Thursday, June 6, 2013

Additional Notes From America’s Heartland

Today’s travels took our motley crew from eastern Nebraska to the eastern border of Iowa along the Mississippi River. A few things learned today:

Corning, a small town in south-central Iowa, is the birthplace of Johnny Carson of TV talk show fame. His boyhood home is being refurbished and furnished representing the period Johnny lived in the house, and will eventually open for visitors. Johnny donated funds to a number of Corning organizations and activities, including the local skate park.  
Lunch at Boz's Kitchen in Corning, Iowa.
The Corning region is farm country, home to family farms and an increasing number of outsiders who are buying land, building cabins and using the land as their personal hunting grounds.

Casey’s General Stores are the ubiquitous convenience stores in the area, the  7-11 or Wawa of the Midwest.

Do not believe  trust everything you read in the AAA guidebooks. The Ottumwa Beach, a water park, was sort of open today – but only for private groups. Three of us were not enough to gain entrance to private party day.

The Lucas Labor and Mining Museum, open to 5:00 p.m., closes at 3:00 p.m. We arrived 3:20.
We did NOT get inside this museum.
Do not follow GPS instructions to Blakesburg, Iowa. You will be routed onto a dirt road for several miles.

The Airpower Museum, just outside Blakesburg (population 296 according to the 2010 census) is an interesting side trip even the nine-year-old enjoyed. A hangar jam-packed with planes from the 1920s and 1930s, and motors, engines and an assortment of memorabilia, most dating from World War II and earlier, filled the rooms, walls and display cases.

Some of the planes at the Airpower Museum.

Mild wings at the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant chain are very hot.

Iowa police are very nice people. We discovered this when making an illegal U-turn and immediately being stopped by a policeman. Another important lesson learned is that it is imperative everyone stay in the car (and not get out to race back into the restaurant to retrieve a phone left behind) when stopped by a lawman or woman.

The Mississippi River is at flood stage, scheduled to crest tomorrow morning at approximately the time we plan to view and cross the majestic waterway. 

At the same time a major storm is headed up the east coast, scheduled to hit our hometown the day before we get home. Our neighborhood is 'expected' to flood.

And it began raining this evening.


  1. Sounds like fun. But isn't that one reason why you travel .. to discover that a lot of the things they say in the guidebook (not to mention the gps)is wrong!

  2. First the dog, then the phone. What will be the third one? I hope whatever it is, you can retrieve it as easily as the first two. :-)