Memphis, Tennessee to Springbrook, Iowa


The details below are a true record but the names of people have been changed to protect their identity.

The numbered points are only there to force the map generating program to reflect the actual route taken and need not necessarily have anything to do with the text.

Day 1 - Tuesday, April 27 - Memphis, TN to Quincy, IL

0.0 10:58 Leave from apartment to drive to Iowa for the Springbrook weekend.
0.2 11:01 Leaving after dropping off garbage
As I drive along Winchester workers are tilling the garden areas in the median, the pansies have all gone and something new will be planted for the summer.
2.0 11:06 - 11:13 GAS - Memphis, TN - $1.689/gal. - 10.058 gals. - $16.99
4.0 Turned around at Riverdale because I had forgotten to pick up my tape recorder and tapes!
7.0 11:22 Back home.
11:27 Leaving now for real!
7.4 Passing the open gate.
22.5 11:47 Leaving I-240 west for I-240 north.
28.2 11:53 Leaving I-240 north at Exit-31B for I-40 west to Little Rock ... there is an unbelievable amount of construction being done in this area - new over and underpasses.
30.1 Going onto the I-40 bridge over the Mississippi River - the river is full to its brink.
30.6 Start of the river.
31.0 12 noon State Line and entering Arkansas. There is a little water in the lower lying areas of the flood plain, but most of it is high and dry at this time. However, the river is very high, so when I return I would not be surprised if more water was over this area.
31.7 End of the bridge and now on the causeway across the flood plain.
33.9 Passing the levee.
I have traveled this route so often there probably isn’t much left for me to talk about!
49.1 Some new crosses at the side of the road on the southbound lanes.
63.8 A dead armadillo ... and another one, so..... and another one. Since they are all dead you can hardly speak of wildlife - I guess it has to be wild-death!
70.6 A couple of small birds attacking a hawk.
71.7 A large patch in the median of that very deep red clover.
86.7 There is still a lot of that red clover in the median, and on the shoulder.
It is a glorious sunny day, very pleasant for traveling.
105.2 12:58 The Arkansas/Missouri State Line.
113.2 1:04 Passing Exit-8 for Steel ... just that name brings horror to my mind because I associate that name with that dreadful night a year ago when I was on my way home from Springbrook and there were so many tornadoes.
117.2 An extremely strong wind is blowing from the west.
120.7 The catfish ponds ... and there is roadwork ahead, speed reduced to 50 mph and the right lane closed..
Every pond and dam is full to the brink.
148.3 1:34 Leaving the highway.
149.0 1:35 - 1:45 Missouri Welcome Center and Rest Area.
149.3 1:46 Back on the highway: I-55.
Billboard: “Life - what a trip. It begins at conception”.
172.2 Some brilliant yellow flowers in the median - don’t know what they are!
190.9 A lot of trees covered in blossom and other trees have their lovely fresh spring green leaves.
191.7 A high point in the road from which I can see for miles ahead.
193.8 A lot of trees just beginning to get their leaves.
199.4 Slowed down to 15 - 20 mph, right lane closed - roadwork.
199.7 Crossing over the median for two-way traffic on the southbound lanes ... a new bridge is being constructed over a wide river for the northbound lanes. I don’t know what this river could be. It is just a miles south of Exit-93 for Cape Girardeau.
200.8 Back on our own side - end of roadwork.
202.0 Crossing Ramsay Branch ... maybe the river could be Ramsay because prior to getting to the river I crossed Ramsay Creek about three times.
219.8 Some purple wildflowers - just a small patch.
220.2 2:24 It is 99 miles to St. Louis.
221.2 Starting to see cuttings along the road as it gets into hillier country ... the rock through which the cuttings are made are of porous sandstone, the kind of rock in which caves are found. The cuttings are not straight but there are holes through weathering.
271.1 A large hawk or an eagle sitting on a post looking out over a lovely lake.
280.2 Some really high cuttings and made in two levels.
281.7 St. Louis is only 37 miles now.
284.5 Passing the exit for US-67 south to Farmington.
286.7 33 miles to St. Louis ... this is in the Festus area and there are a lot more houses and businesses ... also the traffic has increased considerably.
