Thursday 10 July

Trip Start Apr 13, 2008
Trip End Oct 27, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Iowa
Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thursday 10th July
We had tried to get going earlier today but that didn't really happen.  We crossed back through a time zone now we are heading west.  We gained one hour so that was quite nice.
We had a big drive today of around 160 miles as we wanted to get a move on. We passed into Illinois last night so we are heading on across I 80 into Iowa today, crossing back over the Mississippi River again!  We began to realise that we were entering an area that had suffered severe flood damage about 3 weeks ago.  We stopped at a great Welcome Centre as we crossed into Iowa and thank God we did because the camp ground we were heading for was not open and the road we were planning to take was also not open due to serious flood damage. It was the worst for 500 years!  So the staff at the centre pointed us in the right direction and even made a few calls for us (without us even asking) and we headed for another state park near Cedar Rapids called Palisades State Park where there was a vacancy.
We spent ages at the Welcome place as it had quite a few facilities, including a shop, free wireless internet, art gallery, views over the Mississippi, free coffee etc (with a donation), unbelievably helpful people too. Thanks you guys!
Once we left we still had a way to go so we drove all afternoon, stopping via Herbert Hoover's home -West branch, Iowa and eventually got here at around 5pm. It is baking hot here but that's ok as we have A/C tonight.  We managed to watch the local news only to discover we were in the same county as the thunderstorms that they were broadcasting.  Not only that but there was a tornado warning in effect in the north eastern part of this county. We are in the south so we were OK.  Had it been a few miles south we would have had to abandon our van and run to the toilet block which hopefully would give some protection should a tornado come near.  Not a nice thought.
After dinner we cycled through this park down to the Cedar River which is stunning.  It is now recovering from the almighty flooding and the damage to the surrounding areas is clear and devastating in places.
As it was getting dark we hurriedly cycled back up the hill to our camp and put the kids to bed.
I am feeling very pleased today because the blog is now up-to date, although it has not been put on the travelpod site yet as we have no connection here.  Hopefully in the next couple of days we will.
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