Day 24: Northern Iowa

Cloudless skies and lots and lots of boring cornfield driving between stuff.  I really explored all sections of the Sirius satellite radio in desperation to stay awake today.  Even wound up spending way too much time over in the Offensive Comedy area.  Caffeine and gum just weren’t cutting it.  I have not ever tried those energy drinks but it may come to that!  One more week to go.  I got a bit lost and confused on some country bumpkin road with a little less than 1/4 tank of gas and no stations anywhere.  The stress and frustration of having to backtrack about 30 miles finally zapped me awake.  Lousy road signs. And imaginative names like CX98 and B14. 

When you think of Iowa, or at least when I do, you don’t think rivers and lakes.  But there are plenty of ‘em.  So many in fact that nobody gives a crap if you pull over and let your dogs romp around for 20 minutes.  They think you’re crazy — to be doing such a thing — or to have four dogs period — I’m not sure which or both.  But they don’t say anything.  In New England, everybody’s gotta say something.  And find a reason why you shouldn’t.  Put up No Trespassing signs or No Dogs signs or No Swimming signs — just because.  I say water should be public property unless it’s sitting in the middle of your front lawn or someone’s gonna funk it up somehow with toxins.  So the dogs got loads of splashie time today.  The bank clocks said it was in the upper 80s but I don’t even notice it anymore.  Here’s a shot of Crystal Lake where we pulled ‘er over for awhile.  Iowa is also big on wind farms and if you look closely at the large view, you’ll see them on the horizon at the right.

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In Waterloo, I stumbled upon these neat castle apartments.  Apartments to my NYC eyes anyway — maybe they are “two family houses” or whatever.

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I believe this motel was in Cedar Falls.  I love the this shorthand advertising.

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So here’s a new mid-century vocabulary word for you — new to me anyway. Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue — and I still don’t think I really understand it even with the help of wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodecagon

I spotted “Dodecagon Plaza” in Spencer, IA from some distance.  However, the closer I got the more the interesting roof element disappeared.  So the best I could do was this.  Bing and Google maps don’t offer anything better.

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It was not a very bloggy sort of day.  I was not in areas with much old or interesting stuff.  I’ve never been a nature photographer and am not about to become one now.  Although, if tomorrow is just as rural, I might have to resort to that to entertain you.

Here’s one more photo for you.  There’s not much to Hartley — one little main street and a few residential streets.  I was there looking for the Capitol Theatre which must be gone or sufficiently remodeled as to be unrecognizable.  But the Red’s Cafe sign made the stop worth it.  Still open although not on a Monday early evening when I was there.

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4 Responses to “Day 24: Northern Iowa”

  1. “In New England, everybody’s gotta say something. And find a reason why you shouldn’t. ”

    SO true! That’s why I moved away and have been so much happier since I did!

    • I have found mostly on this Midwest trip that people stare at my illegal driving and at my nutso dogs — but no one has the nerve or quickness-of-wit to honk or say anything. In NYC, someone has to say something about anything. Verbal diarrhea.

  2. GPS. Nothing fancy just one of those inexpensive “pucks” (from the online auction site) you plug into the laptop. Admittedly I have made a wrong turn with it, but I always find something interesting to photograph.

    • I never ever get lost and my printed maps get me everywhere just fine. They give me an overview to connect destinations in a way that GPS never would. This was just a really lousy nowheresville part of the state. The roads were just barely a step up from being upaved.

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