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JCS319

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Message Posted: Dec 29, 2012 5:08:25 PM

There are currently 3142 county and county equivalents (parishes in Louisiana, boroughs in Alaska and independent cities in Virginia). One item on my personal bucket list is to visit every single county. I have currently been to 2444 counties - about 78%.

This thread is to inform gas buddies about the US counties and provide a forum for others to comment on or to post about these counties.
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JCS319
Champion Author Tacoma

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Message Posted: Apr 18, 2015 4:10:56 AM

Bonner County is a county located in the northern part of the U.S. state of Idaho. As of the 2010 census, the population was 40,877. The county seat and largest city is Sandpoint. Partitioned from Kootenai County and established in 1907, it was named for Edwin L. Bonner, a ferry operator.

Bonner County was formed on February 21, 1907; it was formerly the northern section of Kootenai County. It was named for travel entrepreneur Edwin L. Bonner, a ferry operator. Bonners Ferry is now in Boundary County, which was partitioned in 1915 from Bonner County.

[Edited by: JCS319 at 4/18/2015 4:11:09 AM EST]
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JCS319
Champion Author Tacoma

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Message Posted: Apr 18, 2015 4:07:39 AM

Boise County because I've spent some interesting moments of my life there:

Boise County is a rural mountain county in the U.S. state of Idaho. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,028. The county seat is Idaho City, and Horseshoe Bend is its largest city.

In 2010, the center of population of Idaho was located in Boise County.
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NakedDriver
Champion Author Des Moines

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Message Posted: Apr 18, 2015 2:53:45 AM

ə more on blaine co:
it carries license plate designation 5b, touches bingham on the east (but as i mentioned before, no road exists there), and has area 2661.02 mi²/6892 km² with 16.24/42 thereof water.
hailey contains slightly less than forty per cent of the inhabitants.
i have never been in blaine county.

before we move on, i wanted to point out that the previous post mentioned that this and a number of others were created from alturas co. but there is no such county now!
alturas county was one of the original ones in the territory, and comprised a larger area than the states of maryland, delaware, and new jersey combined! (that is, it would have been one of the largest counties in the country, even surpassing san bernadino co, ca, which is the largest county now, though some of the county-like divisions of alaska are much bigger.) alturas and logan counties were both abolished.

although blaine county touches the next one on the list at one short edge, no road goes through that area. depending on where we are in the county, we can get on id-21 going north until that road turns south, or, if farther south, we take u-20 west to where it runs into i-84, west on that to id-21, and north(east), in either case resting at idaho city.

boise county is our next stop. its license plate designation is 6b, and it is adjacent to blaine to the east and ada to the southwest. pop. is 7028, the seat is idaho city (with fewer than seven per cent of the county’s residents), and largest city contains a word i do not type; i’ll simply say it is what is put on horses’ hooves, followed by “bend”; this town contains about ten per cent of the total living in the county. it was one of the original counties in the territory, founded feb 1864, and named for the river of the same name which flows in it; the river was named by french explorers. the city of boise itself was originally part of this county but was given another later that year.
the area is 1906.76/4938, containing 4.3/11 water.
i have not been in this one yet either.

to reach the next one on the list, we must go back north. if we are in idaho city or that area, we could take some gravel roads west through new centerville and continue west just missing placerville until we hit id-55, or take id-21 back toward boise and get on id-44 to id-55; if we are already on that road, we take it north to u-95 again, but this time we continue north of i-90 and land in sandpoint, just south of id-200.

after that, we go way southeast, then return to this area to get one even farther north.ə
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JCS319
Champion Author Tacoma

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Message Posted: Apr 18, 2015 1:41:14 AM

Blaine County is a county located in the U.S. state of Idaho. As of the 2010 census, the population was 21,376. The county seat and largest city is Hailey.

Blaine County was created by the state legislature on March 5, 1895, by combining Alturas and Logan counties. Its present boundaries were set on February 8, 1917, when a western portion became Camas County. The county is named after former congressman and 1884 Republican presidential nominee James G. Blaine (1830–93). It is home to the Sun Valley ski resort, adjacent to Ketchum.
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NakedDriver
Champion Author Des Moines

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Message Posted: Apr 17, 2015 11:44:12 AM

ə i was unable to follow it on the map as to which is shorter: the route i gave or to take 15 north from 30 to 26 and that west to 93, go out of state to i-90 and west back in and exit south on id-3. i had the feeling, though, that the one i gave, being more on interstate highways, would take less time.
i hope to observe some of the scenery you mentioned on next year’s excursion.
in any event, more on benewah co:
it borders the state to the west, and does not touch any county we have discussed so far. about a quarter of its people are in the seat. it has license designation 3b, and its area is 793.98 mi²/2030 km² with water making up 7.91/20.
i have yet to drive in benewah co.

to get to the next one on the list, we return to u-95 and south to i-84, back east to i-86 to i-15 and this time going _north_, stopping at blackfoot.

bingham county, license plate designation 4b, lies in southeastern idaho, just north of bannock co. named for henry bingham, a general in the war between the states and u. s. representative from pennsylvania, the pop. is 45607 with about a quarter in the seat of blackfoot, and creation date jan 1885. area is 2120.24/5491, with 25.51/66 of it water.
i have not driven in this county yet, but have hitchhiked through it.

interestingly enough, the next county we are to visit borders bingham, but there is no direct road thereto. we thus take u-26 west, passing through another county, and remaining on that road until u-20 splits off going west at carey, then proceeding to id-75 and north to hailey.

i should point out that idaho designates its state highways as just “sh-[number]” instead of “id-[number]”. i use the latter for clarity. ə

[Edited by: NakedDriver at 4/17/2015 11:46:50 AM EST]
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JCS319
Champion Author Tacoma

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Message Posted: Apr 17, 2015 12:41:37 AM

Oh well, two heads are better than one?!

