The Register's Mike Kilen had a good piece in Sunday's Register, headlined "The boys of Highway 34," about the slice of roadside Americana that's sprung up recently on the Lake Vista hill just east of town along --- Highway 34.
Just ignore the YouTube clip for the moment; it's only tangentially relevant. I'll come back to it a little later.
I've written here a couple of times about my friend Nick Cattell's (whose name unfortunately is misspelled in the article) Country Cabins and Glamour Camping Resort, which now forms kind of a unit with Norm Paulsen's Frontier Trading Post, Soda Pop Saloon --- and most recently, miniature golf course --- right next door.
You need to go read the article here --- and maybe fire off an e-mail to Mike about that misspelling after you're done (be sure to thank him politely, though, for a fairly rare positive Register piece about the south of Iowa).
Kilen isn't a friend of mine, but we do go back a ways --- to the newsroom of the old Globe-Gazette (Mason City), where he sat sportside as a budding writer and I, on the copy desk, perfecting my disdain for reporters who misspell the names of those who figure prominently in their stories. I blame Tom Thoma for this one, however. Or maybe Jeff Tecklenburg was Mike's supervisor at the time?
Anyhow, the YouTube clip at the top here --- set in California rather than Iowa --- also is about glamour camping, although in a different context. This guy here lives year-around with a good deal of style in what he describes as a three-tent house (living room, bedroom and guest bedroom tents) arranged around a pond in a scenic --- and remote --- location.
The kitchen is entirely outdoors --- under a shed roof; dining is on a deck (or inside the living tent when the weather isn't cooperating) and the bathroom, in a small permanent building with shower along the wall outside.
The tents are vinyl over stable frames on decking with conventional windows and doors built into the framework. Canvas roofs allow the tents to breathe, but waterproof flysheets are suspended over the canvas to make the roofs rainproof.
This could work in Iowa during the warmer months; not practical for winter, however (as of yet, but what with global warming and all, who knows?). Whatever the case, the concept is fun to look at and dream about. So go ahead.