An old Flour Mill in Iowa
A Lucky Find
A Cold October Day
We arrived on Friday afternoon. The cold winds blew us right from the car to the Potter's Mill sign, swinging on an old piece of machinary. At a glance, the red and white wooden structure looked like a large house. If it hadn't been so dang freezing out, I would have stood there and studied the odd doors and windows. This was clearly no house. There were doors where houses have no doors.
We walked through a hefty door, that you would never see on a house. We found no lobby inside. It's a mill, after all. The lower floor of the mill had been turned into the "Flatted Fifth Blues and BBQ Restaurant". It smelled good.
There was also a lot or "mill stuff" decorating the limestone walls of the restaurant. There were wheels and chains and grinding things... the only thing I recognized were some bags of flour! (I should know a whole lot more about this kind of thing, because my Dad's family owned the Meyer Milling Co. in Missouri years ago.) We took a few minutes exploring, until our host, Mark arrived.
The Inn Area
Mark took us up in the elevator, which was a surprising luxury. The doors opened on the third floor to a cozy common area with a couch, rockers, table with checkers and more curious mill equipment, that I won't attempt to explain.
Mark almost seemed sheepish as he showed us our room. "We don't do lace," He reminded with a laugh. Did we look like people who expected room service? The curtains were about as sheer as lace, though. The north window was in view of the parking area, so we had to think twice before parading around in the nude!
Coffee and Chairs
There was heat in the room, but the very sound of the wind made us excited about making a little coffee with the Kuerig.
A Curious Bathroom
We had a rod and curtains, in place of a door to the bathroom. Once again we were chuckling at yet another hotel bathroom with privacy issues. (We've had our share) We did have a mighty nice tub, but no shower. And there was a step up into the bathroom, so we had to be cautious to remember that!
I love a view and we had a great one, looking down on Potter's Mill Creek. It faced the east, which might have offered a good sunrise, except the bluffs across the creek were pretty high and close... and there was no sun in the morning, anyway. Our north window had a view of the railroad bridge. We enjoyed the rumbling trains (with no whistle) at night.
We also shared some shredded pork served on fries. Both perfect for a cold night!
We spoke with Ron and Linda (pictured) and a couple others who gave us great tips for places to see in the next few days. And we chatted with Inn owners, Mark and Rachel who shared about their adventures of opening this place a month earlier.
I'm actually fine with that, but my clothes were beginning to get tight from eating on the road, so I wasn't up for a big sit-down breakfast.
We did manage to take in a few sights near the Inn before leaving town. It was well worth a stop at Bellevue State Park, just across the creek from the Inn. We found a great view of the town and the Mississippi, but a rather disturbing view of a few boys racing to get off the railroad bridge as a train approached, blasting its horn!
They managed to scramble off just before the train crossed. Then they were back on. So, in other words, there is excitement in Bellevue and the Mill area!
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!