is one of those touristy river towns. Buildings from the late 19th Century line the main drag, where visitors can munch a blue gill fillet or a fish taco on the sidewalk under a cafe awning. There’s a riverboat casino upstream and a handfull of antique shops.

According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, McGregor residents used to carve storage rooms into the sandstone bluffs to refrigerate their foodstuffs. Breweries were also set up in these manmade caverns.

Usually, homes and offices were built in front of the cliffs, and the storage caves were a backyard feature. If I read the info right, the cave in the picture was outfitted with its facade in the 1970s.

I have to wonder if it has utilities or modern plumbing. What about ventilation. My guess is there is no wifi.