294.7 The traffic is really thick now and we have had to slow down.
295.7 The number of lanes has increased to three or four.
297.0 Part of the cliff has separated into layers as if you were looking at the side of a large piece of puffed pastry!
300.6 Speed reduced from 70 to 60 mph.
303.0 Start of the bridge across the Merimac River and entering St. Louis County.
303.3 End of the bridge which crosses some of the flood plain as well as the river.
306.9 3:57 Leaving I-55 for I-270 to Kansas City at Exit-196B.
313.3 Crossing over the top of I-44 from Springfield.
316.0 Around a corner and the opposing traffic is backed up, all four or five lanes ... the traffic on my side is not nearly as bad, at present anyway. For the most part there are five lanes and the extreme right lane ends when it is an “Exit Only” then a new lane starts on the other side of the interchange.
319.8 The exit for I-64, US-40, and US-61from Wentzville in the west and east to downtown St. Louis.
The traffic in the opposing lanes looks to be easier since that last intersection.
322.8 The traffic is building up on this side now and I have had to use my brake for the first time!
327.9 Passing under I-70.
Exit-25A & B for US-67, Lindbergh Avenue.
333.2 4:22 Leaving I-270 at Exit-25B for US-67 north and just as I exited the traffic came to a halt! Caution! Roadwork on Lindbergh North!
334.5 4:26 Entering Florissant, pop. 50,497 ... gas $1.769.
339.7 New residential areas, that is new houses being built, and just after that the speed limit increased from 45 to 50 mph, which cannot be maintained because of the number of traffic lights fairly close together.
341.7 Junction with MO-367 turning south to St. Louis and after crossing under MO-367 I will be turning north.
341.9 Turning and MO-367 becomes US-67.
342.5 Currently now I am on a divided road.
343.5 Start of the Lewis Bridge over the Missouri River ... there are barges on the river ... and after crossing the water there is a flood plain.
344.1 End of the bridge.
344.7 It looks as if the road is going along the top of a levee at the present time ... there is a lot of flood plain in this area because it is also near the Mississippi River.
Since this road is divided, the lanes I am in are on the levee whereas the traffic in the opposite direction is down below the levee and on the flood plain.
I see an egret in a swamp to my right ... there is a large bridge ahead with cables that look like sails ... Canada geese ... a lot of water outside the actual river area.
347.7 Start of the Clark Bridge over the Mississippi River.
347.9 The Missouri/Illinois State Line.
348.1 Going under the cables now and again at ...............
348.3 and US-67 will br turning left ... at this point also is The Great River Road and the road onto which I am turning in this city on this side of the river, Alton, is called Landmarks Boulevard ... must be lots of landmarks along here!
348.7 Welcome to Historic Alton ... there is a casino on a boat here in Alton.
349.3 Alton Belle Casino ... I am right near it now.
349.5 4:54 I am at a traffic light and US-67 goes straight ahead or I can turn onto IL-100, The Great River Road. This is what I think I will do - take IL-100.
Some really interesting buildings at that stop light - looked like a main street, and now I am driving between huge elevators.
349.8 I have a railway line immediately to my right and that is right up against a precipitous rock wall; to the left is the river.
350.1 There are lots of tug boats, I guess used for the barges.
350.4 Caves going back into the cliffs.
Lots of barges being pushed upstream by the tug boats ... the road is divided, but instead of a median there is a guardrail right down the middle. To my right is a cycle path or bike route.
This is gorgeous. This is a wonderful drive following around the bank of the river with rocky cliffs rising on the right - a real river road. Over the years I have been disappointed with much of the Great River Road because many times the road is not in view of the river, let alone be by the river.
353.7 There are a few homes, actually quite a number, and they are built going up the hill. Opposite is a power plant, I believe with two chimneys.
354.1 Entering Clifton Terrace.
Another sign at the side of the road: “The Meeting of the Great Rivers” which is part of this scenic route as well.
What a magnificent drive.
The cycle path now is right against the road, just a double white line separating it from the highway. I am seeing a number of cyclists, so it is being made use of.
