Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day Two on the Lincoln Highway

Before taking off to handle the UMW noodles, Peg baked melt-in-your-mouth scones for our breakfast…some chocolate chip, some with raisins, served with fruit, coffee and juice.   We were packed up and out of Ames by 8:20, rested, clean, and happy.

Following Garmin directions to the Polk City address of our motorcoach, we met up with Janet and Keith.  Brad, our contact with RV Roadtrip Adventures lives on a fabulous property with a pond, several miles north of town with his beautiful wife and four busy blonde boys.  While Brad gave the walk around inspection/training to Keith, the 2 to 10 year old boys, wearing motocross racing gear and snow boots, told me their favorite place to go in the RV is to Family Camp. (Not Disney World, as Brad expected them to say!)  They understand the business and don’t mind at all that we are taking their motor home.

It’s a good thing Brad lives out in the middle of nowhere because the 25 miles back toward Ames on county roads gave Keith a chance to practice turns and stops with no traffic.  The first two stop signs found us skidding into the middle of intersections!  But, my brother learns well and has wanted to drive a semi truck since he was 10 years old.  We are now sailing smoothly through Chicago suburbs on blue highways in a 36 feet long house bus! 
Our first stop was back in Ames at WalMart for groceries, and ease of parking.  Then,  we headed east, past a lot of tall corn and beautiful farmsteads.  We whined as Keith drove right on by the Maid-Rite restaurants talked about in our books. It’s sort of a family ritual to have ice cream at least once a day.  We had to wait until the Rochelle, IL Dairy Queen after our supper of sandwiches made on the go.  I vow to encourage more event-appropriate ice cream establishments from here on out.

It’s almost 9pm and we are still driving…in the dark, getting slightly lost as the LH winds around and jumps between US 30 and Illinois 38.   Our goal is to get through the Chicago metro area to Valparaiso, Indiana, making the morning drive easier. This will allow less time crunch for the remaining sights and end purpose of exploring Lyons , New York.  It’s not quite as bad as our too long push from yesterday because, Dad has had a good nap, and…well, I am not doing the driving!

Highlights of the day:

This is the most impressive bridge in all the books, and didn’t disappoint in real life

We crossed the Mississippi and entered Illinois at Fulton

From the Lisbon Museum, a 1919 photograph on the old Lincoln about a mile east of Ames, IA city limits.  

Mom’s favorite part of Day 2 was the Lisbon Museum.  Dad checked out the men’s room and came out with t-shirts that were stored there, claiming them our official uniform!  We also got a real highway sign for Dad to put up at in Kansas!  The mayor of Lisbon was the hostess and gave us all free cookbooks…most of the recipes from this German community included sauerkraut!  

Jan and Dad are discussing the vinyl record collection with Steve, at Smith Brother’s General Store.  We stopped there because of the raving reviews in Wallis and Williamson’s LH book.  Keith’s family had been here on a previous trip.  The merchandise and “stuff” was not nearly as impressive as Steve’s social savvy.  We introduced ourselves, and he called us by first names the whole time we were there…must have studied memory and facial recognition skills
The team in uniform after our first night in the RV

The impressive Courthouse in Marshalltown, IA was designed by John C. Cochrane of Chicago and dedicated in 1886.  The tower clock installation was completed in 1900.  At this point, Keith saw a sign to Grundy Center and recalled that our great-great grandpa Vasey is buried in the Grundy County, IL cemetery.  We were tempted, but decided not to make the 30 mile round trip out of our way. 

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