Friday, November 8, 2013

The Long Road Home

We were up early and ready to go at 7a.m., but we were greeted with a heavy downpour. We waited for a lull in the rain so I could get the RV ready without being drowned in the process. We didn’t do too badly, as we were still on the road by 8:30.

Ames, Iowa, rest area's functional art.
Going down I-35, we stopped at a rest area north of Ames, Iowa, at Mile Marker 117. They had done a unique thing that was both artistic and provided supplemental lighting for the rest area during the night. Black silhouettes of Iowa cultural and historic scenes had been cut and placed over translucent boxes that were illuminated from the inside. The silhouettes were quite visible during the day, and were backlighted at night.

Hwy. 69 was a pretty drive.  An Amish wagon had us in tow for
a couple minutes.  Since we were on both a curve and approaching
a hill crest, passing was impossible.  When he realized we were there,
he politely pulled off onto the grass to let us pass.
At 7 p.m. we arrived at Nine Eagles State Park near the Iowa state line on I-35 (at exit 4 Hwy 69, near Davis). It’s unfortunate that the campground doesn’t seem more heavily used, as its quiet and enjoyable. There are three campgrounds in the park, and we had the campground we were in entirely to ourselves. The land had once been the home of the Winnebago tribe, but it became a state park some time after the tribe had been forced to the Indian Territories in Oklahoma. We had a very enjoyable visit from a campground volunteer whose family used to live on these lands. His grandfather was a Winnebago brave, and his mother was a McCoy, of the notorious Hatfields and McCoys, of West Virginia and Kentucky.

Fields were filled with wildflowers.  As close as I can determine,
this is checker mallow, but I won't put any money on it.
By late afternoon the next day, there was no question that we were back in Oklahoma. The wind was blowing, the soil was parched, and the thermometer was topping a hundred degrees. Cool, green, and beautiful Wisconsin was too far in the rear-view to be seen, and we have just our memories to hold us over until we’re able to return.


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