Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

April 28th, 2009:

If That’s a Wind Farm, This Must Be Adair

yorkwatertowerI pretty much know this route by heart. It’s gotten to the point where I know with complete certainty that when I see the York, Nebraska rainbow water tower, we’re at Mile 350 and thus three quarters of the way across the cornfields to Iowa. I know where the wind farms are. I know where the weird transparent barn is. I know where the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles is. (We stayed near there in Lexington, Nebraska last night.) I know where the really clean restrooms are. (Sapp Bros.) I know where the guy selling oil leases out of his back yard (which faces I-80) is; and I know his phone number: 1-800-DRY-HOLE.

Heh. Have I been this way before, or what?

Yes, we’re crossing the prairies again, on our way to Chicago for our younger nephew Matt’s graduation from the U of I School of Accountancy, and the Bichon Frise Nationals in St. Louis next week. We’re spending the night in Iowa City, right downtown at the dog-friendly Sheraton, which isn’t dirt-cheap but has marvelous beds.

We worried about the weather, but the weather’s been great: Sunny for the most part and completely seasonal. It snowed heavily in Colorado Springs yesterday morning as we were leaving, but once we got off the mountain things warmed up and dried out, and in the 850 miles since then we haven’t seen any wet pavement at all.

I’ve always liked Nebraska, but Iowa’s a great state too. We stopped outside of Des Moines to gas up ($2.09/gal) and when I went in to get some bottled water, the store clerk asked me if I’d like some free popcorn. She was cleaning out the popcorn machine according to schedule, and the boss always told her to dump whatever was left over before popping another batch. The boss was gone, and in consequence I walked out with an immensity of still-warm popcorn in a plastic bag. Carol and I munched until we couldn’t stand the thought of any more popcorn, and I think we put away maybe a quarter of it.

Carol brushed the dogs as I drove, and we sang along with the CD player and discussed how to evaluate the literature on nutrition and health. Driving this trip has become almost painless. It’ll never feel as good as sitting in my comfy chair reading a good book, but there are times when you just have to be somewhere, however it is to be done. We’ll be in Des Plaines by suppertime tomorrow. I’m not sure when we’ll be back. That’s how it goes with trips to Chicago. I’ll keep you informed.