An Amazing Event

GAMARAI 2024 takes us North. September 16 to 20, are the dates, so mark your calendars. On Monday the 16th we take off from Altoona for Story City. We plan on visiting the Carousel there. From there we work ourselves north to Wright County and Lake Cornelia Park. There we will have a lunch stop and enjoy this beautiful county park. We then take off for our first over night at Clear Lake. We will take in the sights around town and take a boat trip around the lake on the Lady of the Lake. Wednesday morning, we will head north again. This time ending up in Minnesota at Austin, the home of the SPAM Museum. Austin is the home of Hormel the meat company. We then head back to Iowa for Mason City. We will visit Music Man Square, the home of Meredith Wilson and view two of Frank Lloyd Wright’s creations, the Park Inn Hotel and the Stockman House.

Thursday afternoon finds us in Iowa Falls. There will be some choices to make. Choices will include a short concert and discussion by Dr. Jim Hammonn a retired music professor, world traveling performer a Model T owner. We might even get him to join us on the tour. There is an interesting main street with restaurants, ice cream shop, and shopping. You might even find a cold one if so inclined. They have the Scenic City Empress Riverboat for a late afternoon relaxing time among other choices. The evening ends with a pizza party at the hotel.

Friday our final day has a couple short stops on our way home. First as we leave Iowa Falls, we will visit Ellsworth Equestrian Center. This is a highly rated equestrian facility where we will get a tour. Then we go an hour south to Niland’s Café in Colo. Niland’s was a truck stop at the corner of US-65 and US-30 or more popularly known as the intersection of the Jefferson Highway and Lincoln Highway from the early 20th century. It has the original Standard Oil Station with the restaurant and early motel. It will be a great place for a coffee break or lunch as you head back toward Des Moines.                 

Surf Ballroom
Lady of the Lake
Spam Museum
Park Inn Hotel
Niland's Corner
Music Man Museum
Ellsworth Equestrian Center


Great Annual Model A Ride Around Iowa

24 Model A’s and 2 modern cars participated GAMARAI tour for 2023. This year we are going northwest. We left from Grimes, IA on the northwest corner of the Des Moines area on September 18.

Our first stop was at a home in Coon Rapids. The owner builds small single cylinder engines. He starts with rough castings and makes everything.

Onto  lunch in Manning. After lunch we stopped at a really old German Hausbarn and saw how the Germans shared their living space with their animals. It was a whole farm with a welcome center. We toured the farm house, secondary house, barn, scale house, and many antique farm implements on display.

 Then we took a trip back in time to “prohibition times” to see how some local entrepreneurs survived the depression. The Tempelton  Rye Whiskey Museum and Distillary. We learned how it was done then and see how it is done today.   

We then travelled to Audubon and  saw “Albert the Bull” a really big bull (he weights 45 Tons.  Then a picnic at the hotel in Audubon where we spent the first night.

Tuesday morning, we saw a working Dutch windmill and visited the Dutch American Museum. Yes, from Germany to the Netherlands in two nearby Iowa towns. 

We then started our trip up the Iowa rocky mountains, or maybe it is sandy foothills. We take the back roads up the Loess Hills to Pisgah. Some of you might remember the Old Home Fill Her Up and Keep On Truck’n Café. Yes, there is such a place and we drove right by it. Pisgah is also the home of the Iowa State Forest Museum which we visited and had a nice talk by our Vice President (Retired DNR Director). From there we headed to Onawa for lunch, then farther up the Loess Hills to Sioux City where we visited the Mid America Museum of Aviation and Transportation in Sioux City prior to headed for our hotel  in Sergeant Bluff. Dinner was then on our own.

Wednesday we drove as a group to the Sergeant Floyd Monument, and then to Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. Many visited the Palmer candy factory and the Jolly-Pop popcorn palace and much more. Our hotel that night is in North Sioux City, South Dakota.

Thursday brought us to the Sioux City Railroad Museum. And we had a very heavy down pour while there. Everyone was damp and cold and we all had to walk through about 6″ of rainwater to get to our cars in the parking lot. 

Then on to Le Mars, Iowa. the Ice Cream Capital of the World. There we  visited the famous Well’s Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor, a two story ice cream stand that is second to none. Then we traveled on through Cherokee to Storm Lake. Our hotel is right on the lake, and for supper we will visited a nearby park that also sits on the lake, where we had  a pizza party in the shelter house. Thursday night a group replaced a head gasket on a Model A Pickup in the hotel parking lot.

Friday was our trip home.  We stopped in Jefferson at a charming old city square. Our last visit was  to RVP 1875. This guy makes furniture using tools only available in 1875.  The owner gave us a very good talk and demonstations on using the 1800 tolls for making beautiful pieces. There where a number of finished projects in the showroom. In the back of the shop was an actual old time theater where he directs broadway plays and musicals.

We hope to see all of you again next year on  GAMARAI 2024.


                                  We will be posting photos from this years GAMARAI  soon.  Check back


Please share your photos with us from your past GAMARAI, Regional Tours, National Tours.

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