First of All – First day stopping twice for fuel
Corn Husker Highway
De Soto, Iowa (John Wayne’s birthplace)
- Miles Cruised today: 446
- Total Miles Cruised to date: 1,962
- Hours Underway: 8
- Fuel: 49 gallons
- Morning House Battery Reading: NA
- Wind Speed: 5mph; Wind Direction: northerly
- Daily High Temperature: 75
- Water Temperature: NA
With a shorter distance to go today, our start this morning is a bit more leisurely. We take time to heat up and enjoy a cinnabon roll we picked up at a truck stop yesterday. We roll out of the campground around 9am, under gray and threatening skies. The forecast calls for a 30 to 40 per cent chance of thunderstorms today in the country we’ll pass through. Furthermore, some of the storms are expected to be severe, with the possibility of tornadoes. This is very unusual for August, and it has me somewhat concerned.
The flat farmland of Nebraska rolls on by like yesterday, but the driving gets complicated with the onset of rain near Lincoln, and by increasing traffic between Lincoln and Omaha. The rain becomes progressively heavier as I negotiate I-80 around Omaha. We cross the Missouri River shortly before noon, and upon reaching the Iowa side, the landscape quickly changes. In place of the flat plains of Nebraska, western Iowa is very hilly and rolling, and the farms which have developed on its rich soil are delightful to behold. Vast corn and soybean fields are contoured into the hills, resulting in interesting patterns. The farm buildings and homes look prosperous. Some enterprising farmers have taken advantage of strategic hilltops to lease billboard sites. In one field next to the freeway I spot a “Burma Shave” style series of signs which appeal to the urban planner in me. They read: “Urban Sprawl” / “Ain’t very Purty” / “Save our Farmland” / “Build in the City”. These signs are sponsored by the Future Farmers of America. I heartily endorse their sentiment.
As we near our intended destination, Rock Creek State Park, about 40 miles east of Des Moines, we travel into driving rain. We opt to go a couple hours further east, to a private campground located just 20 miles outside of Davenport. We arrive shortly after 5 pm and are pleased with our decision. We’ve driven out of the rain (for the moment at least). The place looks attractive and will suit our needs. I dry off the picnic table and we have our dinner of grilled sausages outdoors. It starts raining again, just as we finish eating, so we go into the boat for our dessert, a couple of ice cream bars purchased at the campground office. I call our friends in Grand Haven to let them know when to expect us tomorrow. It looks like we should be able to get there by around 3pm, if things go favorably.