Friday, May 20, 2011

All I Owe Ioway

An Iowa farm viewed through the windshield
Taken 5/19/2011 somewhere in western Iowa.

I've got Ioway in my hair!
I've got Ioway in my ears and eyes and nose!
Oh, I know all I owe I owe Ioway,
I owe Ioway all I owe and I know why.
I am Ioway born and bred,
And on Ioway corn I'm fed,
Not to mention her barley, wheat, and rye!
--Music by Richard Rogers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

There are lots of videos on Youtube of what appear to be various high school musical performances of Rogers & Hammerstein's State Fair. If you wish to go look for them yourself, be my guest.

Day three of our drive east consisted almost entirely of crossing Iowa. Now Iowa isn't all that wide, from west to east, and Des Moines sits almost dead center as you cross the state on I-80. Our intent was to stop there and stay overnight with my friend Fred who was so gracious to me when I first crossed Iowa (that time north to south) back in 2007. We left Sioux City, driving south on I-29. Sioux City is located on the Missouri River where South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa all come together. Before we could head east on I-80, we first had to drive an hour or so south, following the river all the way.

Bridge over the Missouri connecting Iowa and Nebraska
Taken 5/19/2011 south of Sioux City, Iowa

Turning east on I-680, we crossed seemingly endless rolling hills covered with farms. Kevin did most all the driving, which allowed me to aim my camera through the windshield, but he never stopped so all my pics have a bit of window glare. Not up to my usual standards, but you get the idea of what the countryside looks like.

Something new rising above the corn fields
Taken through the windshield in western Iowa, 5/19/2011

We got to Des Moines about 11:30, and Fred took us to lunch at the Des Moines Art Center. If you're in the area this summer, by all means stop and see the great large-scale pieces of Bear art. (No not the ursus kind, the hairy gay man kind of bear). The Center has a stunning collection of 2-D and 3-D art and we enjoyed the time spent wandering the halls perusing the paintings and sculptures. Leaving the Center, Fred drove us downtown to see the Pappajohn sculpture collection. This outdoor sculpture garden is filled with some magnificent work, but it was also filled with three bus loads of school children, so we chose to drive around the park, rather than walk through it. Unfortunately, I had left my camera at Fred's home, so no pictures to share.

Back to Fred's for dinner with our friend Harold, the owner of the Raccoon River Retreat--a gay men's campground about twenty miles west of Des Moines. Checking the map and the clock, we felt that it best to continue on our way rather than spend the night with Fred. We promised we'd stop on our way west, and got back on I-80 eastbound.

Another farm viewed through the windshield
Taken 5/19/2011 in eastern Iowa

Kevin did all the driving across Iowa, and in time we got to the mighty Mississippi at Davenport. Crossing into Moline, Illinois as darkness fell, I fell with it into a deep sleep, awakening only when Kevin pulled off the highway at Peoria where we spent the night.

One final look at Iowa farmland
Taken 5/19/2011 in eastern Iowa

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