“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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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…