Susan McNerney

Susan McNerney

Susan McNerney
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McGregor, Iowa on a fall afternoon. The town features a historic street with some antique shops as well as River Junction Trade Co., a fascinating shop that sells period clothes. If you're looking for that True Grit look they've got you covered. Other attractions include the nearby Pike's Peak and the Mississippi River.

McGregor, Iowa on a fall afternoon. The town features a historic street with some antique shops as well as River Junction Trade Co., a fascinating shop that sells period clothes. If you're looking for that True Grit look they've got you covered. Other attractions include the nearby Pike's Peak and the Mississippi River.

Fall trees at Pike's Peak State Park in Northeastern Iowa.

Fall trees at Pike's Peak State Park in Northeastern Iowa.

Sumac in early fall. Photo taken from Pike's Peak State Park in Iowa looking across the Mississippi toward Wisconsin.

Sumac in early fall. Photo taken from Pike's Peak State Park in Iowa looking across the Mississippi toward Wisconsin.

A view of the sprawling Mississippi from Pike's Peak overlook in Northeastern Iowa. Early fall.

A view of the sprawling Mississippi from Pike's Peak overlook in Northeastern Iowa.

The view from Pike's Peak in Northeastern Iowa. Yes, the OTHER Pike's Peak. The Mississippi spreads out below and unless you look closely, the scene appears much as it did hundreds of years ago. We were there on a beautiful fall day.

The view from Pike's Peak in Northeastern Iowa. Yes, the OTHER Pike's Peak. The Mississippi spreads out below and unless you look closely, the scene appears much as it did hundreds of years ago. We were there on a beautiful fall day.

A wider view of the Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde with a tour group gathered on the terrace.

A wider view of the Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde with a tour group gathered on the terrace.

A view of Cliff Palace at mesa Verde National Park in the late afternoon. Our tour was led by a ranger who was a member of the Hopi tribe. The Hopi, along with other Pueblo peoples, are believed to be the descendants of the ancient cliff dwellers.

Cliff palace at Mesa Verde nat'l park via Shutterstock Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, Archaeologists piece together evidence of bloody apocalypse in century America

A cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. If you go, book your tours with the rangers and drive yourself around. We found the bus tour slow and unnecessary.

A cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. If you go, book your tours with the rangers and drive yourself around. We found the bus tour slow and unnecessary.

The approach to Roughlock Falls in Spearfish Canyon, South Dakota. The falls are a highlight of the Northern Black Hills. I was there in late spring, when the daily thunderstorms powered the churning falls.

The approach to Roughlock Falls in Spearfish Canyon, South Dakota. The falls are a highlight of the Northern Black Hills. I was there in late spring, when the daily thunderstorms powered the churning falls.

Meadow and stream just east of Roughlock Falls in the Spearfish Canyon area of South Dakota. In early spring, every leaf was new and dripped with recent rains.

Meadow and stream just east of Roughlock Falls in the Spearfish Canyon area of South Dakota. In early spring, every leaf was new and dripped with recent rains.

Another view of Roughlock Falls from the approach. We saw Water Ouzels (birds) playing in the whitewater nearby, though they were camera shy.

Another view of Roughlock Falls from the approach. We saw Water Ouzels (birds) playing in the whitewater nearby, though they were camera shy.

The main view of the falls, slowed down a little. An idyllic forest stream cascading over mossy banks. Someone needs to film an elf scene from The Hobbit around here.

The main view of the falls, slowed down a little. An idyllic forest stream cascading over mossy banks. Someone needs to film an elf scene from The Hobbit around here.

A view of Marigot harbor in French St. Martin. Calmer and quieter than the Dutch side of the island, Marigot features nice cafes, French culture, and more relaxed experience.

A view of Marigot harbor in French St. Calmer and quieter than the Dutch side of the island, Marigot features nice cafes, French culture, and more relaxed experience.

A cannon rusts from atop Ft. Louis in Marigot, St. Martin.

A cannon rusts from atop Ft. Louis in Marigot, St.