At some point the guardrail disappeared and the road is now divided by a raised piece of concrete.
359.2 I am noticing that there are large rocky bluffs above me - these are called palisades in various parts. The other side of the river appears to be fairly flat at the present, and yes, there are great cliffs of rock behind the trees at the side of the road.
I am seeing trees, palisades, the river, and am absorbing the beauty - just amazing and this section of road certainly comes by its name honestly - Great River Road.
Great blue heron ... vultures circling above the cliffs ... daisies in flower at the side of the road.
363.5 Entering Grafton and there is a place here called The Palisades.
363.8 Tug boat and barges going downstream.
364.2 Just passed a Visitor Center, but it looked as if it was closed.
364.5 Road becomes a single lane right in the town of Grafton, which has a sign up for “Bald Eagles Wintering Here” - Grafton, Home of Wintering Bald Eagles December 1 to March 1.
365.0 5:13 - 5:21 Stopped because I want to take a picture. Grafton, a lovely place on the river.
Just as I was getting back into the car I noticed a sign on a building facing the water: “1993 water mark - 38.2 feet.” That was the year of the last big floods.
365.2 Plasa Winery - free tasting.
It is hard to comprehend the amount of water that there must have been in the flood of ‘93.
Another great blue heron standing on a rock looking out across the river ... and another one on a log in the river ... they look so elegant.
I am still driving at 30 mph through Grafton.
366.0 There’s an interesting place, a house, built like an ark.
Juvenile Institution have a very nice spot - no wonder there was a sign: “Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers”.
367.2 The road is away from the water at the moment. From here the road leaves the Mississippi River and follows the valley of the Illinois River which flows into the Mississippi just upstream from Grafton.
367.9 Brussel’s ferry ⅓ mile, a ferry to cross - Brussels is between the two rivers.
368.4 And there are people lined up for the ferry and are just starting to board it.
368.8 Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge, so the road was by the river momentarily, then left it again.
369.3 I can see the river to my left, that is the Illinois River ... some egrets down near the water.
Passing Pere Marquette State park - lots of camping, picnicking, Visitor Center, a lovely looking area. Everything is very green at present.. There is also a marina for the park and there is a lodge.
371.7 End of The Meeting of The Great Rivers Scenic Route - Still IL-100.
372.2 The road veers away from the river considerably.
373.3 A lot of Canada geese by a backwater, also ducks.
375.2 Some very rich soil showing in the tilled ground of the flood plain. The flood plain is to the left of the road which is winding around at the base of the cliffs. This is called the Illinois River Road.
There are a number of signs along the route for river access. Although I am now quite a long way from the river, it is still a very beautiful drive.
378.9 The cliffs have receded and at this point there is a lot of farming to my right as well.
379.2 Entering Nutwood.
379.7 What an expanse of flood plain! Not quite as far as the eye can see but, nevertheless, a very expansive area.
381.1 5:40 A stop sign at the junction with IL-16 ... Jerseyville to the right, Hardin to the left.
I assume that all these plains were covered with water in ‘93.
382.7 The sun has just been hidden by some gathering clouds.
383.7 The road was going west for a while and now I have a broad piece of tilled land to my right, homes back up against the cliffs in the distance. There are also flat flood plains to my left.
385.0 An eyesore - Bob’s Auto Service.
386.1 Road construction ahead - it is actually construction on a bridge and it is a one-lane bridge. This is in East Hardin.
386.3 Just entering East Hardin.
386.5 5:46 Stopped at a temporary traffic light and there is a lineup of traffic waiting to get across the bridge. IL-16 ends here. There are no cars coming so I don’t know why the light hasn’t turned green!
5:48 The light has just turned green and the backed up traffic can proceed over the bridge.
386.6 Start of the bridge rising up to cross the river, the Illinois River, which has a levee. What a long bridge!
386.8 Starting to cross the water.
387.0 End of the bridge, end of the water and IL-100 turns north from there. That’s no small river either!
Driving north I am currently driving on the west bank of the Illinois River.
387.9 Am away from the water now.
389.6 Steep rocky bluffs to my left and the Illinois River to my right.
391.5 River flats or flood plain to my right and here the bluffs are on the western side of the river whereas on the Mississippi they were on the eastern side.
