We are west of the Mississippi again!
Neither of us had ever been to Iowa before, and since we were headed west, we decided to stop and see my childhood friend, Jenn, who lives near Iowa City. I haven’t seen her for 14 years.
Both her and her husband are veterinarians and they own their own practice. They have a 120+ acre farm filled with sheep, ducks, chickens, horses, dogs—lots of dogs!—and a tortoise. It really is beautiful property but the weather was a little brutal. She told us it was a cool day but it was still very hot and humid. Apparently the winters are harsh also. It was very reminiscent of “Little House on the Prairie” :)
Her son is between Mr. S and Divagirl in age, and he got along really well with both of them. He’s such a good helper!
Jenn was on a tight schedule, but managed to fit in a visit while we helped her move her sheep. That entailed deconstructing a fence, rebuilding it in a new location, moving the water troughs and dogloos for the guard dogs, relocating the electric fence battery and then moving the sheep into their new pasture. Did I mention it was hot?
We only stayed a couple hours, but Iowa wasn’t ready to let us go so quickly. When we went to re-attach the car to Edelweiss, the battery was dead! Thank goodness we had cables and she had a car to use to jump the toad. It turns out the battery was on its last legs, and since we haven’t been driving it much because of all the travel, the battery has been slowly losing its charge. We added a new battery to our list; the Saturn is becoming a money pit :)
Anyway, it was so good to see her and catch up a little. The kids enjoyed being able to run in the fields and get their animal fix. Hopefully we can meet again sooner than fourteen years.
We continued driving for a few more hours before we started looking for a camp for the night. We found a really nice park outside Des Moines called Griffs Valley View RV Park. Another fantastic choice. We’ve really been lucking out with the high quality parks lately. Another cornfield, but meticulously maintained grounds, a recreation center and bathrooms. And the check in was all over the phone, no office. She directed us to our site when I called for availability. Divagirl immediately made friends with a couple boys who were staying with their grandparents next door.
As the sun was setting, Jason was able to get some work done, and I was able to complete a few school subjects with the kids.
Then we all grabbed some sleep, and prepared for another full travel day in the morning.