Benewah County is a county located in the U.S. state of Idaho. As of the 2010 census the county had a population of 9,285. The county seat and largest city is St. Maries. The county was established on January 23, 1915 from sections of Kootenai County and was named for a chief of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe.

I've done that drive in a day and while it is long, it offers some of the best, if little known, scenery in the country.

[Edited by: JCS319 at 4/17/2015 12:42:40 AM EST]
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NakedDriver
Champion Author Des Moines

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Message Posted: Apr 16, 2015 10:56:49 PM

ə we collided again!
since i got us to bear lake co at the end of my last entry, i’ll post its info.

bear lake county, license designation 1b, lies in southeasternmost idaho and contains roughly half of the body of water by the same name; the state to the south has the rest. the county also borders on the state to the (south)east, and bannock co to the west-northwest.
its seat is paris, it was created in jan 1875, and pop. 5986, only about nine per cent of which live in the seat with half the rest residing in montpelier. area is 1049.44 mi²/2718 km² with 78.05/202 thereof water, the vast majority of which is in that which gives the county its name.
i drove there in may 2014, following u-30 all the way.

the next one on the list requires a long drive, as it it lies in the narrow northern part of the state. probably the easiest is to retrace u-30 to i-15, get on i-86, take that west to i-84, and that farther west to id-55, north on that to u-95, and keep going until we reach id-5 and east to st. maries. we will be exhausted by the time we get there, if we were able to do it in one day, so we rest in that town. ə
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JCS319
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Message Posted: Apr 16, 2015 1:27:48 AM

Bannock County is a county located in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Idaho. As of the 2010 Census the population was 82,839, making it the fifth-most populous county in Idaho. The county seat and largest city is Pocatello. The county was established in 1893 and named after the local Bannock tribe.
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NakedDriver
Champion Author Des Moines

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Message Posted: Apr 15, 2015 1:11:05 PM

ə all told, i have hitchhiked about 40000 miles, in all the lower 48 except—of all things—wisconsin! the trip in 1979 was the longest, but i had several shorter ones in other years and other states.

from looking over the list, it appears that idaho has far more unique county names than iowa, and thus a much higher percentage. also, please note that the state is split across two time zones, mountain and pacific.

more on adams co: it borders the state to the west, but otherwise none we have discussed yet. its license plate designation is obviously 2a, area is 1370 mi²/3548 km² with 5.43/14 thereof water.
how interesting that adams co, id, though much larger in area, contains fewer people than its iowa namesake, which is our least populous one!
i have not driven in it yet. i had planned to last may, while getting the rest, but ran out of time on that expedition which did see me complete another state.

the next one on the list is on i-15 where it meets i-86. to get there from where we are, we get on either u-95 or id-55 back south to i-84, and east to i-86 until that road ends at i-15.

bannock county has license plate designation 1b. the population is 82839, making it one of the most peopled counties in the state. it is named for the bannock (originally spelled with a instead of o) tribe, has seat pocatello, with about sixty per cent of the inhabitants, and was created mar 1983. its area is 1147.46/2972, with 34.16/88 water.
it was one i hit on the hitchhiking expedition of 1979, but that trip went _north_ on i-15.
i drove in it may 2014, first entering on i-86 and going south on 15 out of the state (to gain more of i-15 and 84), then returning to 86 via 84, and hitting u-30 eb.
to reach the next county on the list, i recommend that we find u-30 off i-15 sb and take it eastbound to where it hits u-89, and south to paris. ə
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JCS319
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Message Posted: Apr 15, 2015 12:50:20 AM

BTW, I was fascinated about your hitchhiking experience through the US nakeddriver. 43 states! 15,000 miles? That's amazing!
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JCS319
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Message Posted: Apr 15, 2015 12:44:59 AM

On to the land of famous potatoes. I have been to all of Idaho's counties - not hard to do when you live in Washington. I finished up Idaho in 2000, the first completed state for me in the new millennium.

Adams County is a rural county located in the state of Idaho. As of the 2010 census the county had a population of 3,976, making it the fifth-least populous county in Idaho. The county seat and largest city is Council. The county was established in 1911 and was named in honor of President John Adams.

Adams County is home to the Brundage Mountain ski area, northeast of New Meadows, and the Idaho ground squirrel.
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NakedDriver
Champion Author Des Moines

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2015 4:02:42 AM

ə before we leave my state, here are a few more facts about wright county:
clarion holds about a fifth of the county’s residents.
belmond, a town north of clarion with a slightly smaller population, was devastated by an f5 tornado on oct 14, 1966. a few days later, my parents and i took a road trip to see the aftermath. i can recall the day in des moines: the sky to the north was blacker than i had ever seen. at the time, there was a weather forecaster named newton weller who stated that a tornado would light up the television screen of a set tuned to channel 2, and that his displayed the phenomenon more than a hundred miles away. this theory later was shown to be less than accurate.
wright co has hancock to its north, cerro gordo northeast, franklin east, hardln southeast, hamilton south, webster southwest, humboldt west, and kossuth northwest.
the area is 582.54 mi²/1509 km² with water making up 1.82/5 thereof.
i first drove there in mar 1985.