392.4 Entering Michael.
392.5 Michael’s landing - Public Access.
The plains are to my right now and the bluffs with valleys in between on my left.
393.5 Quite a wide valley to my left back between the hills and it has fields which are being farmed.
394.5 Driving through a forest.
394.8 A dogwood tree with flowers on it. A number of the homes I have passed have spirea bushes all in flower.
395.6 Back by the Illinois River.
396.0 Another wide valley off to the left.
396.3 6:00 Entering Kampsville. I think I am going to take IL-96 to Quincy, but I think I will just drive up through the village of Kampsville first.
397.0 6:03 - 6:14 GAS - Kampsville, IL - $1.989/gal. - 10.057 gals. - $20.00
I decided to get gas whilst here in Kampsville and now I am returning to IL-96 and will head up towards Quincy. There is a park here near the waterfront - very pleasant ... a free ferry across the Illinois River ... there is an archeological museum ... just a delightful little village.
397.4 The turnoff onto IL-96. The lady at the store said I should be very careful driving because there is a lot of deer around here.
Since I am currently driving west I have the sun in my face
Some very nice homes with acres of cut grass around a number of them.
Quincy is 68 miles, so that ia about how far it would be to Hannibal, Missouri - this is driving up one of those valleys away from the Illinois River and there is a small creek to the left flowing down to the river ... another lovely dogwood in flower.
399.8 Passing a house that has so much cut grass. Obviously they would have one of those tractor mowers. I don’t think I have seen so many places with such an expanse of cut grass!
Since turning onto IL-96 the road has been climbing gradually and I assume it is going through the hilly country bordering on the Mississippi River.
401.7 Some woolly sheep and there are cows grazing on a hillside to my right.
402.8 A lot of dogwoods in flower on a hillside to the left, a backdrop to a tilled field.
403.2 Ha! Dozens of little pigs, about a foot long - pig farm.
404.7 A red fox just ran across the road in front of me.
404.9 A stop sign and the road turns north.
405.3 6:24 Entering Mozier ... the road is right along water on the left which I think is a backwater of the Mississippi River ... I saw a fish jump out of the water ... there are some nice houses along here as well and there is one which has been made from a church.
I’m not so sure that this is a backwater, but may even be the main river. However, there must be another channel for the river traffic.
408.0 I have the forest, bluffs and hills on my right and fields to my left. Where there are no trees I can see the water of the river beyond the fields.
410.1 6:30 Entering Bellevue, and I had gone past it before I noticed there was an informative sign about The Great River Road.
411.4 Cornfields both sides of the road ... the corn is up about 2 to 3 inches.
Now there are no fields on my right - all out to the left and I can just see the tiny little plants coming up.
I am thoroughly enjoying this drive today and I hope I can convince Richard to come this way when we drive up for the N4C Convention at Amana Colonies.
413.7 Crossed over a tiny creek, but it had a levee on both sides. There are a number of signs along the road for tourist activities and they name a lodge, or a ranch and gives the dates of when they operate. These are probably things in private homes, maybe B & B’s, although it doesn’t say that, but certainly gives that impression.
417.0 Another creek with a levee on either side of it ... more cornfields, acres and acres of them where the plants are already up.
418.1 6:38 Pleasant Hill City Limit, pop. 1,047 ... tulips in flower, lovely colors ... also a very pleasant looking little town ... the cornfields come right up to the edge of the town.
419.3 6:41 Atlas is 7 miles, Quincy 48 miles.
420.1 Six Mile Creek, which had a bit more water in it than the other creeks - also has a levee on each side.
420.5 The corn plants are up higher at this point, 4 - 5 inches, so looking across the fields they look to be all covered in green.
421.7 A lot of pipes and taps, etc. - a pipeline company - probably for transporting fuel or gas.
The road is following around the hills on the right hand side of the ploughed fields and in the distance to the left are the hills which I think would be on the other side of the river.
423.6 Irises in bloom to the right and on the left was a lot of netting over an area, but I couldn’t see anything growing under it so I have no idea what that was. I was just a large area covered with netting!
