Iowa 2021:
Day 3 - Prairie Rose State Park, IA [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

Iowa 2021: [Day 1 - Moraine View SRA] [Day 2 - Geode SP] [Day 3 - Prairie Rose SP] [Day 4 - Ledges SP] [Day 5 - Heading Home]

Tuesday, August 24, 2021: We started late again this morning so that we would still be in camp during the low temperatures of the morning, driving during the hottest part of the day, and arriving at tonight's camp as late as possible.
The route from our campsite was down a gravel road with a speed limit of 55 MPH. We are not fans of gravel, especially at highway speeds, and were very happy when we eventually got to a paved two-lane highway.
We both locked on to the statue on the roof of this building, and were delighted to see that it was a Clydesdale.
The highway that we were on was designated as the 34th Infantry Division Memorial Highway, a national guard unit made up of troops from Minnesota and Iowa. Its headquarters is in Arden Hills, Minnesota, not far from where Debbie used to live.
A John Deere plant was flying, from left to right: the Iowa state flag, the flag of the United States of America, and the John Deere flag. A good breeze allowed them to be very attractively displayed for Debbie's camera.
The adopt-a-highway signs in Iowa are lovely. The signs are apparently only installed once a section of highway has been adopted, leaving large stretches where there are no signs.
This locomotive seems to be pretty far off of its normal route.
Debbie is Swedish American, and her grandfather immigrated from Sweden. What do you say? Should we go take a look?
The Swedish American Immigrant Memorial monument was on the grounds of a Lutheran church, and featured flags from the USA, Sweden, and Iowa, ...
... and a representation of the Swedish immigrant families that settled here during the 19th century.
The road we were on was also part of the Iowa Byways, with this stretch of road being designated the Historic Hills Scenic Byway.
We were also apparently in Amish country.
We were surprised to see signs for the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail Auto Tour Route this far east, but it makes sense that the route has to start somewhere east of Salt Lake City.
The golden arches called to us, and we heeded that call.
Gotta love the creativity that is being employed to get people to get vaccinated.
As the sign a few miles earlier had foretold, we were in horse-and-buggy country.
Debbie had heard of the Freedom Rocks, and we decided to see a few. This one was in Union County, in Creston, Iowa.
Not far from the rock was this visitors center housed in a restored Phillips 66 gas station.
Our next Freedom Rock was in Adams County, in Corning, Iowa.
We headed to Stanton, Iowa, home of ...
... the Swedish Heritage Cultural Center. It was closed today, but we were really here to see ...
... the old water tower, which was shaped as a giant teapot and decorated in a Swedish style. The sign nearby indicated that it was 125 feet tall and could hold 640,000 cups or 40,000 gallons. That's a lot of tea!
The cultural center building itself was an old public school building, and was on beautiful grounds.
Right by the entrance was a wooden statue depicting Karl Oskar and Kristina from Vilhelm Moberg's book, the Emigrants. The statue is "patterned" after "The Emigrants" by sculptor Axel Olsson in Karlshamn, Sweden, and was commissioned to commemorate the Swedes that settled near Stanton in the 1870s. We have seen a duplicate of it in Lindström, Minnesota.
A couple of other Swedish-themed buildings flanked the parking lot. This church's window boxes had "Valkommen" written on them, along with other Swedish designs.
Bonus points for the Dala horse! We drove through the town pronouncing everything with Swedish accents, ...
... on our way to see the new water tower, which was fashioned to be a cup and saucer, in keeping with the old design of a teapot. It is hard to see from this angle, but you can just barely make out the cup's handle on the right side of cup.
We headed to Red Oak to see another Freedom Rock, and saw signs for planets on the sidewalk. They were spaced proportionally according to their distances from the sun, which is always cool to see. We saw Mercury, Venus was hidden behind a tree, Earth, ...
... Mars, Jupiter, ...
... and Saturn. We had to turn before we saw any of the other outer planets.
Montgomery County's Freedom Rock was in their town square on the edge of a little park.
We were back on the Iowa Byway, this time on the Pony Creek loop.
Rivers make natural borders, and this time the border was with ...
... Nebraska. Welcome to your 31st state, The Ocho.
Nebraska takes a much simpler approach to the Adopt a Highway game: put up all the signs, but leave off the adoptee part if there isn't one.
Omaha beckoned in the distance.
And so did the siren song of Winchell's Donut House, our only destination in Nebraska today.
They still have the original triangular sign.
Debbie bravely volunteered to go into Winchell's to make our selections.
As you can see, she has much more restraint than Tom, who would have come out with crates and crates of donuts. But if French crullers had been in stock, she would have bought every one they had, because they are her very favorite Winchell's donut.
Leaving Winchell's, Tom spotted this giant rotating yellow man statue and Debbie checked it out on Roadside America. You never know what you are going to see.
Keeping with tradition, Debbie continues to photograph every Top Golf that we see. Tom quoted the property manager from his old office building when they sold the parcel of land next to their building: "We sold it to a national company with unique perimeter requirements." It is definitely that.
Tom shrieked when we saw this Fiserv office building on the outskirts of Omaha. One of his last clients before retiring was Fiserv, and he frequently had conference calls with people in this very building.
We headed east across the Mormon bridge, back to ...
... Iowa.
It never occurred to us that there would be Mormon Pioneer Auto Tour Route signs on the roads headed east. Hmmm.
Our route took us past these minions, ...
... and these baby deer. They were trying to follow their mama who had ducked into the cornfield as soon as we drove into view.
This Lewis and Clark Trail sign is the first we've seen without the likeness of Lewis and Clark, and the first to have a bicycle on it.
On the left of this picture is a wooden structure that appears to be designed for the loading of cattle. It has lots of switchbacks and wound back up the road for a little ways. It seemed overgrown and disused, but it was fascinating. But mostly, this picture exists to show the unpaved Iowa backroads we were on for a few miles.
We stopped at a rest area on I-80 that had a sign for an RV dump station, and we thought we would check it out. While Tom handled the dump, Debbie photographed this historical marker. She had mentioned earlier as we were passing Council Bluffs that her parents had always said that the way to the west from Minnesota was to head south to Council Bluffs and then turn right.
Our campground for this night was a waterside spot in Prairie Rose State Park.
We rehydrated a Backpacker's Pantry Breakfast Skillet for dinner, which is another one of our favorites.
This little rabbit checked us out from the shade behind a tree before he hopped in for a closer look. At this point, we spent a couple of hours watching a movie ("Sliding Doors") to kill time more quickly before the sun went down.
Sunset was incredibly beautiful and it signaled a very welcome end to the brutal heat of the day.
Goodnight, Prairie Rose State Park. We'll see you in the morning.

Day 4 >

Iowa 2021: [Day 1 - Moraine View SRA] [Day 2 - Geode SP] [Day 3 - Prairie Rose SP] [Day 4 - Ledges SP] [Day 5 - Heading Home] [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

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