with that, we say goodbye to iowa and move to the next state in the list, idaho. the best way to drive there from iowa is to take interstate 80 across nebraska and wyoming and turning onto i-84 in utah. if this is done accurately, the route will take us to the first county in the alphabet, which will be documented below.
known as the land of the best potatoes, idaho (nicknamed the gem state) is fourteenth largest in area (87530 mi²/22670 km²) but 39th in population (1011986, est. in 2014, 1634464(?!)). its area is thus about fifty per cent more than iowa’, but population about sixty per cent. its name origin is uncertain; there are several theories as to where the name came from. it was granted statehood in jul 1890, and carved from the washington territory and later that was subdivided and formed the idaho territory. the capital is boise, 2010 pop. 205671.
the state contains 44 counties, sixteen in which i have driven. the state license plates indicate the county of residence with an alphanumeric code. if there is only one county beginning with a certain letter, that will be the county code. if more than one county begins with a certain letter, the first one alphabetically will precede the letter with 1, the second with 2, and so forth. the largest county in area is idaho co, 8502 mi²/22021 km², and the smallest is payette, 410 mi²/1062 km².

now let’s move on to the counties!
we start with the most populous one which also contains the state capital.

ada county lies on i-84 in western idaho. being as it is the first we visit, obviously there are none that border it which we have discussed. its seat is also the capital city, boise (with just over half the inhabitants), county pop. 392365, area 1060.33/2746 with 5.34/14 water, and name origin ada riggs, daughter of h. c. riggs, legislator of the idaho territory, and the first white child born in boise. it was created dec 1864. since it is the first beginning with a, its license designation is 1a.
federal highways 20 and 30 traverse ada co. oddly enough, they cross and 20 proceeds west south of 30. u-20 ends in newport, oregon (west of salem) at u-101, but 30 goes all the way to the northwest corner of the beaver state, to astoria.
i have not yet driven in ada co, though have in most that surround it. the reason for this is that, if i have not yet driven in the county containing the state capital, i save that one for last. this is just how i play the county-hunting game. i began this procedure in 2003, so any states i acquired prior to that might have been “spoiled” by driving in the “reserved” county, in which case i choose another usually based on some superlative such as largest or smallest population, largest or smallest area, geographic superlative such as northernmost, borders the last county of another state, or, if none of those will apply, something else such as just liking the name. in the case of idaho, since i have not driven in ada co yet, it will be the last one i get. i carefully drove to its south in may 2014.
i have hitchhiked through ada co in 1979, as part of a tour of the country covering 43 states plus dc, and going over fifteen thousand miles and 102 days.

to reach the next county in idaho, we find id-55 if in boise, or u-95 if in the far west part of the county (west on i-84), and drive north on the respective road until it intersects the other at new meadows, though if on the latter highway, council might be a nicer place to stop. ə
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JCS319
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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2015 1:26:06 AM

Wright County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,229. The county seat is Clarion. The county was formed on January 15, 1851 and named after Silas Wright, a Governor of New York and for Joseph Albert Wright, a Governor of Indiana.
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NakedDriver
Champion Author Des Moines

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Message Posted: Apr 13, 2015 7:43:05 PM

ə more about woodbury co: would you believe this is one of the 26 names unique to iowa? i was startled to find this. winneshiek was another, but not winnebago.
woodbury co is the fifth most populous county in the state. the ones ahead of it are: polk, linn, scott, and johnson. sioux city, pop. 82680, is the third largest city in the state, and comprises about five-sixths of the county’s residents. the county seat is unique in another way. it is the only city in the country which has a “north” and “south” suburb carrying the same name as the city but all in different states! that is, n. s. c. is in south dakota across the big sioux river, and s. s. c. is in nebraska across the missouri river.
woodbury co’s western border is with two states, listed above. north-northeast is cherokee, east ida, southeast crawford, south monona, and north-northwest plymouth. area is 877.39 mi²/2272 km² with 4.79/12 of that water, of which the vast majority is the two large rivers forming its borders with the other states. one of its other towns with a silly-sounding name is correctionville.
i first drove there in may 2001, though had been there many times prior when i was not driving, mainly for chess tournaments.

the next one we will visit is accessible via u-20 east back to i-35 and north until we reach ia-9. if the driver prefers to remain on interstate highways only, there is a way to do that although it involves going out of state: north on i-29 to i-229 to i-90, east to i-35 and south to ia-9. northwood is probably the best resting place.

the new county for this post is worth co, lying in extreme north-central iowa in the first tier, bordering the state to the north. another created in jan 1851, it contains 7598 people, just over a quarter of whom live in the seat, northwood, and was named for william worth, an officer in the war of 1812, seminole war, and mexican-american war. east is mitchell, southeast (but not touching) is floyd, south cerro gordo, southwest hancock, and west winnebago. area is 401.71 mi²/1040 km², with 1.71/4 thereof water. it thus has 400 mi² of land area.
i first drove there in mar 1985.

the last iowa county in the alphabet can be reached on i-35 southbound; the interstate cuts through the southeast corner of the county but there is nowhere to visit there so i would recommend exiting sooner on ia-3 and going west past u-69. clarion is probably the best stopping place in the county. ə
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JCS319
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Message Posted: Apr 13, 2015 12:24:11 AM

Woodbury County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 102,172. The county seat is Sioux City.

Originally established in 1851 as Wahkaw County, the Iowa Legislature in 1853 changed the name to Woodbury County in honor of Levi Woodbury (1789–1851), a senator and Governor of New Hampshire who served as a Supreme Court justice from 1844 until his death.
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NakedDriver
Champion Author Des Moines

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Message Posted: Apr 12, 2015 9:48:55 PM

ə more on winnebago co:
it borders the state to the north. southeast we find cerro gordo, south hancock, and southwest and west kossuth.
about forty per cent of the county’s residents live in forest city, a town most famous for being the headquarters of winnebago industries®, which is most noted for their motor homes. the town actually occupies two counties (part of it lies in hancock co), but its southern portion is governed by the winnebago county system as far as i can tell.
area is 401.57 mi²/1040 km² with 1.1/3 thereof water.
i first drove there in nov 2004.

