We didn’t spend long in Iowa, but we still feel like we saw a lot.
We visited with my brother Garry and his wife Ilene, and did some letterboxing there in Boone, Iowa. It was fun finding all the boxes that Garry had planted around town, even one in his yard! Mamie Eisenhower was born in Boone, and we visited her house too, just walking around the outside. Garry made an excellent stamp of Mamie. If you’re a letterboxer be sure to check out “Mamie’s Home” if you ever go to Boone. He also showed us where the Lincoln Highway went through Boone in the early days of automobile travel.
Iowa is a lot of corn and soybeans! Also wide open spaces, fresh air, dirt roads without potholes, brilliant blue skies, and a feeling of well-being that comes from crossing the vast prairie. One interesting note: way out in the middle of the cornfields, we were still seeing road names like 350th Street and M Avenue—no nonsense names that make navigating easier. After all, to most of us, all cornfields look alike and it would be easy to get lost. Near the point where we rejoined the interstate, we noticed that the avenues began to have names. But then we also noticed that they were alphabetical. One of the last series we saw was comprised of bird names (eg. Thrush, Swallow, Robin, Quail, Pheasant, Oriole, etc). Trying to guess which name would come up next made the miles go by quickly, and when we came to a little town, we realized that we were in Audubon County. Ah, that explains it! Viewing the flat or gently-rolling vistas, it was easy to see why Frank Lloyd Wright designed his midwestern Prairie homes on the horizontal plane, to be compatible with the land. All too soon, we came to Council Bluffs on the far western border of Iowa, and prepared to enter our next state of adventure, Nebraska.