424.3 Two Mile Creek.
I see more levees ahead for another creek. It is amazing the amount of work entailed in the building of all these levees!
425.6 Entering Atlas, just as the road crosses another creek.
425.8 6:48C The junction with US-54. There is a beautiful, old brick house right on the corner.
425.9 6:49 Leaving after stopping to look at the map to see where US-54 would take me - it goes west to Pike, then crosses the river to Louisiana, MO and from there you could take MO-79 north to Hannibal.
428.3 Entering Rockport.
429.5 A lovely houses with tulips in flower, also irises, mountain flocks - a mass of color. I am continuing to cross creeks with levees, but I’m getting tired of talking about them!
431.0 6:56 Stopped to have another look at the map. The hills on the other side of this valley would be those that you drive through on MO-79, which is a dotted route on the AAA map indicating that it is a scenic route.
437.0 Entering New Canton. Since that last stop to look at the map there have been many red bud trees which are starting to get their leaves - their blossoms have faded but you can just see the droopy pink petals still clinging to the branches, and hence you can tell that they are red buds.
441.7 A hedge of lilacs in flower.
442.7 7:11 Entering Kinderhook ... store fronts of concrete blocks.
442.9 Stop sign and the junction with IL-106, which also takes you to US-3672 (I-72). Most of the red buds were in the woods, but some were at private homes.
Creek after creek after creek! And the road crosses quite big bridges - there is some river bank left before the levees are built.
444.5 I can now see the traffic on I-72.
445.1 Entering Hull ... I guess that US-36 and I-72 are one and the same! I am going to stay on IL-96 and go through Payson, rather than taking the Interstate.
446.1 Just crossed the Interstate ... Quincy 20 miles.
446.7 I am now in the shade of the hills and the trees in the forest.
448.8 I am into farm country, but this is no longer river flats - gently rolling hills. It looks as if corn is the main crop judging by the stubble remaining from last year.
449.8 Pig farm - this time I saw much bigger pigs.
450.7 Entering Plainville.
451.4 It looks as if a hill to the left has been terraced for planting crops. This truly is a country road, no shoulder, and it is no longer The Great River Road. That turned off with the Interstate.
453.4 More terracing and at a house on the other side of the road a deep pink dogwood and a pure white one. There is a lot of clearing being done along the road as if it might be widened.
454.6 Welcome to Payson ... and a magnificent pink dogwood.
Just as I was talking about the road being cleared a deer jumped out onto the road in front of me ... I wasn’t going very fast and he was able to get out of the way ... red-winged blackbirds in the cattails by a dam. Judging by the homes I am passing, and the number there are of them, I would say that this land is very productive.
458.0 A missile silo in the middle of a cornfield and just after that a house surrounded by cut grass.
What I have seen of the State of Illinois today, it is much nicer than what you see when you cross the state, east/west, on I-80.
IL-96 started out as a narrow country road north of the Interstate, but is a much better road now since Payson.
461.0 Away from farming country and driving through a wooded area.
462.2 Crossing over I-172, the short Interstate between Quincy and I-72.
462.9 Wow! Some big houses now.
7:37 An area called Hidden Cove, and the sun is sinking fairly quickly now - hasn’t set yet ... the dandelions have already flowered and gone to seed and you can see the seed heads glistening in the evening sunlight.
Passing St. John’s Anglican Church which is something you don’t hear of here very much because they are Episcopalian
465.5 A red bud which doesn’t have its leaves yet, still with blossom, but that is fading, and judging by the number of homes I must be on the outskirts of Quincy now. It is very hilly.
466.0 7:41 Entering Quincy, pop. 40,400 ... I am sort of lost here in Quincy trying to find where US-24 is and looking for the Days Inn, so I am driving around looking for it. The sun is halfway below the horizon.
468.8 All sorts of critters made out of scrap ironware - quite large ones ... there are many white and pink dogwoods throughout this city and they are making an absolutely magnificent show.
471.3 7:56 The sun has set and I am going south on US-24.
474.9 8:11 Pulled into the front of Days Inn ... beautiful colors in the sky from the sunset as I went into the office.