to reach the next one on the list, the 96th in the alphabet, we get on ia-9 and go east past howard co. decorah is a good place to rest.

the new county for today is winneshiek, in far northeast iowa, in the first tier. while it is named for a winnebago chief, there is uncertainty as to how it originated. it was created feb 1847, pop. is 21056, and seat decorah, with also around forty per cent of the inhabitants. it also borders the state to the north, has allamakee to the east, clayton southeast, fayette south, chickasaw southwest, and howard west.
area is 689.88/1787 with water area 0.27/<1.
this was another i picked up in mar 2005.

to get to the next one, we get on ia-150 (accessible from u-52) south to u-20, and take that as far west as we can go without leaving iowa. ə
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JCS319
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Message Posted: Apr 11, 2015 2:43:20 AM

Winnebago County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,866. The county seat is Forest City. The county was founded in 1847 and named after the eponymous Native American tribe.
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NakedDriver
Champion Author Des Moines

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Message Posted: Apr 10, 2015 2:30:46 AM

ə wow! lots of stuff about wayne co i didn’t know!
more on it:
lucas is to its north, monroe northeast, appanoose east, decatur west, and clarke northwest. about a quarter of the county’s inhabitants are in corydon, and area is 573.02 mi²/1354 km² with 1.48/4 of it being water.
my parents often drove through it on 65 on the way to trenton, mo home of my father&rsqo;s mother, and we would stop in humeston to eat. sometimes we would stop just across the border, in south lineville, and get some pyrotechnics. (lineville is a nasty speed trap, with limit twenty mph!)
i first drove in it in may 1992, the first time i visited my mother’s grave (my parents are buried in south evans cemetery a little east of tindall). i hitchhiked through it for the first time in may 1980.

to reach the county following wayne on the list, we go north on u-65 to its co-brand with 69, take that to i-235 east and continue north on 35 to u-20, then west past hamilton co.

webster county is in north-central iowa. it is south of humboldt, west of hamilton, north-northwest of boone, north-northeast of greene, east of calhoun, and southeast of pocahontas. its population is 38013 with two-thirds thereof in the seat, fort dodge, was created in jan 1853 from two now-defunct counties (risley and yell, both created in 1851 and abolished two years later), and was named not for the person who wrote the dictionary (noah) but the senator from massachusetts (daniel).
fort dodge was an army fort built in 1850 and decommissioned three years later. the city grew up around the old fort site.
area is 718/1860 with 2.8/7 thereof water.
the fort dodge correctional facility, a medium-security prison, was built in 1998. it is odd in that the minimum-security north central correctional facility is located in rockwell city, one county west. the reason for that is that the latter was the former women’s prison, and when a new one for women was built in mitchellville, the old one was turned into a men’s prison.
i first drove in it in jul 2005. it seemed that i had done so in mar 1985, but i don’t recall the route i took that year, and so will go with what my map shows.

fort dodge lies at the intersection of federal highways 169 and 20. to get to the next county on the list, we can go east on 20 and north on u-69 past hancock co, or north on u-169 to ia-9 and east one. in either case, we can stop at forest city and see the plant that manufactures motor homes named after the county. ə

[Edited by: NakedDriver at 4/10/2015 2:32:42 AM EST]
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JCS319
Champion Author Tacoma

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Message Posted: Apr 10, 2015 1:17:38 AM

Wayne County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 6,403, making it the fifth-least populous county in Iowa. The county seat is Corydon.

Wayne County was formed in 1846 but was still attached to other counties for governmental purposes. It was named after General Anthony Wayne.

Its southern border with Missouri was uncertain until the states got a decision from the US Supreme Court in 1848 which held the 1816 Sullivan line (re-marked in 1850), originally run as the northern boundary of an Osage Indian cession. This line is not a true east-west line so the county does not have an exactly rectangular shape.

There had been settlement in this county as early as 1841 by persons thinking they were in Missouri, but the first settlers intending to be in Iowa came about 1848.Its government was organized and the county seat selected in 1851.
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NakedDriver
Champion Author Des Moines

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Message Posted: Apr 9, 2015 5:30:00 AM

ə oops! i forgot to post the new one!
so here it is.
washington county lies in eastern iowa, in the sixth tier. johnson is to its north-northeast, muscatine east-northeast, louisa east-southeast, henry south-southeast, jefferson south-southwest, keokuk west, and iowa north-northwest. the eponym is obvious, and is one of the most popular county names in the country. it was created jan 1839, has pop. 21704, and seat washington, which holds about a third of the people. area is 530.77 mi²/1473 km² with 2.06/5 thereof water. a fair part of that water area is the iowa river, and there are several places along that in this county to bathe or skinny-dip though more are in johnson co.
kalona is famous for being the site of one of the earliest amish settlements west of the mississippi river.
riverside, in the far northern part of the county off u-218 on ia-22, advertises itself as the future birthplace of james t. kirk. they used to hold a birthday party for him in march, but now just have the aforementioned trek fest on the last weekend in june, and i march in the parade there.
i first drove there in mar 1988.

to reach the next county on the list, we go south on u-218 to ia-2, and west past appanoose co to either ia-14 (corydon) or u-65 (nearest town humeston). ə
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NakedDriver
Champion Author Des Moines

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Message Posted: Apr 9, 2015 1:21:49 AM

ə more on warren co: to its north is polk, northeast jasper, east marion, southeast monroe, south lucas, southwest clarke, west madison, and northwest dallas. indianola comprises about a third of the county’s population; most of the rest is on the outskirts of d. m., including norwalk. the area is 573.21 mi²/1485 km² with 1.56/4 being water.
indianola was the site of the national hot-air balloon races for a while; not sure if it still is. carlisle is noted mostly for the house the mccaughey septuplets lived in.
i first drove in warren co in jul 1981.

