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Sat. Sep. 21 to Fri. Sep. 27- Davenport IA to Des Moines IA to Winterset IA to Council Bluffs IA to St. Joe MO.

Saturday- We woke up to rain. We looked at the radar and it was supposed to stop later. We decided to go ahead and leave. We drove out of the park at around 10:30. I followed Bob in the car, as we were stopping in 12 miles for diesel and gas.

We stopped at a Pilot, across from the famous I-80 Rest Area. It was raining really hard by this time. I put gas in the car, $2.40 gal. Bob purchased diesel for the rig. We ate lunch and then Bob connected the car to the back in the pouring rain. His rain jacket, which was okay in a light rain, leaked right through and he was drenched. It was also cold, so he changed clothes and we drove farther west on I-80.

The windshield wipers started acting up. We had to keep stopping and Bob would adjust them. It turned out the wind was blowing the wipers when we were going over 45 mph. What a mess! It kept raining harder and harder. We had to keep pulling over on the interstate for Bob to make adjustments.

We finally drove north on I-35 and drove slowly to Bob Shetler COE park. As soon as we drove over the dam, we realized that we had been there before. Of course, now that we were driving slower, the rain stopped!

We arrived at the park and realized that we did not have water, so we had to fill up the water tank. We parked and realized that we were having a problem with the car battery. The car was very slow to start.

Of course, right when we started to set up, the rain started again. Bob had to walk the dogs in the rain. We fed them, then it stopped raining and Bob could do a longer walk with them.

We left at 5:30 to head to a Mexican Restaurant to meet up with Bob’s niece Holly, her husband Paul, son and daughter. The youngest daughter stayed home as she was not feeling well. We had a great visit with them.

They had received our mail, so they gave that to us and waited to make sure that the car started. We returned home and went to bed.

Sunday- We did some of our usual Sunday tasks. We left in time for lunch at the Main Street Diner. Wow, do they have a winner there! The place was packed, but we were able to find two seats at the bar, after ordering. They delivered the food rapidly and it was delicious. We gave them 5 stars on Yelp.

We went to Walmart for a new battery for the car. It was going to be a wait. We shopped, then sat in the waiting room. There was an African American mother with 4 kids who came in to wait. The littlest boy, about 5 years old decided that we were his grandparents. He kept climbing on us and wanting to cuddle.  He really took to Bob. The poor mother was really having a time trying to keep this kiddie under control. At least the other 3 were well behaved. After what seemed like a long time, but was about 1/2 hr., they left.

Our car took 2 hours. At some point they finished, but lost the paperwork. Bob had ordered the cheapest battery, since we are getting rid of the car.

We finally left and went to Costco. We purchased a few items, then went to Dick’s Sporting Goods and purchased a much better, Columbia, rain jacket for Bob.

We finally saw some sun! Yahoo! We drove back to the park, arrived, and it promptly started raining again! Grrr!

Once this storm passed, it cleared out. I had remembered that the last time through here, we had see a sign for John Wayne’s home, so we looked it up. It is in the small town of Winterset, so we changed plans and are going there on Tuesday on our way to Council Bluff/Omaha.

We ate leftovers for dinner and had a quiet evening.

Monday- We left around 9:40, to go downtown to the Iowa State Capitol. Their website had said to call for hours for the tour. So I had at a little after 8 AM, and each tour was on the 1/2 hour. So we were trying to take the 10:30 tour.

IA building

We arrived to find the visitor parking and we walked to the ground floor, south side of the building. This picture is of the east side. We walked in on the left.  We were a little early, so we wandered the exhibits. The ground floor is basically some offices, the visitor center, and cafeteria.

Our guide was Karen. She was so much better than the guy in Illinois! Our tour ended up being almost 2 hours long. We first walked up a long flight us stairs to the first floor.

