Sunday, November 14, 2010


Clear and –2c, overcast in the morning with a little snowfall

We couldn’t find a huge amount to do Iowa-way so we’re heading westward. En route we had a look at Iowa city which was nice. There is a large campus full of old and interesting buildings. We also went through Des Moines which is Bill Bryson’s home town and that was nice too.  It’s a big city with a beautiful state capitol building

we also went a very cool town called Mount Vernon north of Iowa City. This place is a college town with 1200 students and about 4000 residents. Therefore, it’s a cool town with small arty shops and restaurants, rather than just the basics you find in some small towns. I had Carolina style pulled pork sandwich, which is made with cider vinegar rather than a sweet BBQ sauce. So nice!


We didn't stay long in either city, we’ve figured that unless you want to go to a museum or gallery or similar, then cities are much the same and we end up spending more than our budget allows.

We camped out in Prarie Rose state park in western Iowa. The first time we’ve camped with snow on the ground and even a little falling.



On the way to the park, we climbed to around 1300 feet and discovered much snow but the roads were clear.






Many of the roads were unpaved but solid, but it got dark and we missed this sign. Suddenly the road went from compact, solid gravel to mud with no visible warning, except the bright yellow sign warning us of ‘level B service’. Basic, is that?

I was driving slowly and the back of the heavy truck started wandering left to the outside of the road, sliding down the camber. I held it roughly straight in a slow-motion drift but it was getting worse. You see, the road surface was untracked, obviously the locals know what a ‘minimum maintenance road’ means and stay away, so the surface looked identical to the solid roads we’d just travelled. Things were slowing down and the car was not moving like it should, or even at all – stuck.

The moment I had been waiting for had arrived, it was time to reach for the 4WD button! not that I knew where it was since the bulb was gone, but I found it and pressed go - it went. Slowly it crawled out the muck with lumps of it spraying all over. Cool! I did a multi-point turn and headed back out to solid ground, a fist-sized clump of mud as a hood souvenir.


This is what the road looked like in the cold light of day.






Yeah, we off-roaded… I’m grateful to whoever chose those chunky tyres before we bought the car.


Now, off to Nebraska

1 comment:

  1. Ooohh... please... no more driving after dark!!!! Especially in snow...
    XOXO Mom-Sue