to reach the next one on the list, we go east on ia-92 past keokuk co, to u-218. a good stopping place is the riverside casino, on ia-22 off 218 a bit north of 92. if we go there the last weekend of june, we can enjoy trek fest, a county fair with a little “star trek” added. ə
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JCS319
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Message Posted: Apr 8, 2015 10:01:43 PM

Warren County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 46,225. The county seat is Indianola. Warren County was formed in 1846. It was named for General Joseph Warren, a hero in the American Revolutionary War.
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NakedDriver
Champion Author Des Moines

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Message Posted: Apr 8, 2015 1:59:11 PM

ə of all the counties to get last—van buren!
since we both did that one, i’ll do the next one:

wapello county is in southeast iowa, with seat ottumwa, pop. 35625 (about two-thirds of whom live in the seat), named for fox chief wapello, and established feb 1843. to its north-northeast we find keokuk, east jefferson, southeast van buren, south davis, southwest appanoose, west monroe, and north-northwest mahaska. area is 435.98 mi²/1129 km² with 4.17/11 of it as water. a fair amount of the water area is the des moines river.
i first drove there nov 1997.

the next county on the list is probably most easily accessed from here by going west on u-34 to u-65 and that north one. another way is north on u-63 to ia-163 to ia-92 and west past marion co.
we can rest in indianola or carlisle, the latter on ia-5 from knoxville. ə

[Edited by: NakedDriver at 4/8/2015 1:59:49 PM EST]
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JCS319
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Message Posted: Apr 8, 2015 2:30:54 AM

Van Buren County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,570. The county seat is Keosauqua, which contains the oldest continuously operational courthouse in the state of Iowa, and second oldest in the United States.

Van Buren County was also the last of Iowa's 99 counties that I drove through last July on my way to clinching the state of Iowa.
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Message Posted: Apr 8, 2015 12:29:15 AM

ə additional data on union co:
north-northeast is madison co, east clarke, southeast decatur, south ringgold, southwest taylor, west adams, and north-northwest adair.
the eponym is the union of states, and around two-thirds of the population live in creston. area is 425.95 mi²/1103 km² with 1.57/4 thereof water.
i first drove in union co in jun 2003.
to reach the next county, which starts with the next letter as well, we can drive south on u-169, or east to i-35 and south thereon, until we reach ia-2 and go east to ia-1.
keosaqua makes a good resting point.

the new one:
van buren county lies in far southeast iowa. of the five iowa counties touching it, we have seen four: jefferson north, henry northeast, lee east, and davis west. the state to the south also borders it. its name is that of the former president, creation date was dec 1836, population 7570, and seat keosaqua with barely over a thousand people in it. area is 490.55/1271 with 5.73/15 of that water.
i first drove there in may 1992.
we advance another letter for the next one, which is northwest of where we are in this one. the easiest way to get to it is north on ia-1 to u-34 and go west to u-63, at which intersection we can stop in ottumwa. ə
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Message Posted: Apr 7, 2015 1:51:41 AM

Union County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 12,534. The county seat is Creston.
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Message Posted: Apr 6, 2015 2:22:23 AM

ə more info on tama county:
another of the 26 county names unique to iowa, it also is one whose county seat is not the largest town; tama is slightly larger than toledo, but they basically abut. black hawk lies to the north-northeast, benton east, iowa southeast, poweshiek south, jasper southwest, marshall west, and grundy north-northwest. area is 722.37 mi²/1871 km² with 1.03/3 thereof water.
there is some uncertainty as to the name origin; some say it is from taomah, wife of poweshiek.
i first drove there in 1983, but not sure if it was summer or fall. i biked there in nov 2013.
to reach the next county on our list, we return west on u-30 to i-35, south on that to ia-2, and west past ringgold co.

the new one:
taylor county lies in far southwest iowa. adams is to its north, ringgold east, page west, and montgomery northwest; the state to the south borders it. the seat is bedford and pop. is 6317, it was named for former president zachary taylor, and area is 534.83/1365 with 0.87/2 being water.
my first drive there was jan 1999.

the next one, beginning with the 21st letter, lies northeast of taylor. to get there, we go back east on ia-2 and north on u-169. ə
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Message Posted: Apr 5, 2015 1:51:06 AM

Tama County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,767. Its county seat is Toledo. The county was formed on February 17, 1843 and named for Taimah, a leader of the Meskwaki Indians.
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Message Posted: Apr 4, 2015 4:17:01 AM

ə oh, darn! we collided again. i’ll write the next one.
story county lies in central iowa. the seat is nevada, which is another place we mispronounce as the middle (accented) syllable rhymes with “way”. to its north-northeast is hardin, east marshall, southeast jasper, south polk, southwest dallas, west boone, and north-northwest hamilton. joseph story, a supreme court justice, lent his name to it, and its creation date was jan 1846. population is 89542, with only a small fraction of those people living in nevada; the majority live in ames, home of iowa state university. area is 573.7 mi²/1486 km² with 0.84/2 thereof water. a fair amount of that water is in the south skunk river, upon which are some nice skinny-dipping spots.
i was quite surprised to find that this is one of the 26 iowa counties with no namesake in any other state; the closest name thereto is stor_e_y in nv.
i first drove there jul 1981, and it was the site of my first run in jul 2011 (at one of the aforementioned spots on the s. skunk). i first biked there as part of a massive undertaking in oct 2012.

we go to the next letter in the alphabet for the one after story. to get to it, we drive east on u-30 past marshall co.
have a happy easter all! ə
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Message Posted: Apr 4, 2015 3:51:48 AM

ə sioux county lies in far northwestern iowa, in the second tier. to the north we find lyon, northeast osceola, east o’brien, southeast cherokee, and south plymouth. it borders the state to the northwest with the big sioux river between the two. the seat is orange city, whose population comprises less than a fifth of the 33704 in the county. it was another of the 49 established jan 1851, and the name origin is obvious. area is 768.58 mi²/1991 km² with 0.7/2 thereof water.
my first driving there was jul 2005.

to reach the last county starting with the nineteenth letter, we can go one of two ways: east on u-18 to i-35 and south past hamilton, or south on u-75 to i-29, a short distance south to u-20, east on that to i-35, and then south one. other, longer, ways are to continue south on i-29 to u-30 and east on that past boone co, or still farther south on i-29 to i-680, east on that to i-80, and that to i-35 and go north one. ə
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Message Posted: Apr 4, 2015 3:45:22 AM

Sioux County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 33,704. Its county seat is Orange City.