IA rotunda

The Iowa Capitol is the only Capitol building with five domes. Above is the rotunda dome. Note all of the gold. The first capitol building was an ugly box. There is an east side of the river and a west side. The two sides both wanted the capitol. The west side offered 10 free acres on which to build the building. The east side offered 10 acres plus a building. The people said no, that the building should be paid for, so the east side folks sold them the old ugly building for $1.

The Legislators finally decided to build something much prettier. So all of the domes and much of the building have a lot of gold leaf adorning the building. All of the gold above is gold leaf. They use stencils and put the leaf on by hand. The sky in the middle of the ceiling is an arched painting. The flag, which represents the flag at the time of the Civil War, (they fought for the north),  is hung by cords that you cannot see. This gives the cloud effect. The next area is all gold leaf. Then there are the windows. Later, I will have a picture of Bob up there, looking down at me. He was able to climb the 92 stairs up there.

The next area, which look white, below the windows, are gold wheat stalks. Although Iowa is known for corn, they were initially known for wheat. The building was built by hand in the 1800’s using cement. The building is very heavy and the pillars you will see are all concrete underneath, and are load bearing. The marble is just put on the outside for decoration.

The ceilings and walls are all hand painted.

IA ceiling

IA ceiling 2


Above is Karen, in front of the USS Iowa replica, compliments of the Navy. It is on the first floor, in front of the Governor’s office. We did not get to see the Governor’s office, as there was a meeting going on. Karen told us that the it is the ‘”people’s building”, we can enter any door that is not locked. The governor’s office had a sign on it that they were having a meeting.

On several of the arches, they had different sayings….

IA saying 1

IA saying 2

I really liked the two above!


Above is the original Supreme Court. The court was moved in the 1980’s to a new building close by. This room is now used as a hearing room. The Supreme Court originally had 5 members, then 9, now 7. BTW, the chairs you see are all original wood, but have been recovered. 

IA SC Chairs

The bench is interesting. It is mahogany, from South America. There were 10 of the areas originally. The guy who was tasked with building this room, went to South America in the 1800’s and hand picked a mahogany tree. He and his assistants then  shipped it back up to Des Moines. Then he needed 10 perfect sections. He advertised for someone to carve them. A 22 year old guy, applied. The builder said nope, you are too young, with not enough experience, to carve this one time mahogany. If mistakes were made, it was impossible to get another tree!

This young man was from Germany. He started carving at age 9. He did a demonstration, and was given the job.Here are some of the carvings.



So when the Supreme Court was increased in number, they needed to add sections. Who better to do it, but the same carver? So they hunted him down, in Chicago, at age 60 and he did 3 more of the carvings on the right and 3 on the left. It is different mahogany and in looking, you can see a slight difference in the color of the wood. Below is one of the new ones.


Moving on, I had seen these round steam vents. Originally, the building was steam heated in the winter. They decided to change over to electric heat, using these heaters. It did not work well, but they added the marble tops and they are now used as places to stand and talk when the legislature is in session. Plus they are still a warm place, as the legislature meets from Jan. to Apr.

IA steam vents

Below is the same statue that we saw in Illinois. Remember, that Illinois legislature thought they were too risqué. A member of the Illinois legislature,  in the 1980’s,was touring the Iowa Capitol, and heard the story of the statues. The next thing, Illinois contacted Iowa and asked for their statues back. They had been in Iowa for 130 years!

Iowa said NO WAY! So Illinois sent someone to digitally copy the statue and they had their statues made for the Illinois Capitol. That is everyone’s story and they are sticking to it!!

So we walked up the stairs to visit the mural. It is a different one from the one in Illinois.

IA Mural 1

The women in the left corner are not angels. They each represent something. Then the middle, had the wagon train coming across. The left side represents going into the unknown, which the pioneers did…the middle is their arrival, and the right side is the future.

The gal on the left sitting on the wagon seat, was modeled by an Iowa woman. She evidently got around, as she is seen is several other state Capitol’s and the US Capitol in Washington.

IA Dome 2

Above is another dome ceiling. That is sunlight. Below is another mural. More on that later…it is located above the other mural on another floor.

