GUTTENBERG, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Along the steep drop on Highway 52 into Guttenberg from the south, Cathy Fisher sat in the summer sunshine at a booth, selling honey by one of the scenic overlooks.
Guttenberg, Iowa overlooks the Mississippi River but also presents a quirky, artistic side close to downtown.
“My family had a cabin on the island,” she said in explaining why this area pulled her in 49 years ago. “It’s God’s country, as they say. We have always been river people.”
Just as Cathy talked about the virtues of the Guttenberg lifestyle, two men on a fishing road trip stopped by. Drawn by the honey. Drawn by the view.
“When I saw the honey, I said "I've gotta stop and get some of this for my wife because she loves honey," Brant Emery, of suburban Chicago said. “So I got honey for my honey. Hey, what's better than that?”
The views of Clayton County’s largest city are striking for anyone approaching the city, from the north or the south. Even a driver who makes a wrong turn in McGregor or New Vienna gets rewarded with the scenery from the windshield.
“I love the beauty of it, of course,” mayor Russell Loven said. “Every time I go up or come down the hill. There's something about the culture. It's a river town.”
Those views of Guttenberg do qualify as "breath taking." One well-known view is from one of the backyards on Acre Street, a windy road that cuts on top of the bluff that overlooks the city. If you want the best vantage point, drive up there and, perhaps, ask a property owner if you can take a peek to the east from their backyard.
What you’ll see is a town that’s spread out north to south, along the Mississippi River, with a park system that follows the city's most striking dynamic.”
“It runs the whole two miles of the city,” Loven said.
Guttenberg is a setting where a person can feel really large when overlooking the city or really small, when looking back to the bluffs at the same houses where we had that superb view from up top. The perspective is something to savor and may get overlooked too often.
“I hear that from many people who stop at the overlooks and drive through pretty fast and don't stop and look,” Loven said. “We've had many, many people who were out from different parts of the country who get lost and get on the River Road, come to Guttenberg and say 'gosh, what a beautiful place this is. I'd like to come back again' and we always welcome them back."