Sioux County was formed on January 15, 1851. It has been self-governed since January 20, 1860. It was named after the Sioux tribe.
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Message Posted: Apr 3, 2015 2:41:09 AM

ə more on scott co: it was named for winfield scott, a general in the war of 1812, and was created dec 1837. it also contains two of the four cities making up the quad cities, davenport (containing over half the county’s inhabitants), bettendorf, rock island, and moline, though the last two are across the border. only three iowa counties border on it: clinton north, muscatine southwest, and cedar west.
interstate 74 begins as a branch off 80 in scott co. in addition, there is the loop i-280 that bypasses most of the metropolitan areas.
its area is 468.17 mi²/1213 km² with 10.24/27 thereof water, most of that being the mississippi.
i first drove there in jun 1983.
to reach the next county on the list, we get back on i-80 and proceed west into pottawottamie co, until we reach federal highway 59 (exit 40), and take that north a short distance. the county seat is near the intersection of 59 and ia-44.

the new one:
shelby county is in far western iowa, just north of interstate 80. created jan 1851, it is named for isaac shelby, a general in both the revolution and war of 1812 as well as the first governor of the commonwealth of kentucky, contains 12167 inhabitants, and has harlan as its seat (with just over 40% of the population). crawford co is to its north, carroll northeast, audubon east, cass southeast, pottawottamie south and southwest, harrison west, and monona northwest (we are seeing more that border only ones we have encountered so far as we progress through the list). area is 591.37/1532, of which 0.54/1 is water.
my first driving there was jun 2004.

only a sixth of them left!
to reach the next one, we have a choice. we can travel north on u-59 to u-18 and go west one, or go south to i-80, get on i-680 to i-29, that to u-75, and that north of plymouth co. neither is very time-efficient, but the former does go through more interesting areas. ə
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Message Posted: Apr 3, 2015 1:01:43 AM

Scott County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 165,224,[1] making it the third-most populous county in Iowa. The county seat is Davenport.[2]
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Message Posted: Apr 2, 2015 3:49:01 AM

ə collision!
that was an interesting factoid about the 26 iowa counties with unique names!

sac county, in northwest iowa in the fourth tier, is next on our list. its name is from the sac (also spelled sauk) native american tribe, and the seat is sac city, a misnomer as it is not a city with pop. just over two thousand. the county is home to 10350, and two federal highways (20 and 71) pass through it. it was another created jan 1851. we have seen all the counties surrounding it: buena vista north, pocahontas northeast, calhoun east, carroll south-southeast, crawford south-southwest, ida west, and cherokee northwest. area is 578.38 mi²/1437 km² with 2.56/7 of it water.
i first drove in it in jul 2005.

next up is one on the opposite end. we travel on u-20 east to i-35, that south to i-80, and that east past cedar co. if we drive much farther, we will leave iowa.
we can stop at the iowa i-80 truck plaza in walcott, fuel up, and go on to davenport while we discuss that county. ə
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Message Posted: Apr 2, 2015 3:28:27 AM

ə hmmm. we went backwards two!
the new one:
ringgold county lies in the southernmost tier of iowain the central colums. to the northeast is clarke, east decatur, and northwest adams. its name is from samuel ringgold, a major killed in the mexican-american war, and the seat is mount ayr.
population is 5131, with just under a third in the seat, creation date feb 1847, and area 538.92 mi²/1436 km² with water making up 1.26/3 thereof.
i first drove there some time in 1997, not sure exactly when, to visit friends in kellerton.
it is the only iowa county that begins with ar.

federal highway 169 passes through ringgold county. if we get on that and proceed north to u-20 and that west through calhoun co, we will arrive at the next one. another possibility is ia-2 west to u-71 and that north past carroll co. ə
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Message Posted: Apr 2, 2015 3:09:28 AM

Oops - oh nevermind. On to:

Ringgold County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,131, making it the second-least populous county in Iowa. The county seat is Mount Ayr. The county is named after Maj. Samuel Ringgold, a hero of the Battle of Palo Alto fought in May 1846, during the Mexican-American War. It is one of the 26 Iowa counties which has a name not shared with any other county in the United States.
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Message Posted: Apr 2, 2015 1:25:04 AM

Pottawattamie County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 93,158. The county takes its name from the Potawatomi Native American tribe. The county seat is Council Bluffs.
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Message Posted: Apr 1, 2015 3:51:41 AM

ə one more piece of info about polk co which i omitted: i first drove there in jul 1981, but my first time biking there was much earlier, around 1962.

the new one:
poweshiek county lies in eastern iowa. to its northeast is benton, east iowa, southeast keokuk, south mahaska, southwest marion, west jasper, and northwest marshall. the seat is montezuma, largest city grinnell, pop. 18914 (almost half in grinnell, under 10% in montezuma), and name comes from chief poweshiek of the fox tribe. it was created feb 1843, from mesquakie lands.
the area is 586.17 mi²/1518 km² with 1.14/3 thereof water.
i first drove therein in jun 1983, and biked in it nov 2013.
we have reached the end of counties beginning with the sixteenth letter, and as there are none starting with the seventeenth (there are very few counties in the country beginning with q!), we move to the eighteenth letter for the next one.