IA Mural 2

IA entrane HR

Above is the entrance to the House of Representatives.


IA Celing HR

Above is the House ceiling.In 1904, the building caught fire when they were trying to add electricity. There was one fire engine, two horses, and water half a mile away. There was no way they were going to save the building. The Governor at the time said to evacuate the building.

One of the workers said, I know how to stop the fire without water. Everyone thought he was crazy. He entered the chamber and closed all the windows, he entered the upper floor and closed all the windows, he entered the attic and closed all the windows. Naturally, with no oxygen, the fire, overnight, died down. This saved the rest of the building. There was a lot of damage to the roof and walls in this room, which was repaired in 1905. So it is not as ornate as the Senate, which we will visit next.

The guy, Lindhurst ( I think that was his name) was a hero. There is no plaque in the building saluting the guy who saved the building! The poor man was checking out the attic the next day, stepped on a burned board, and fell to his death!

IA HR desks

Notice that each desk has two chairs. The one with the arms is for the Legislator. The one without the arms is for the assistant. They vote via a push button like lots of the other capitols. The votes end up on the screen in the front and the back.

Back up two pictures, you will note the gallery for visitors. The seats are very narrow. They did not think women would ever come to the Capitol. Now, it is not a big issue, but in the old days, the ladies had hoops in their skirts and they could not sit in the seats. They had to stand over where the big board is now. There is a gallery on the front and the back of the room, which is different from most of the Capitols.

You might note, in the front, there is a picture of Abraham Lincoln on the left and George Washington on the right. In the center is Trump. They always have the picture of the current President there. It is also in the Senate. So far, this is the only State Capitol who has the President in their House and Senate.  The guides hate that they have these three portraits. When they do tours for kids, it confuses the kids. They think they are the state legislators, or President of Iowa. They would prefer the current Iowa Speaker of the House and Senate President.

Below is the more ornate Senate.

IA Senate

There are also two chairs at these desks, for the Legislator and their secretary. The terms are different for the Senate and the House. There are 50 seats in the Senate and 100 in the House.

IA seanate chairs

IA Senate Ceiling

IA Senate Light

Both the chandeliers in the Senate and the House, used to be hand cranked up and down for cleaning. Now they are both done via electricity. The Senate is original to the building, since they were undamaged during the 1904 fire.

IA senate ped

Our next stop was the Library. They have over a million legal books, not all in this location.

IA LIbrary 1 IA Library 2

Only employees can climb the spiral staircase. You can used the library, but you cannot check books out unless you are a member of various groups.

IA Library 3

They have a card catalogue. I opened one of the drawers, and they are the original cards. They do not use the Dewey Decimal System, they use the Harvard System.

IA Library 4

Below is a very old book.

IA old book

Below is a book printed by Benjamin Franklin.

IA Ben Frank

I laughed at this sign.

IA flash bulbs

From here, we went back to the mural. This mural is made of tiny pieces of glass. It was designed and manufactured in Italy. The guy who designed this mural,  had to come and take measurements, of what he wanted, then design, then put all the pieces together on parchment paper. They were numbered in order, then brought to the states. From there, they had to attach them to a concrete wall, WITHOUT, being able to see them. That meant that if they made a mistake, oops! A real problem. The feet, changed directions as I walked past them, but the pictures did not show this. This happened on two of the murals. All the eyes were “ Mona Lisa” eyes, and changed directions when you walked past, also.

This was the mural’s feet. Note the very tiny pieces of glass. 

IA mural ft 2

IA Mural 2

Above is the mural I am talking about and the feet are from the first panel on the far left.

Bob climbed the 92 steps up, as far as they allowed him to go. This is his picture of me, below, sitting on the bench. I am sitting on the right.

IA denise bench 2

Here is my picture of Bob, way up there… he is on the right side.

IA Bob up

We returned to the Library and were able to go up one flight of stairs, to take a picture from above.

