Most of the time I absolutely HATE that my inner alarm clock wakes me up super early on the weekends, but this weekend I actually didn't mind. Saturday morning I woke up at 5 a.m., and I just could NOT get back to sleep. I was feeling a little anxious and stressed, so I knew I needed to get out of my house. By 5:30, I found myself in the car on the way to my absolute favorite place in Eastern Iowa.

It's been about a year since I've been to Palisades-Kepler State Park in Mount Vernon, but every time I visit I wonder why I don't visit more. It's just a quick 20-minute drive from my apartment in Cedar Rapids, so there's really no excuse. It's actually kind of hard to believe that it's so close to the city because the beautiful scenery makes you feel so far away. I got to the park at about 6 a.m., which is my new favorite time to go. I think I saw two people the entire hour I was there. It's a great time/place to go if you need a bit of a break to clear your head, which is exactly what I was looking for.

Here are a few photos from my recent trip to the park: