Day 12: All Over Iowa

I was all psyched to finish up Chicago this morning.  But it was pouring rain and dark as night in every direction.  I sat at my first destination for about 20 minutes waiting.  And then I made the painful decision to just head on to Iowa.  And quite the journey it was — from coast to coast.  Except Iowa doesn’t really have coasts unless maybe you count rivers as coasts.  In which case there probably are rivers at every border.  Iowa has tons of rivers.  Ask my dogs — who got to splash around in lots of them today.  It was another scorcher — 90-something and humid as hell.  But not as bad from what I heard on the radio about Tennessee, Georgia and elsewhere where it was 100 degrees and with heat index a feels-like of 115 or so.  Wow — my sympathies for any of my readers that are dealing with that!

So anyhow, Dubuque to Sioux City, plus the stretch from Chicago and some jimmy-jags north and south of Highway 20.  I haven’t done the math but that’s a ton of driving.  Plus the local driving in cities to take photos of stuff.  Google says it’s 537 miles from Chicago to Sioux City. 


OK — I’m Back from 5 hours sleep and feel like a million bucks!  Let’s see if I can finish this post now while the sun is coming up.  There weren’t many photos today since it was mostly farmland and dinky towns.  Many miles between destinations and hardly any unplanned surprises.  But it was awfully pretty.  And stinky (tons of chicken production & cows). 

Cornfields and clouds:

and crashed-out dogs:

This is from East Dubuque, IL — just before (finally) crossing the Mississippi River.  There are actually two identical scaffold signs like this on either side of this hill:

This sweet one from Dubuque, IA:

I shot a number of these Dairy Sweets today.  Their buildings are nothing special but I love the plastic signs.  This chain seems entirely or mostly confined to Iowa.  This one, now named Dairy Treat, is from Nashua, IA:

This butterfly-roofed building is from Mason City.  My first guess is former gas station since it’s on a big enough lot.  But it might have been a drive-in restaurant, ice cream stand or something else:

Britt, IA is home to the Hobo Museum and the National Hobo Convention.  This link gives some info about this character on their sign:

This former “pilgrim hat” A&W restaurant (now “Backseat Diner & Drive-in”)  is located in Humboldt.  I’ve never seen the drive-in canopy installed on the side of the building like this.  It usually shoots off one of the ends of the building.  But it looks like a vintage construction:

One more before I hit the highway (sun’s up and not a cloud anywhere in this big Iowa sky).  From Fort Dodge — do you think Dairy Queen knows/cares about this Tom Thumb sign dominating one of their restaurants?  The size and style of this sign make me wonder if there were other Tom Thumb locations.  Nothing comes up from a quick poke at Google though.

3 thoughts on “Day 12: All Over Iowa

  1. Dear Debra Jane,
    Well, at least you had a pretty decent day in Chicago Tuesday.
    Now, back to DEE: I can’t address your blurry videos except to say that the best quality videos WON’T be made on a D90. Nikon simply didn’t make this camera for the best video. I know that it won’t autofocus while shooting them, either, so maybe that’s part of the problem. So, if you want to shoot a lot of videos, a point & shoot with good reviews for video would be a better option. Otherwise, better than nothing?
    I CAN address your orange indoor photos. This is usually because some indoor lighting is still tunsten, and you would need to change your cameras WHITE BALANCE. This is easy to do, but you need to remember if you do that, you must return it to AUTO, or any outdoor pictures will be BLUE. Most of the time though, AUTO will handle most lighting with acceptable results.
    I’m going to recommend a web site that I like. It’s by a photographer who does independant reviews of cameras & lenses. He also gives down to earth advise for some of the cameras in the form of user guides. Here’s a link to his Nikon D90 guide:

    Check it out and you may find some info you can use. OK. That’s all for now . Hope the weather will be great for shooting Thursday. Talk at you later.

    • I’ll have to check out your links sometime when I get home & settled. I think the best way to get to know Dee’s better features is to take a little class. That would force me to stop and learn something — and get a lot of questions answered. I said I would do such a thing this winter – we shall see. I have enough photos to mess with right now for the site to probably keep me busy through spring. I bought myself a little video camera (a nice one $300 range) for this trip to take doggie videos. Wanted to get something with more sophisticated focusing or whatever with a nice zoom. Been worried that I’ll drop Dee in the ocean or something when a dog jumps on me. But, of course, I haven’t read that manual either. Note to self and others, one should buy new electronics for trips MONTHS ahead, not days ahead, so they can be mastered. The editing (cropping, splicing, converting) software is not intuitive and takes me for-ev-er. But maybe playing with that is another good winter project – ha!

  2. LOVE the pics of the doggies in position!

    i was sitting here for a while trying to figure out who this DEE person was, then i figured out you were talking about your camera.

    i think for newbie (and old folk) sanity, in addition to your instructions on how to plan a trip like these you should have a “cast of characters” list….

    super hot today in nyc…. you are missing nothing

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