IA library up

Across from the Governor’s Office, we found this display case of the First Ladies of Iowa.

IA first ladies

We walked back to the car, and went to a Triple D recommended restaurant …

IA triple d 2

IA Guy

We had a 1/2 rack of ribs with excellent garlic bread,  two sides, mac’n cheese and coleslaw. The mac had a bit of fire. The food was very good and we took some home with us.

Bob took the sheets and towels to a laundromat. I worked on the blog. When Bob returned, he worked on the windshield wipers. We are hoping they will work. He tightened a lot of places on them…

We ate dinner and I sat in my recliner. When I stood up I saw Bob’s glasses on the floor. Evidently, I had stepped on them. So we ran to Costco, to see if they could be repaired. No they could not. Bob is due for glasses soon, so he is just going to use his old glasses until we get to AZ.

Tuesday- We left around 9:30 and traveled south on I-35 to west on I-80. we only went 12 miles, and turned south on IA 169 to Winterset. When we drove in we saw a Quilt museum and found that we were in Madison County. Remember the movie, The Bridges of Madison County?  We drove into the Winterset City Park. We have a FHU 50 amp site for $22 per night. We decided to stay 2 nights instead of one night.

We set up, then went to the Visitor Center. The gal was great, telling us about things to do in the area. Then we went to lunch at a nice little café, Anything Sweet and More Café, which used to be in a bank. They still had the safes! We had nice sandwiches for lunch.

After lunch, we visited the Mercantile, then the beautiful Courthouse.

WF Courthouse

There was not much inside, as they have moved out all the offices. the Courthouse was designed by the same architect who designed the Illinois and Iowa Capitol Buildings. We went in the south entrance, above, and out the west entrance to Montross Pharmacy. This was the pharmacy where John Wayne’s father was the pharmacist. He used to ride his tricycle around the store!

WS Pharmacy

They did have a soda fountain, but other than that, it was just a little pharmacy. The town has a Ben Franklin! We don’t see many of them anymore.

WF Ben Franklin

Next we went to the Freedom Rock. Each county in Iowa is tasked with putting in a Freedom Rock. This was the first time we had heard about the rocks. So here is the one in Winterset, Madison County. It was dedicated in August 2017. All of the county Freedom Rocks are being painted by Ray “Bubba” Sorenson. There are 99 counties in Iowa, and he is also painting 2 rocks in each state. This is the 67th completed rock. Note below, all the soldiers on the first side are John Wayne. Wayne was not a Veteran, but made many iconic war movies. He tried to join the service, but received a deferment due to his found children.

WS Rock 1

The second side shows the four POW’s from Winterset. Three are from WWII and one is from the Vietnam War.

WS rock 2

The third side was George Stout (there is a George Clooney movie, The Monuments Men, about how George Stout rescued precious works of art during WWII) and Glenn Martin. He owned an Aircraft Company, which eventually merged with Lockheed Martin.

WS Rock 3

The fourth side was for Valor… The Quilts of Valor Foundation is a group of volunteers though out the US, who make, then award quilts to any service person, not matter when or where they served. Winterset is the National Headquarters. AS of 2017, 8000 are involved in creating the quilts and over 166,000 quilts have been presented.

IA rock 4

We went to the John Wayne Museum.

WS Wayne museum

We paid the senior rate of $14 per person. We wandered the gift shop for a few minutes until the 11 minute movie started. It was narrated by one of Wayne’s daughters. The chairs in the theater are from Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

JW seats

Here is an Andy Warhol picture of the Duke.

JW warhol

JW warhol 2

About John Wayne and his time in Winterset.

JW 1

JW 2

JW 3

JW 6

JW 5

Below are costumes that the Duke wore in non-western movies.

JW no clothes

Below is what he wore in True Grit.

JW True Grit

Guns he used in movies.

JW guns

Below are the costumes from Sons of Katie Elder.

JW costumes from SonsBelow is a statue.