to go there, we return to des moines via i-80, get on i-35 south, exit on ia-2, and go west until we reach kellerton. we can stop there or continue to mount ayr. ə
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Message Posted: Mar 31, 2015 2:10:03 PM

ə well, i had hoped to get this one done, but was too tired at the time. ☹
more on polk co:
located in central iowa at the southern terminus of ia-141 and the intersection of interstates 35 (transcontinental n-s), 80 (transcontinental e-w), and 235 (which runs through the city while the other two co-brand around it), it has marshall to its northeast, but they do not touch. jasper is to the east, marion southeast, madison southwest, dallas west, and boone northwest. created in jan 1846, the county contains the confluence of the raccoon into the des moines river in des moines. the eponym is james knox polk, the eleventh president. area is 591.9 mi²/1533 km², with 22.55/58 of it water, most of that being saylorville lake, a federal flood-control project.
not only is polk the most populous county in the state, it also boasts the most cities of over ten thousand population. des moines, of course, with just under 200000, is the largest, but clive and west des moines (west), urbandale (northwest), ankeny and johnston (north), and altoona (northeast) , all of which except ankeny abut the seat, and that city soon will touch the seat’s border if it keeps expanding southward. the south city limit of des moines is also the county line, which explains why there are no suburbs to the south. wdm, clive, and urbandale all extend into dallas co.
mitchellville, a town in the eastern part of the county, contains the state prison for women.
polk co bore the brunt of a devastating flood in 1993 that not only caused enormous destruction, but also indundated the des moines water treatment plant which is located near the raccoon river. that body crested above the dike that separates the water treatment facility from it, flooding the latter, and rendering all suburbs but west des moines, which has its own water supply, without clean water for almost two weeks.
the capital was established in des moines (from iowa city) in 1857.
i could tell a lot more about this county, since it is my home (i live in capitol east, just east of the state capitol building), but will get on to the next one.
to go there, we get on i-235 (if that is closer, to its western terminus, staying on i-80) or i-(35/)80 (if 235 would be out of the way) and go west to the last county before entering the state to the west.

the new one:
pottawottamie county is in western iowa, and borders the state to the west on the missouri river. harrison lies to its north, cass east, montgomery southeast, and mills south. named for the pottawottamie tribe (though there is some discrepancy in the spelling as two other counties, one in kansas and the other in oklahoma, have the same name but each spelled differently), its seat is council bluffs, creation date feb 1847 (just after statehood), and pop. 93158 with more than half of those in the seat.
interestingly enough, this county hosts the only part of iowa which lies west of the big muddy. the river changed its course, and the city of omaha then claimed carter lake as part of itself. iowa fought this, and won, so it is possible to drive into iowa from nebraska (and back into the latter) without crossing the river, but no direct bridge exists to link the two. carter lake also contains the shortest highway in the state, ia-165.
pottawottamie co also is home to the intersection of interstates 80 and 29 (n-s from kansas city to canada), plus the children of the former, 480 and 680, both of which go into omaha.
the county’s area is 959.94/2486 with 5.68/15 thereof water with most of that being the big muddy itself. it thus is second largest in area.

to reach the next county in the list, we get on either i-80 or 680 (whichever is closer; take the latter eb to 80; if in the far southern part, i-29 provides the access to i-80) and continue east past jasper co. grinnell (exit 182) makes a good stopping point. ə

[Edited by: NakedDriver at 3/31/2015 2:13:30 PM EST]
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Message Posted: Mar 31, 2015 2:56:22 AM

Polk County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 430,640, making it the most populous county in Iowa. The county seat is Des Moines, which is also the capital city of Iowa.
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Message Posted: Mar 30, 2015 1:15:09 PM

ə sorry, these past several days have been super-busy!

more on palo alto co: my source gives 9421 as the pop. but what’s a few people among friends? ☻ it was created from kossuth co in jan 1851. it has emmet to the north, kossuth east, humboldt southeast, buena vista southwest, clay west, and dickinson northwest. fewer than half its population reside in emmetsburg. the area is 569.4 mi²/1475 km² of which 5.57/14 is water.
my first trip there was nov 2005; it was the last county of the state i drove in. clay was the one prior to that.
to get to plymouth co from here, go south on ia-4 to ia-3, then west.

more on plymouth co: another created in 1851, it lies on the western edge of iowa and borders the state to the northwest, has o’brien to the northeast, cherokee east, and ida southeast. its name origin is obviously from the landing place of the pilgrims in 1620. fewer than half the people are in le mars. its area is 839.96/2238 with 0.39/1 thereof water.
i first drove in it jul 2005 so it was also one of the last ones i acquired as that expedition netted almost all in the northwest sector of the state.
to reach the next one on the list, we get back on ia-3 and go east.

the new one:
pocahontas county lies in northwest iowa, also created jan 1851. to the north we find palo alto, northeast kossuth, east humboldt, south calhoun, southwest sac, west buena vista, and northwest clay. the name is from the native american woman, and the seat is the same. pop. is 7310 with under a quarter in the seat. area is 579.13/1500 with 1.42/4 thereof water.
a large statue representation of the indian princess stands near the intersection of ia-3 and ia-4 in pocahontas.
the next one on the list can be driven to via ia-4 to ia-141 to that road’s southern terminus.
i will try to post that tomorrow. ə
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Message Posted: Mar 30, 2015 1:51:15 AM

Plymouth County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,986. The county seat is Le Mars.
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Message Posted: Mar 26, 2015 11:50:51 PM

