Amana Colonies, Iowa

What a luxury it is to be able to drive along and make plans on the fly. Here is a place which we had never heard of before we saw a sign, did a quick Wikipedia search, and decided, hey, let's go there, about twenty minutes before we arrived and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Amana Colonies were an early settlement of German pioneers seeking religious freedom and the opportunity to live in a communal society. They created five nearby villages, built and grew everything they needed, and provided for everyone in the community. It was a daring experiment which was highly successful for about three generations when it started to fall apart.

The towns are still there and most of the old buildings. Descendants of the colonists still run many of the shops and there is a national historic site with a nice museum. We found a quiet campground nearby with great bike paths linking us to the towns and spent two peaceful days exploring and pondering another lifestyle in another time.

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