Des Moines/Iowa Day I

Trip Start Jun 27, 2009
Trip End Aug 07, 2009

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Where I stayed
Bob Shetler Recreation Area

Flag of United States  , Iowa
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day IV – Chicago to Des Moines

So today was quite a whirlwind. You see, only minutes before leaving Chicago we (mostly myself) decided that we would alter our route so as to travel through northern Iowa and then south to Des Moines. Our original route took us out of Chicago on Route 80 to the south east directly to Des Moines. Our change in route would add about an hour on to the trip. Now you're probably asking WHY we would alter our route…

The Field of Dreams. Remember? The 1989 film with Kevin Costner about an Iowian farmer who hear’s voices that tell him to build a baseball field so as to bring back the spirit of his dead father. Of course, Costner’s character builds the baseball diamond right in the middle of his corn field (a gamble since now he won’t make enough money to pay for his home). Anyway…long story short, the field is still there in the same condition they left it. It really was built for the movie, and is sort of a baseball mecca next to Cooperstown and of course Yankee Stadium. HAHAH just kidding about that last one.

So our little detour to the Field of Dreams got off to a rough start. We left Chicago around 8 am, and there was really bad traffic getting out of the city. Once past it it was smooth sailing for oh…about, 20 minutes.  Turns out some nice trucker decided to set his rig on fire and leave it smoldering on the side of the road which caused about an hour delay of barely moving traffic. (Ok he didn’t intentionally set it on fire, but I was pretty mad so I’ll just pretend he did).

After the traffic I was pretty tired so Jen and I switched as drivers. Not 10 minutes later we hit construction galore including the removal of the exit we needed to take. We had to divert onto back roads which were choked with cars and Jen being new to driving manual transmission was wound rather tight. Moments later, in the middle of an intersection while waiting to turn, she stalled the car.

It happens to everyone at some point who drives stick. But we had to switch driving again since she was a little shaken up by this point.

Finally 3 hours later….we arrived at the Field of Dreams. It was awesome. Jen and I played catch on the field and took some corny (no pun intended) pictures in the corn. (Watch the movie if you don’t get these references. Awesome movie!)

We needed to eat after the Field of Dreams so we took a little pitstop in the town of Dyersville, IA. It was your typical mid-western country kitchen: everything was fried, everything was 4,000 calories, and everything was delicious. And oh yes, pie came first…dinner second.  At least that’s what the locals do.

Our waitress was the kindest person we’ve ever met. Our meal was not kind on our stomachs.

Three hours of driving later, the sky cleared (it had been cloudy and about 55 degrees and no I’m not kidding) and it warmed up. We arrived at our destination, the Bob Shetler Recreation Area which was built by the Army Corp of Engineers.

Imagine this (or look at the pictures if you lack and imagination): Our campsite sits alongside a fast moving river generated by a huge dam right behind us. That’s right, a 150 foot dam right behind us. It’s amazing. Jen and I climbed the dam, had 3 heart attacks each, and then…at the top, turned around to see the city of Des Moines nearly 15 miles away. It was surreal.

That’s it for today. Tomorrow, looking forward to Des Moines and a movie. Just some short little tidbits for today…..  people out here are incredibly friendly AND awesome drivers.

P.S. Avoid Illinois if you can. Chicago is great, but the rest of the state is a little weak. However, crossing the mighty Mississippi River was something of a coming of age moment. I feel like I can finally teach my discipline properly.

That’s all for now!
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