Topeka, KS to Minneapolis, MN

“There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow, the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye, an’ it looks like its climbin’ clear up to the sky. Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day, I’ve got a wonderful feeling,
 everything’s going my way.” – Oklahoma

Miles Traveled: 527.7

I woke up before the sun today so I would have plenty of time to explore Iowa before heading to Minneapolis this afternoon. It was a foggy morning as I trekked through the back roads of Kansas and Missouri, so at times it was a bit tricky to navigate the winding, hilly roads when the visibility was roughly 50 feet! The rising sun provided a pretty awesome sunrise, which paired with the dirty tinted windows of the Jeep made for some relatively decent pictures!

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I rolled into Iowa after a few hours on the road and jumped off the interstate to take the more scenic highways north, through the small farming towns of a very understated state. I headed up to Iowa Falls per the recommendations from my Aunt Sandee, who is from there, and stopped to get some much needed caffeine in a neat little coffee shop called, The Coffee Attic. I walked around the quaint little town for a time, enjoying my frozen chai latte and the near perfect weather, and passing by the old post office, main street, the park, the cutest little popcorn stand I have ever seen, some old churches, and some of the friendliest people I have encountered on my adventure.

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There’s just nothing better than receiving genuinely cheerful ‘good mornings’ and ‘hellos’ from the local folks when crossing paths and returning the sentiment. Kindness towards strangers is unfortunately not something I have seen and/or experienced in every place I have wandered into on my road trip…but I am realizing that it is simply part of life in a small town. The quaint towns in the quiet states are really a pleasure to visit and explore; you will always be made welcome, even if from the smallest of gestures. Had a great time exploring my Aunt’s hometown!

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I continued North passing through small town after small town, all unique in their own way, and cornfield after cornfield, hayfield after hayfield. Iowa was an unexpected pleasure! I really wasn’t sure what to expect out of the state, but I was pleasantly surprised. I thought I might get bored driving through it, knowing it to be a major farming state, but it was really quite beautiful with the old buildings, silos, homes, and trucks. I’m glad I took my time to pass through Iowa; it was well worth the hours and miles! And no, I did not see Chris Soles from the Bachelor.

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I crossed into Minnesoter…sorry, Minnesota and stopped by the Cabelas in Owatonna as my inner redneck lured me to the hunter’s paradise. I’ve never been in one, so I figured when in Rome. That place is one massive camo explosion! After about 20 minutes, and one quick price check on a chair that my dad and I are in the market for (for a future adventure), I skedaddled from Cabelas, merchandise free, and continued on the rest of the drive, just about an hour or so, up to Minneapolis.

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Minneapolis is a pretty large city with an impressive skyline. It was pouring when I first arrived, so I relaxed in my hotel and face-timed with the Burgess family back home. It was so so nice to kick the feet up after a long day in the Jeep. Side note on the rain – I have encountered a few rainstorms on my trip (like 4) and with everyone I welcome the ‘free’ car wash. The Jeep is looking pretty rough! I have now learned that there comes a point where not even a torrential rain storm can help Dusty the Jeep’s ‘situation’ – one day, I’ll get Dusty a proper bath.  Or several.

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When the rain finally let up, I went for a stroll around the city and stopped in a little local joint called Devil’s Advocate – whose host made the regulars down at Folly Beach look like clean shaven businessmen – for a delicious early dinner, before heading back to the hotel for some much needed rest!

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Tomorrow is going to be a good one – I’ve got a great friend meeting me here in Minneapolis and joining my road trip for a couple of days. Should be a great time!!

Lyric credit goes to my dad for this post!

Until next time…

-traveljunkE

day 25

day 25

trip totals

trip totals

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