Day 8 – Monday – July 25, 2011
0640 Wake up. Take Darby outside. Get dressed.
0705 Wake kids up. Get the car loaded and take our final pictures.
0805 Leaving Grandma’s house.
0806 Stop at the post office to mail the bills. There is fresh oil on the road. Don’t want to drive on that!
0813 See a truck full of pigs headed to you know where.
0818 Foggy out in the cornfields this morning.
0823 Hang a right at the corner of Corn and Soybean.
0824 Why does Jo like to drive the back roads through the corn fields?
0827 Still foggy.
0830 A gravel road? Really, Jo?
0839 Ryan sees a wolf (?)/coyote (?)/some sort of not-a-dog in the field.
0844 Crossing train tracks. See our first cows of the day in the field.
0846 Trivia on the radio… Apparently the average person has 12 different addresses in their life.
0850 See grave diggers working in the cemetery.
0858 Crossing the Mississippi River into Burlington, Iowa. That’s new bridge – very fancy. (a cable-stayed bridge) Burlington is a much bigger city than I was expecting.
0904 Gas, $3.59/gallon
0910 Stop at a very noisy McD’s (construction in the parking lot) for some iced coffee and a breakfast sandwich.
0919 Ethanol plant
0929 Racine Avenue… only one letter missing!
1011 Passed a farmhouse with a dj truck outside.
1015 American Gothic House. It’s a brown sign. I wonder if it means gothic as in architecture or gothic as in spooky.
1017 Darby really wants to help Ryan eat his beef jerky.
1023 Ottumwa, IA
1050 Albia, IA - potty break
1134 Text from Ron – the movers are at the new house and starting to unload.
1141 I am enjoying the rolling hills of Iowa. Very nice to look at.
1148 Pass a barn that has a yellow slide coming out the side.
12:00 p.m. Subway for lunch
12:13 p.m. Pass a daycare center/preschool. Why are all the playgrounds always out in the sun with no grass, no trees, no shade?
12:40 p.m. Searching for the Bridges of Madison County… see a sign for John Wayne’s birthplace.
12:55 p.m. Stop at the birthplace. Got a map of where the covered bridges are. There is one at the city park nearby. Apparently there is also a maze and a tower there at the park.
1:15 p.m. At the park. Take a picture by the bridge then the kids go through the hedge maze while I try to convince Darby to drink some water before he has a heat stroke.
1:40 p.m. We have found Clark Tower. Very cool! We also decided that the windy forested road through the park to the tower would also make a nice hike. While at the park, the kids defend Prince Cookie from the invading Ogre Army. Ryan killed 30 ogres, Bella killed 10, and Felisa killed 20. Now we must journey on to find another fortress for the Prince where the Ogres can’t find us.
1:54 p.m. Leaving the tower. Hot and sweaty but it was a lot of fun. Darby still won’t drink any water. Hopefully he’ll cool off quickly in the air conditioned car.
2:23 p.m. Stop at Hogback Bridge.
2:39 p.m. Call ahead to the hotel to make a reservation. Jo’s ETA to the hotel is 7 p.m.
2:50 p.m. Cow swimming hole
2:55 p.m. On I-80 West… off the back roads and onto the interstate
3:14 p.m. Antique Country Road… which reminds me – I forgot to look up the location of the American Pickers shop so that we could stop by.
3:20 p.m. Happy face water tower- Adair, IA
3:33 p.m. East Nishnabotna Creek… I wonder where that name comes from.
3:44 p.m. I keep feeling like I have driven this way before. And I’m sure I have at some point in my life. But when?
3:57 p.m. Rest Area 1 mile ahead. Then a sign for a Modern Rest Area 14 miles ahead. What’s the difference?
3:58 p.m. Oh, that’s the difference. The first (non-modern!) rest area is for parking only – no facilities.
3:59 p.m. Passed by a minivan from New York also with a roof-box.
4:03 p.m. Oh I think I remember – it must have been the year we went to Mount Rushmore. We drove east across South Dakota then dropped down through Iowa. So I’ve been here before, just headed in the other direction.
4:14 p.m. Union Pacific Railroad Museum – sounds interesting for a future stop.
4:26 p.m. Gas, $3.43/gallon
4:30 p.m. Once again Jo has led me on a wild goose chase where there is NO Starbucks!!! Grr!
4:41 p.m. Nebraska and the Missouri River
4:43 p.m. Oh yay. A traffic jam. Yuck!
4:59 p.m. Paypal offices
5:12 p.m. Platte River
5:14 p.m. I’m hungry. I’m thirsty. And it’s making me feel nauseous.
5:16 p.m. Lady Gaga is on the country radio station. Apparently one of her new songs, You and I, is about Nebraska where she is from.
5:26 p.m. A car with a Broncos sticker. Go Broncos!
5:34 p.m. And now it’s the country version of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way
5:37 p.m. Sonic for dinner. Apparently the carhop is new. At least that’s what the manager told me when I had to go back in for the second time to get more stuff she had left out of our order.
6:01 p.m. Finally leaving Sonic.
6:17 p.m. A sign for the Keg Bar. Happy Hour is 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. That’s a long happy hour!
Driving through downtown Lincoln. It would’ve been much faster to go back the way we came to Sonic than to drive 8 miles across town. Thanks for nothing, Jo.
7:17 p.m. Plainsman Museum sign
7:31 p.m. Platte River
7:47 p.m. Hotel.
Uh oh – no pool at this hotel! But they do take dogs… sorry kids!
I take Darby for a walk while the kids watch tv. I call dad to check in for tomorrow.
9:30 p.m. Tell the kids to go to bed then I take a shower.
After my shower time to update my blog and pictures.
11:31 p.m. Bed time. I’m hungry and it’s late.