JW Monument Valley

Below is the wrap that Maureen O’Hara wore in the Quiet Man. JW Ohara

Wrap 2

JW wagon

Above is the wagon from the Quiet Man.

JW car

JW car

Below is his suitcase.

JW suitcase

I thought this was cool, his phone book!

JW phone directory

The Reagans address and phone number!  Below is his family. He was married 3 times.

JW family

Above… from left Ethan, Patrick, Michael, Marissa, Aissa, Melinda, Toni.

Below is about his boat.

JW boat


We walked back past the rock and to his home in town. It is four rooms. None of the furniture is original.

JW house

JW mother

Above is the doctor who delivered the 13 lb. Marian Robert Morrison. He was one big baby! 

JW birth cert

Below are two pictures of him and his brother.

JW with brother

JW brother 2

JW family 2

We left and went to visit one of the Bridges of Madison County.

MC Bridge 1

MC Bridge 2

Bridge 3

We returned to the rig, ate dinner, and had a walk around the park. We stopped at the Cutler-Donahue Bridge. This bridge is located in the park, just over from the RV park.

MC Cutler bridge

MC Cutler 2

MC Cutler 3

We walked up to the Rotary Maze. It was designed by a Professor of Landscape Architecture. The professor visited a lot of hedge maze’s in England. The Maze was planted in 4 hours , in 1998, by high schools students. It consists of 1,850 privet hedges. In the center of the maze, is an old English sundial.

MC Maze

Then we walked, all of this with the dogs, to the Log Cabin.

MC Log

MC log 2

Near the log cabin we found this rock.

MC apple

We returned home and watched some TV. It rained overnight.

Wednesday- Since the rain last night, there was less humidity and it was a little cooler. We left, after giving Karlie her medications, and drove into the park. We stopped at the Stone Bridge.

MC stone bridge

We drove up to Clark Tower. Built in 1926, the monument honors a family of stone masons who were among the early town settlers.

MC Clark Tower

The bottom is an empty round room. We walked up the stone steps to a room on the second floor. From there, we climbed a metal ladder up to the top of the Tower.

MC Clark top  MC tower 2

We drove back down the one way road, back into the main part of the City Park.  From there we drove west on Hwy. 92, 9.5 miles to the Roseman Bridge. This bridge was featured in the movie.

MC Roseman bridge

MC Roseman 3

It is hard to see in the river, but the water was running very fast after last nights storm.

MC Roseman 4

All of the bridges have a lot of graffiti. Some of the bridges have put up the white boards for folks to write on.

We left and drove to Pammel State Park. We took a short cut, which turned out to not be a good idea!

MC Pammel SP

We drove into the park and at the river, we found the Middle River Ford. The ford was open, but we looked at the rushing water and decided to turn around and go back. I forgot to take a picture of the raging water.

We drove to the main entrance to the park. For our RV’ing friends, DO NOT TRY TO STAY IN THIS STATE PARK. The entrance has a 12’6” entrance thru the tunnel below.  There was no where to turn around either, once you reached the sign.

MC Rock tunnel

MC tunnel 2

The Harmon tunnel is the only one in Iowa. It was built in 1858 and enlarged for cars in the 1920’s.

We drove back through town and to the  next bridge on our list. Below is Cedar Bridge. It is under construction, as you can see. They are repainting the inside, they have put some steel girders underneath, and added some fire protection.

MC Cedar Bridge

The original bridge was featured on the book cover of The Bridges of Madison County.

MC Cedar 2

The hanging orange canister is the fire prevention apparatus.

We left there and continued driving east. The next bridge we visited was the Holliwell Bridge over the Middle River. It is the longest, spanning 110 ft. It was built in 1880 and was featured in the movie.

MC Holliwell

MC Holliwell 2

This bridge is a little different from the other bridges. Note below the wood on the walls slopes instead of being straight.

MC Holliwell 3

The floor boards were not straight across, they were slanted to the side.

