Saturday, July 08, 2006

Iowa – That’s where the tall corn grows!

Hurry, hurry; rush, rush
We go about our days, careening through life, glancing at our watches… Some folks are traveling in the fast lane of a freeway; others are meandering down a country road. -- Shirley Dobson

I’ll take the country road any day.

July 7
This morning we visited with our Uncle Willis before driving on to Iowa. We’ve had great weather and easy driving.

After about a hundred miles through Missouri, we crossed into the “great state of Iowa” – and indeed, the corn did look taller than it did in Kansas. (Maybe Linda and I are partial to Iowa because we both were born there!) We had been traveling on I-70, I-435 (that skirts Kansas City), and I-35 north – not because it is the 50th Anniversary of the Interstate System, but because we were on a fairly tight schedule. However soon after entering Iowa, we took the first opportunity to abandon the speedy Interstates and slow down on Iowa highways.

Our goal for the night was the Adel Island RV Park – the same park I stayed in last year. It is not the classiest RV park but the location is great. Many of the sites back up to the Raccoon River. I had a great view of the river outside my bedroom window. When we were parked and hooked up, we went for a walk into Adel, oohing and aahing over the old homes, “main” street and the county courthouse that is undergoing a $10 million renovation.

July 8

Our first stop this morning was to visit “Old Man Fred” Reeck in Des Moines. He’s a delightful man; a shirttail relative and special friend of ours. Then we continued north to Forest City and the Winnebago Grand National Rally grounds. We are here a week early to take advantage of the pre-rally activities and also to have more time to spend in Forest City where our great aunts and great uncle used to live (and now are buried in one of the town’s cemeteries).

Forest City is often called “the smallest big town in Iowa.” Population is 4,500. It is the smallest town in America to have its own YMCA. It is the home of Waldorf College that was established in 1903, and home of Winnebago Industries, the largest manufacturer of RVs in the world. This coming weekend the town celebrates Puckerbrush Days – complete with numerous activities, a parade and chicken BBQ.

After checking in at the rally grounds, we were escorted to our parking spots – they were side-by-side. In order to park alongside Linda, I opted to park in the Nevada State row. Being a grassy field that was used to grow soybeans, there aren’t many level spots – and so getting set up required some creative work. Even though Linda and Bob have “automatic jacks” that lower for leveling, Linda had to position some boards where the jacks would land. I was slow with the camera – and missed a shot of both Linda and Bob on hands-and-knees to survey the situation.

Jeremiah doesn’t have such fancy features – my leveling process is accomplished by either driving up on boards, or digging holes. I’m getting pretty good at evaluating how many boards and on which wheels!

Whew! We’re here and will stay put (with the exception of some service work) until Thursday, July 20.