475.0 8:18 Days Inn, Quincy, IL - Room 203.

The day’s total - 475 miles
Trip Total - 475 miles

Day 2 - Wednesday, April 28 - Quincy, IL to Boone, IA

475.0 8:06 Leave Days Inn, Quincy, IL - Room 203 after having a free hot breakfast (up to the value 0f $3.50 - coffee, juice, scrambled eggs with sausage links and toast. If you had one of the other choices you paid the difference between $3.50 and that price.) With an overcast sky and light rain today is not looking so nice. From the motel I am driving up Main Street.
475.3 At the moment I am at a traffic light to make a left turn onto US-24 which will take me up to IL-96. There are some interesting old buildings here and ahead of me there looks to be a Mormon Temple, also there is a statue of a man that looks as if he was a Mormon in Central Park.
I am around the corner now and head north on US-24, which I will follow until I curve around and join up with IL-96.
Some of the houses are the old Georgian style, I believe. There is a sign for the Lincoln Heritage Trail.
476.9 End of divided road and start of two-way traffic, and now, although I am more or less in the country, there are still a few businesses and some houses. It is raining more heavily.
480.8 Start of a divided highway again as the road comes towards the junction with IL-96.
481.0 IL-96 from the south joins in here.
481.7 Leaving US-24 for IL-96 north.
482.0 End of the divided highway.
482.9 The rain is a little lighter, more off to the east, and now that I am going north I look to be heading towards clearer skies.
Three houses which I have just passed have the gable running parallel with the road and there have been two additions to them, the first one had a second gable running the same way and a third one; the second one had a gable at right angles to the original house.
Ursa ... a red bud which is still covered in blossom.
Sign: Take a Sunday walk instead of a Sunday drive - a step to better health.
487.0 The end of the town ... to my right it is really raining very heavily and the dark clouds seem to be right down to the ground whereas I can see a considerable amount of blue sky to my left and forward.
489.2 Entering Marcelline ... there are a few very old wooden houses here.
489.6 At the top of a big hill and going down there are woods and I suspect a creek or river.
490.4 Another did and this is the dip that was keeping any vehicles coming towards me from view.
490.9 Crossing a river or creek (no name - it can be seen on the map, but also without a name) and there’s some ploughed field on each side but all the rest of the area is woods.
491.8 Back up out of the valley.
491.9 Dipping down again for another creek then up the other side - it is really hilly around here.
493.7 Entering Lima ... a 1912 barn in town.
494.2 Judging by the trees here there could have been a tornado at some time!
494.3 Out of town, or at least the speed limit has increased, but I am passing a cemetery and a few more houses.
It is still very black to the east and southeast, much clearer to the west and the north. The architecture of many of the houses, the older ones like those I was talking about a while ago, long, narrow, two-storey with gabled roof and additions behind that.
500.5 A field is terraced for growing crops.
Since leaving US-24, IL-96, for the most part, is a long straight road - there was a little curve when I came to the first big dip, but since then it has just been going straight north.
501.5 A small cemetery with about twelve to fifteen headstones in it to the left.
502.0 Driving under blue sky with white fluffy clouds and the dark ones are now behind me and to the east. However, there is a strong wind blowing from the west.
503.9 Two foxes, not red ones ran across the road - more of a greyish color.
504.3 Another cemetery, this one to the right and bigger than the last one - still not big.
504.7 The sun is shining and now my car is casting a shadow.
506.7 A bend in the road and a stop sign - there is a road going west but this does not show up on the GPS, a road to Warsaw.
506.8 Turning east for a short distance.
508.3 Turning north again.
509.9 8:49 Entering Hamilton, established 1869. Historic Nauvoo is just 13 miles ahead, but I will be turning off before that to take US-136 west, then onto US-218.
510.8 A red stop light , also the junction with US-136. IL-96 also turns west at this point.
511.2 I can now see the Mississippi River.
511.4 IL-96 turns north to go alongside the river.
512.7 Start of the bridge across the Mississippi River and there is a dam to my right ... Keokuk hydro-electric plant.
513.3 End of the bridge and in Keokuk, Iowa, just north of the Iowa/Missouri State Line. As well as being US-136, this is where US-218 starts. There are a lot of old brick buildings along this road ... a mural for 1847-1947 on the wall of one of the buildings ... some lovely attractive designs in the brickwork on the faces of these buildings - some rather unusual facades.
