Day 14: More from Iowa

End of week two — three more weeks to go.  I’m going to need a week off when this is all over.  But alas, I’ll be returning to work the very next day I return home.  A bit of a zombie for a few days.  This is not how anyone else I know would spend their vacation.

As if the dogs weren’t making me fully aware of every single river and lake we pass here in Iowa (which is about every five minutes), I’ve been noticing that they all seem extremely high.  Some bridges closed that are too close to the water.  Fields that are flooded.  And this is the middle of summer — it must’ve been a hell of a spring.  I also saw places selling concrete igloo like storm shelters.  Flooding, tornados, crazy snow storms with giant hail, mosquitos the size of Monarch butterflies…  I love you Iowa, but I won’t be moving here.

1am — let’s get on with the show.  Lest anyone forget, I’m traveling with four wild animals.  The cast, left to right:  Gremlin, Gripper, Fix & Sputnik.  From Belle Plaine:

For my rusty sign fans — this one from Ladora. I can’t explain the muffler looking thing on the upper left:

A really nice Masonic Temple in Grinnell.  I feel a new category at my website coming on… but no!

This still-operating five and dime is real step back in time – from Chariton:

This building from Corydon.  I’m wondering if that tall structure wasn’t originally a faux windmill.  I went looking for a building in Albia that must be gone now.  There was a chain of windmill gas stations in south Iowa.  I believe they were built in the 1920s for Harry Gholson and called “Dutch Service” stations.  There were also motel cottages built in conjunction with this station/restaurant (a gas/food/lodging tourist complex).  No sign of motel rooms near this building now.

Also from Corydon — one of what seems to be only a handful of these old neon Hy-Vee signs left:

These statues / sculptures also from Corydon.  I shot with the lawnmower guy for scale.   Now I regret it — kind of messes up the shot.

A close-up of the tin man:

An unusual FOE (Fraternal Order of Eagles) sign in Ottumwa.  The gold metal eagle was really glistening in the sun.  Just doesn’t look that way in this photo:

From Riverside — for you Star Trek fans:

And lastly, a welcome sign from Lone Tree.  I imagine the sign was neon originally and then replaced with these plastic letters.  I’m glad they kept the original steel shape at least.  Most cities would have gone the backlit plastic box route:

Tomorrow, still a few more hours in Iowa and then finally into Missouri.  Kansas will interrupt the northern and southern chunks of Missouri.  I’ll probably spend about 12 days in these two states.

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