MC Holliwell 4

We continued on to the next bridge. On the way, we passed by the Madison County Winery/Brewery. So we pulled in and I sampled a sweet wine called Lollipop. It was not all that sweet, but sweeter than most red wines I have tried.

Bob had a flight of beer. He really liked their Hazy IPA and thought that the Brown was good.

We continued on to the Imes Bridge. It is the oldest of the remaining bridges, built in 1871. It was relocated from the Middle River in Paterson to St. Charles.

MC Imes

We returned to town. We ate lunch at the Pizza Hut Buffet. The pizza was awful!

Here is the Theater. It is a turn-of-the-19th-century theater, completely renovated and re-opened in 2017.

MC Iowa Theater

Our next stop was the Iowa Quilt Museum.

MC Quilt Mus

The museum is located in an old JC Penny’s.

MC Quilt 5

We walked in and while I was paying, Bob found a Barn Quilt book, written by an gal we know, Suzi Parron. She and her hubby own an Alfa and they travel. She is a Barn Quilt expert and she speaks all over the country.

MC Quilt 7

Until September 29th, the quilt theme is the history of quilt making. It was interesting, although, I think the quilts we saw at the quilt show in Holland Michigan were much prettier.

MC Quilt 8

MC quilt 14

MC Quilt 15

The quilt above is not finished, but it represents the town of Winterset.

Upstairs there were quilts on a bed. We had to put on white gloves to touch them. Here is Bob with one glove left on…

MC Quilt 10

I thought this was interesting about the history.

MC Quilte 11

Here is an old sewing machine, that an electric motor was added to at some point.

MC quilt 13

We went home to happy dogs. Bob worked on the water softener and I did laundry. We ate dinner at home and watched TV.

Thursday- We drove the rig out of the park at about 10:30. We were not in a rush, as at the next resort, check out was 1, and check-in was 3. We drove east on Hwy. 92 to I-35 south. We stopped at a rest area to eat lunch. We turned east just north of Kansas City, onto Hwy. 92 west. We traveled to Basswood RV Resort, arriving around 2:30.

We set up and cranked up the air conditioner. It was almost 90 and very humid. We had a quiet evening, eating dinner at home.

Friday- We drove into Kansas City to the Money Museum. We arrived at around 10:30. Parking and the museum were both free. We entered, having to show our ID, and go through the metal detector.  According to the website, there are two money museums, one in Denver and one in Kansas City. That may just be for the Federal Reserve district.



We started looking at the exhibits. They had a really neat exhibit on Origami. A 36 yo. man from Chicago, Steve Robins, has designed 26 objects, made from money. It was really fascinating!


The ball in the right front too 1000 hours to make!



There are 600 bills in the collection at the cost of $920.

Next we looked at the Harry Truman Coin Collection. This was a collection of coins from the start of the country through each President up to Pres. Obama.




KC MM 10

KC MM 11   KC MM 12

The gold weighs 27 lbs. You can reach in and try to pick it up. I could not budge it and neither could Bob.

KC MM 14

KC MM 15

It was very easy above to  see the difference in the real bill and the counterfeit. On an average day, the Reserve finds 5 to 7 suspected counterfeit bills.

KC MM 16

KC MM 17

The 40 millions dollars was doubled in the display. On the right hand side, was 1 million dollars.

KC MM 18

Here is the shredded money.

KC MM 19

We left the museum. Just a short distance was the WW I Museum. We have been to a WW I Museum, so we decided not to visit. Here is the outside.

KC MM 20

We went to Union Station, hoping to find a nice restaurant. We did, but it was way too expensive. Parking was free for 30 minutes. This is the back of the station, not the old pretty side.

KC MM 21

KC MM 22

KC MM 23

We left and went to a nice crepe café called Chez Elle. We stopped at Walmart on the way back to the resort. We went to dinner at Granite City with Bob’s younger brother Joe. We had a nice dinner, while it rained with terrible thunderstorms. Once the storms passed, we drove back home. It rained most of the night with lots of thunder and lightening.

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