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Heading out on the trail at Pike’s Peak State Park (Iowa’s version, not Colorado’s), it was nice to see the rolling clouds in and feel the cool breeze. Recent weeks had been hot and arid. So as we stood at the Crow’s Nest overlook and peered at the Mississippi River valley below, Hurricane Isacc’s remnants were welcome relief as they passed over the Midwest.

Like the Colorado mountain, Iowa’s Pike’s Peak was named named for the explorer Zebulon Pike. But the similarities stop there. Pike’s Peak Colorado is 14,115 feet above sea level, and you have to take a long hike, long train ride or long car ride to the top. In Iowa, Pike’s Peak is 994 feet above sea level, and you start at the top with a parking lot and can hike hike down or across the 500-foot bluffs.

Both do have gift shops at the top.