Palo Alto County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,147. The county seat is Emmetsburg. It is named for the first battlefield victory in the Mexican-American War.
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ə more on osceola co: on the northern border, it is half of only the second adjacent pair both geographically and alphabetically. dickinson lies to the east, clay southeast, o’brien south, and lyon west. it was created jan 1851, and has area 399.48 mi²/1035 km² of which 0.71/2 is water. it is most noted for the highest point in iowa, hawkeye point, roughly half a km above sea level.
fewer than half the county population reside in sibley.
i first drove through this county in jul 2005.
we go south to the opposite border on u-59 to reach the next county.

page county is in southwest iowa, and borders the state to the south.
north is montgomery, northeast adams, west fremont, and northwest mills. its seat is clarinda, creation date is feb 1847, and pop. 15932. eponym is john page, an officer killed in the mexican-american war at the battle of palo alto. clarinda and shenandoah comprise two-thirds of the county population; the former also contains a state prison. the area is 535/1386 of which half a mi² or one km² is water.
my first traversal of this was jan 1999.
federal highway 71 passes through page co; we get on that and travel north to u-18 and east to reach the next one. ə
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Message Posted: Mar 26, 2015 1:02:09 AM

Osceola County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 6,462. The county seat is Sibley, named for H. H. Sibley of Minnesota. It is named for Seminole war chief Osceola.
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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2015 12:22:11 PM

ə yes, i try to post additional information on counties i missed, plus the newest one.

more on muscatine co: it has cedar to its north, louisa south, and johnson northwest. just over half the population resides in the seat. it was established in 1836 barely before statehood, and name origin is uncertain but believed to derive from the mascouten tribe of the potawatomies with possible meaning “burning island”. the area is 449.07 mi²/1163 km² with 10.4/27 thereof water, of which the vast majority is the big river.
i first drove there in jun 2004.
we skip the next letter as there are no counties in iowa starting therewith, and travel far northwest for the next one. take ia-38 back to i-80 to i-380 and that to u-20, go west to u-59, and proceed north therefrom to get to it.

o’brien county is in northwest iowa. its seat is primghar, pop. 14398, and the eponym william o’brien, an irish revolutionary. dickinson lies to its northeast, clay east, buena vista southeast, and lyon northwest. primghar is a small town, whose name was derived from the names of eight people who were instrumental in plotting it. the county was established in jan 1851, on the day nearly half of the counties of the state were created.
county area is 573.25/1485, and of that, only .17/<1 is water.
i first drove there in nov 2005, in a trip which saw me complete the last three of iowa’s counties; this was the first of those three.

we go one north for the next county; we are now almost ¾ of the way through iowa. ə

[Edited by: NakedDriver at 3/25/2015 12:25:30 PM EST]
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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2015 12:19:26 AM

Glad to see you back NakedDriver - didn't notice you - better pay better attention.

Muscatine County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 42,745. The county seat is Muscatine. The southeastern border is formed by the Mississippi River.
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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2015 12:16:40 AM

Montgomery County is a county located in the southwestern area of the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,740. Its population has declined since a peak in 1900, since urbanization and decline of family farms. The county seat is Red Oak. The county was founded by European-American migrants from eastern areas in 1851. It was named in honor of Richard Montgomery, an American Revolutionary War general killed in 1775 while trying to capture Quebec City, Canada.
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Message Posted: Mar 24, 2015 2:15:58 PM

ə well, mitchell was the 66th one. ☺
i was in cedar rapids on sat. for chess, and was too tired sun. and mon. to post here.

more on monona co: the loess hills run through this and several others on the western border. its name origin is uncertain, possibly native american meaning “peaceful valley”
on the missouri river, the county has ida northeast, crawford east, and harrison south. oddly enough, while it is in the fifth tier, u-30, which goes through every other one in that tier, does not enter this one as it turns southwest in crawford co. the area is 698.85 mi²/1810 km² of which 5.73/15 is water, naturally the majority thereof being the big muddy itself.
i first drove there in may 2001 while returning from california and going through sd.
to reach the next one, we drive south on i-29, take i-680 east and merge onto i-80, run that to i-35, and take that to ia-5 through marion co.

more on monroe co: in southeast iowa, it has mahaska to the north-northeast, davis southeast, appanoose south, lucas west, and marion north-northwest. the eponym is former president james monroe, and it was created in 1843. its area is 434.11/1124 with water comprising 0.7/2 thereof. my first visit to it was in may 1992 that i never have spent much time there.
federal highway 34 traverses this county e-w. if we drive west on that road, we will arrive at the next one on the list, in southwest iowa.

montgomery county, with seat red oak, is, as mentioned above, in the southwest part of the state. it has cass to the north-northeast, adams east, fremont southwest, and mills to its west. named for richard montgomery, a general in the american revolution, it is home to 10740 people with a slight majority of them in the seat, and was created jan 1851.
its area is 424.81/1100, 0.93/2 water. i first drove there jun 2004.
besides u-34, u-71 traverses this one n-s. if we get on that going north and hit ia-92 eastbound, and stay on it until we reach the eastern border of the state, we will arrive in the next county. a slightly longer but faster route is to continue north to i-80 and go east until we hit ia-38, and exit on that going east (or south whichever is appropriate; i fail to recall if that is considered an e-w or n-s highway as it runs nw-se).
that county is the last beginning with em. ə
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JCS319
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Message Posted: Mar 23, 2015 10:43:07 PM

Monroe County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,970. The county seat is Albia.
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JCS319
Champion Author Tacoma

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Message Posted: Mar 21, 2015 2:45:50 AM

Wow, 2/3. Iowa is a bigger state than most people realize.

Monona County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 9,243. The county seat is Onawa. And I've been through this county more than once as it is located on I-29.
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