Posts Tagged ‘Iowa’

East of the Mississippi!

Yet another gorgeous day! We were so worried about all the rain and tornadoes, but I’m thinking we’ve brought the good weather with us! We left Des Moines, gorgeous morning, and finally crossed the Mississippi. There is something mythic about this mighty river and it’s division of the country. Every time we cross the Continental Divide, I think about the water that flows to the Mississippi. And the gateway to the westward movement, with all its pros and cons. And Mark Twain, whose many books I have read. I always feel like I am entering or leaving a different country. The day was quiet, and very relaxing…Iowa is certainly “heartland.”

Illinois just seemed soft and green, lots of farms, not nearly the amount of sprinkle systems that we saw in Nebraska. It is SO NICE to see rivers with water in them! And I must say, Iowa has some of the nicest roadside stops!

We traveled through Illinois, past Regan’s  birthplace, into Wisconsin, and finally to Milwaukee. We weren’t  sure we’d head this far north, but I have always wanted to visit this city. Tomorrow we are doing a boat cruise around the lake and river.

Here’s a few shots from today.

A whole rest area devoted to quilting!

A whole rest area devoted to quilting!

Iowa rest area - patchwork. locks

Iowa rest area – patchwork. locks

Even the brickwork.....

Even the brickwork…..

The little picnic areas are identified by patchwork.

The little picnic areas are identified by patchwork.

We noticed in Illinois that the mile markers were in fractions…one-quart, half, and three-quarter.  Very cool…I’d like to know why….in Wisconsin the markers were in two-tenths….also cool!

Mile markers!

Mile markers!



Tomorrow on the water!

Long Day, Great Drive

We left Denver at 5:30 am, with the intent to get to Omaha a d potentially see an elementary school friend. Despite an unexpected tour of the Denver Airport (huge and confusing), we headed on our way to Nebraska. What a great drive….flat, once we were out of Colorado, lots of grass, loads of farming, and a LOT of corn!  Small farms, large farms, lots of small towns. We’ve had great weather…one  of the concerns we had about getting across the Plains.

Saw my first dandelion at the Colorado Welcome Center, right before we crossed into Nebraska. Also, it was a stop for the Pony Express. So much history as we cross the country, and lots of friendly folks. We followed the Platte River for a while, and I kept thinking about the great documentary about Lewis and Clarke, done by Ken Burns. We got to Omaha, but couldn’t find a motel, so we ended up in Des Moines…nice little city.

We crossed the Missouri River and the terrain changed….hilly all over.  Plus, every bit of land was taken up with corn and hay, to the extent of terracing hills to plant more corn. Iowa was much more beautiful than I had imagined. and Des Moines is lovely.

So we have decided to head tomorrow to Milwaukee for a few days….so many things to do in that city! Here’s a few shots from today…and more on the art  museum when my brain is not fried from directions…..

My first dandelion on the trip…


Lots of lilies…reminds me of our last trip east – they were all over.


The Pony Express statue…



The Platte River has such historical significance….

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