Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

O'neill, NE to Davenport, IA

OK, we got up Sunday morning (5/29) and headed out of a very soggy RV park and Badlands.  It had rained about an inch overnight and didn't stop until about 10 minutes before we fired up the motor home.  On the way up highway 240 towards I90, we stopped for a few minutes and took a couple of grey-sky photos above.  And when we reached I90 we stopped at the visitor's center for the Minuteman II National Monument, and watched a 20 minute video.  Neat!  We didn't get a chance to view the video the day before.  And away we went, down (east) I90 and into the rain and fog and just downright dreary weather for the next 5 hours.  YUK!  We overnighted in a parking lot of an ALCO discount store, and cuddled up to a book and fell asleep.  It was real windy and foggy and we could here the thnder and saw flashes of lightening to the east towards Norfolk.  But they missed us.  Thank you!

Up the next morning and and away we went down US20 towards Des Moines, Iowa.  We wound up spending two nights at Cutty's RV Park & Camp Club, in Urbandale, a suberb in west Des Moines.  Nice little (not so little) RV Park.  We slept in and after lunch drove into the State Capital to have a look-see.  What a beautiful capital building.  Here are some pics.
This is inside, in the center of the capital looking straight up.
We were just blown away at how this building was built, preserved and designed.  Just gorgeous!  Here are a few more pics.  We spent about an hour or so just walking around viewing everything, even a "Patriot" exhibit in a giant glass case with 8x10 framed photos of the service people from Iowa who had made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for and defending America's right to freedom.
Iowa House of Representatives Hall
Iowa Senate Hall
Our neighbors in the Cutty's RV Park had mentioned to us that we should stop by the Amana Colonies just off I80 about 10 miles and do a little sight seeing and perhaps lunch.  So, we did. 
From Wiki:  The Amana Colonies are a group of settlements of radical German Pietists in Iowa, comprising seven villages. Calling themselves the Ebenezer Society or the Community of True Inspiration, die Gemeinde der wahren Inspiration, they first settled in New York near Buffalo in what is now the Town of West Seneca. However, in order to live out their beliefs in more isolated surroundings they moved west to the rich soil of east-central Iowa (near present-day Iowa City) in 1855. They lived a communal life until the mid 1930s. Due to this, the Amanas are sometimes mistaken as Amish.  We checked out the lunch possibilities, which there were several, and decided on this one.
Great German chow!  I am part German, being born and raised in the Rhineland of America, Cincinnati, Ohio.  So, I am accustomed to German culinaries.  Here is what my "lunch" looked like, and if you've ever been to Germany, and I have, this is the way they serve dinner there:  Family style!
Three diferent knocks & brats with homemade spicy mustard.  Sauerkraut, fried taters w/ brown gravy, corn, slaw, and cottage cheese, rye bread with spinach/butter spread.  YUM!  I couldn't eat everything.  I tried!  After lunch, we walked down the street to the bakery and picked up a couple of pieces of, you guessed it, German chocolate cake, for later in the evening.
And directly across the street was the choco factory.  And six orange dark-chocolate truffles later, we marched and walked down the street to Iowa's first microbrewery.
Millstream Microbrewery, where I picked up a few bottles of their seasonal pale ale.
Right beside the brewery was this interesting bit of history, the canal that was dug by the Amanas back when they first settled the colonies.
So, we sure did like the recommendation the fine folks offered us the evening before back in Des Moines.  Local knowledge is so important when your on the road.  We make it a point to be friendly with our neighbors and are always ready to turn a listening ear to their ideas and experience of the local events and places of interest.  So, chalk it up as a place had never heard of and a place we will not soon forget, and we'll certainly return if we are in the area again.  So, climbed in the Diplomat and drove on down towards Davenport, IA.  But first, a stop by the world's largest truck stop.  This place was recommended by another follower of our blog, Pat.  A Arizona Holiday is Pat's blog.  Thanks Pat for following us and letting us in on so many things.
This ginormous truck stop has everything.  It is at exit 284 in Walcott.  It is actually a small city, with about a thousand trucks parked at any time here.  Well maybe not that many, even though  it seemed like it. 
This place is unreal!  Huge!
They actually had these big boys for sale.  And they are like like a small motor home inside.  shower, satellite TV, LCD TV, separate generator for HVAC, small kitchen...unbelievable!
So, we left here and drove on into the Interstate RV Park in Davenport, IA.  We overnighted here, got up this morning (6/2) and drove on into Indianapolis, IN.  We are overnighting at the Indy Lake RV Park.  In the morning, we'll drive on into Oregonia, OH, and park the motor home at my sister's house for a few days.  While tghere, I'll visit my Mother in Lebanon as well as a few of my other siblings.  I am the oldest of eight (and the best looking I might add).  :-)  Not sure what our next blog will be about, but, we will have one.  Till then, Joe & Nancy, the RVing Beach Bums.