Posts Tagged ‘Crescent’

Hiking Hitchcock Nature Center, Crescent, IA

9 May 2012

I’m catching up on some posts due to being quite on the go for a couple weeks.

I was in the Omaha area the week of 23 April. On the 24th, my meeting got out a little early, and so I decided to hike at Hitchcock Nature Center. It’s north of Crescent, IA, which is about 10 miles northeast of Omaha, in the rolling hills east of the Missouri River.

Summary, 3.6 miles, lots of up and down, lots of bugs.

I got there around 1600. The very nice and enthusiastic young lady in the visitor center pointed me at the trails on the north side of the center. They have water at the visitor center, and leave the doors to the restrooms open there as well, a nice touch. The center also has a very tall observation tower to walk up, with fantastic views. It costs $2 to get in. The gate doesn’t close until 2200.

The trails are pretty easy to follow for the most part. The main part of the part is very well signed.

The north part of the park had some fairly trackless areas. I took a slight detour to look at a farm that was FULL of very large tadpoles (like, 5″ long tadpoles).

Here is the ground track and altitude.

Lots of up and down!

My recommendation: bring bug spray! I was constantly waving gnats away from my face, and picked about 10 ticks off my socks. It was unseasonably hot, which meant a lot of sweating.

But this is a very nice area for a walk. I saw no animals except for tadpoles and some birds, including a couple bluebirds and what I think was a gold finch. I’m looking forward to going back.

Pink Poodle Steakhouse, Crescent, IA

29 January 2010

Pink Poodle Restaurant on Urbanspoon

No, it’s not a strip club, it’s a restaurant!

I last ate at the Poodle about 15 years ago. I had done some afternoon and night skiing at the Crescent Ski Area (really, skiing in Iowa!), and so was quite hungry, and had an excellent steak there on the way back to Omaha.

Tonight a couple work friends and I were famished after a long day of meeting. Ron suggested the Poodle, and of course I said right on! It’s a bit of a drive from Bellevue up there, but well worth it.

I ordered a T-Bone, medium. You get unlimited beef vegetable soup with the meal (I had two bowls of it). It’s hot and just thick enough, and has tons of chunky veg and beef. The salad is a standard lettuce with a small amount of carrot slices and some other stuff. You have a choice of no less than five dressings brought to your table. You also have a loaf of white bread.

The T-Bone was perfectly cooked. It was not as marbled as it could be, but it was tasty and pretty tender. There was no meat left on that poor bone by the time I was finished with it. The steak came with a pile of hash browns that were not quite as crunchy as I like them, but tasted just fine.

Service was a bit slow at first, then it got better and was attentive. Our server brought a pitcher of iced tea to the table so we never ran out.

We got there around 1830, and were seated immediately. I’d guess the place was 15% full. When we left around 2030, it was a bit less full. My check was $24.08.

One note – the menu noted that “seperate checks and parties of eight or more” would get an automatic 15% tip. As I have said before, I do not like this kind of stupid extortion rule. We did ask for seperate checks, and our server split them up, but she did not add the 15% extortion. For this, she got a 25% tip.