Friday, July 3, 2009

Iowa - A New State for us in the RV

We enjoyed Hickory Hollow campground in Utica, IL very much. It was a lovely park with big, old trees throughout. We went for a walk and afterwards I took advantage of the laundry and did two loads. Up until now I've had relatives to impose on!

The next morning we headed into Iowa on I-80. The first thing we came upon was the Iowa 80 truck stop, reportedly the world's largest. We've seen this featured on several travel and RV TV shows. It has absolutely everything on three floors. We only used the restroom and didn't buy anything, but it was fun to look around.

 
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Ted with his new rig. His shirt matches the cab! This whole truck is inside the gift shop.

 
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A list of all that is on the other two floors. Note the dentist and theater.

 
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The entrance to the gift shop after passing the restaurants.

We arrived at the Amana RV Park and got set up. I fixed chicken for dinner and we called it a night when the bugs got too pesky.

Today we went into Amana, one of seven colonies here. We covered about 3/4's of it and still have the remainder and the rest of the six colonies to cover in the remaining two days we are here. We visited the Heritage Museum and many of the shops and attractions throughout the day. Below are pictures of typical houses and looms at the Amana Woolen Mills, still in operation today.

As background, Inspirationists founded Amana in the 1800s after buying 26,000 acres in Iowa. They emigrated from Germany to Ebenezer, NY originally but needed more room for their farming commune. They lived this communal lifestyle until 1932 when the Amana Society was established and the commune was dissolved. Individuals received shares in the Society which still operates today. To be a shareholder you must live in one of the Colonies for six months out of the year.

Amana Woolen Mill still operates as well as other businesses such as those that farm and lease the 26,000 acres. Amana Appliances was sold in recent years to Whirlpool.

 
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I put meatballs, sausage and sauce into the crockpot that morning and we were all glad that supper was waiting for us. We walked around for six hours and were pretty whipped. After dinner we reviewed the remainder of the trip between here and Island Park, ID where we will part company with Rick and Brenda the second week in August. We're pretty much on target with our original plan.

Today was the 4th of July and it was 63 and raining! Ted had to drive to Cedar Rapids to Sam's Club to have a truck tire looked at. He had a slow leak and it turned out to be a nail in the tire. They plugged that and when he returned home we went to the other Amanas - Middle, High, West, South and Homestead. The rain never let up while we visited the remaining attractions. It was all very interesting.

We went to church at St. Michael's in Norway and came home to eat some Memphis pork butt BBQ that Rick and Brenda had purchased from their church and brought along. It had a great smoky flavor. We started out for a walk and ended up talking for a long time to a couple from north of Des Moines.

The fireworks were canceled for tonight despite the rain stopping in late afternoon. They are rescheduled for tomorrow. We accomplished a lot today so we'll have time to do some other exploring tomorrow.

We leave Monday morning heading to Little Sioux,IA for an overnight followed by a stop in Mitchell, SD to see the Corn Palace. We will stay in Interior, SD outside Badlands National Park for a week.

1 comment:

jillquilts said...

I'm glad that you got the tire fixed! I had a piece of metal in one of my car tires last year and didn't know what it was, but I kept having to fill every tire up with air. What a pain!! But no problems since. I'm sure you guys will have smooth sailing with it from here on out! :)