Okoboji Writers’ Retreat & the world’s largest popcorn ball 2022

I ventured out of my niche here in SE Iowa to partake in the second annual Okoboji Writers’ Retreat on the opposite corner of the state. This area contains glacier carved lakes and the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory, the location of the conference.

I didn’t take nearly enough photos of the beautiful Lakeside Labs.
Here’s what the trip there & back looked like.

I went with my sister, a journalist. We are both freelancers now as we embarked on the four hour drive across mostly rural Iowa.

The retreat was both fun and inspirational. I got ideas about new projects and for better or worse, encouragement to keep using social media. I learned how to make my sex scenes more sensual and met great people, including the owner of this farm and BNB.

Here’s more about the retreat.

And more.

Fortunately, the camera didn’t capture me in the links above, maybe because I was sneaking off to buy beer.

No, I didn’t get a sticker. Oh so uncomfortable!

After getting much information and meeting people who enriched my life, we headed back to Pella and made a few stops along the way.

How often do you have a chance to see the world’s largest popcorn ball in Sac City, Iowa?

It’s right along highway 20 and you can glimpse it from the road. We stopped and parked behind it. The signage was confusing but it looked as if we were in a little park.

A tiny village is tucked away behind the popcorn ball.
I wasn’t sure what this park was about, town’s history maybe, but there was a long list of donors who contributed to the popcorn ball and the shed where it is displayed.
The ball is covered by a blue tarp inside of a roadside stand.

The popcorn ball was made all in one day–June 18, 2016. It weighs 9,370 pounds. This includes 2300 lbs of popcorn. It’s 12 feet in diameter.

We continued on our journey, stopping for mums.

My crooked mumkin–the mum and its pot in an old ceramic jack o’ lantern. Crooked mum, crooked mumkin.

And watermelon.

fresh from the farm

Not willing to let the experience go, I made popcorn balls. It was messy and required vinyl gloves.

Hot and sticky
Tasty, but I’ll leave the world’s record to the pros in Sac City.

In case you were wondering, besides popcorn, a popcorn ball is made from confectioners sugar, corn syrup, marshmallows (optional), butter or margarine, and a small bit of water. I used around 2-3 cups of unpopped corn, weighing maybe half a pound (I’m rounding up to avoid having to use scientific notation or decimals). Think about it before you attempt to outdo Sac City.

4 thoughts on “Okoboji Writers’ Retreat & the world’s largest popcorn ball 2022

  1. Diane

    I was hoping to meet you for a cup of coffee when you were here. I wanted to personally tell you how “Mixed In” affected me. I owe you a beer or two.

    Like

Leave a Reply to Catherine Haustein Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s