Located between the world famous Loess Hills and the mighty Missouri River is the quaint Monana County community of Blencoe.
Thousands of drivers speed by the exit on I-29 that would take you to Blencoe every day. Whether they are heading toward either Sioux City or Omaha, they are obviously missing out. Why? Because when you are in Blencoe, 'You are Among Friends'.
Last summer, on a day when I was dodging spotty showers, I exited off of I-29 and decided to see this town of friendly Iowans for myself.
With a population of about 225 as of the last census, it's certainly not a metropolis.
However, it is a very much a small farming community. Agriculture is the lifeblood of rural Iowa and they have a NEW Cooperative location that easily dominates the town's skyline.
Multiple sets of train tracks cut through the town.
In the downtown area, I found a number of buildings in varying stages of use and condition. For example, there's a fire station, community center, and post office - all staples of rural Iowa.
These benches under this big tree looked to be a nice peaceful spot to relax or catch up with one of the many friends you'll find in Blencoe.
There are a few other commercial, industrial, or agricultural buildings around town, too.
I spotted a couple of old restaurant or gas station buildings that appeared to be permanently closed. The "Venture Inn" is a great name for a restaurant.
There's a water treatment facility near the water tower.
I found a couple of beautiful church buildings. They certainly do not make churches like they used to.
There is a park with a few different amenities, including a ball field, picnic shelter, basketball court, and some playground equipment.
I was pleasantly surprised to find, on the east side of town, the Bobcat Speedway.
Based on some research I did on Facebook, it looks like it's a place that can be bustling with activity. However, on this particular day, it was pretty desolate.
I'm not a big race fan generally, but I'd definitely go back to take in one of these races at the Bobcat. I'm sure it would be interesting.
I found a number of nice single family dwellings around town.
Blencoe is small enough where just about everyone knows everyone else. It's the kind of place where you'd be among friends and welcomed heartily if you strolled into the community center for an event or found a seat in one of the church pews on Sunday morning. Next time you are driving past that Interstate exit, take a half hour and go exploring down a new road toward a small town like Blencoe. Our state is full of them and for what they lack in size, they make up for in kindness and character. Who knows, you might just make some new friends!
As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Monona County or any of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you have a good idea or would like to host the Iowa Adventurer, please drop me a note through this website.