I have passed where US-136 turns off and am on US-218 and Business US-61 ... 63° ... a Hy-Vee grocery store ... Keokuk is a pretty big place (pop. 12,500).
517.3 The junction with US-61 - Business US-61 ended.
518.6 I am now leaving Keokuk behind and am out in the country. At that point also the road became a four-lane, divided highway and the speed increased to 65 mph. Looking at the GPS I am not actually on that road, so this is a new road which has been constructed. To my left are a couple of rows of houses with a road between them and that would have been the original highway.
522.5 This is approximately where the road joins up with the old highway.
523.1 US-61 and US-218 split, US-61 to follow more closely the Mississippi River. To stay on US-218 I had to make a right-angle left turn, and now I have a strong wind buffeting the car. Since turning off US-61 I am driving in a northwesterly direction.
528.0 Entering New Boston - there are a few houses, maybe a half dozen, but that is about it!
528.2 The road is on a long curve and now is heading north.
132.3 Passing a high school and outside it looks like a marching band is practicing, the front people are twirling banners, then there are all the drums and trumpets.
532.6 Turning onto a ramp which will take me up onto a big highway, a divided road.
533.0 9:19 On the divided road - still US-218 north, but also IA-27. This particular junction would have been the area that was under construction when I came over the Des Moines River on that little ferry, I think IA-27.
534.2 Passing Exit-19 for IA-2 across the state to join up with NE-2 in the west.
535.6 Only 71 miles to Iowa City now, so this wont be a bad way to come when we come up for the convention. The foundations have been laid for the other lanes to be put in so this will become a double highway - the road is two-way traffic at the moment,
537.4 The other side has been paved and our lanes are crossing over to that side, that is the two-way traffic will be on that side now and this could possibly be the old road that I came up on two or three years ago ... interesting! The new road is still to the left and it looked as if we were crossing over onto that
538.9 Men are actually working on the road at this point - not just a construction sign and noone around.
540.1 Now the new road is to my right.
541.1 Actually this is going to become an obsolete road because now out to my right are two bridges being built to start off with and the new road will be quite separate from this ... now it has changes again - I guess it depends on where the farms are and what houses there are as to whether they will bypass them or go past them!
544.0 Now it has switched over to the other side, probably because on the right is a beautiful farmhouse, silos, sheds, barns, so the road will go to the left of that.
544.9 This road is now 20 miles west of US-61 - a turnoff here to go to US-61.
546.9 Passed a truck stopped by a state trooper.
547.3 The farms are really thick through here - lots of silos, some interesting barns. Everything is very green and there are cattle are grazing in some areas.
550.0 Just come down a hill and crossing a creek, bridges already being built for dual highway and there is another creek about a quarter of a mile ahead and more bridges being built there too.
551.7 A state trooper going south. Also I was thinking about saying there is a lot more cloud cover now, but not black!
553.0 Start of the bridge across the Skunk River.
553.1 End of the bridge. The new one is already built.
There sure is a lot of dust when someone comes off a dirt road. Whew! That was dreadful! There was an extra lane there for trucks coming up - slow traffic - but a truck just pulled out in front of me off a dirt road and I was swallowed up in a cloud of dust.
555.7 Divided highway begins and this is as a ramp goes off at Exit-40 ... in the Mount Pleasant region.
A number of overpasses have been put in for the local traffic.
557.9 Crossing over US-34. This road also continues to be IA-27.
A sign: “Please Save Me. Life begins at conception”.
This road went to the east of Mount Pleasant and has curved around now toward the west before turning north again. In a number of cases they have made a completely new road.
562.3 Iowa City 47 miles.
564.6 Hickory Grove Cemetery, a country cemetery in among some trees.
Farmers are out working.
When I came up through this area before, that is when I crossed over with the ferry it was over the Des Moines River which I have not seen today, so I’m thinking it must flow into the Mississippi south of Keokuk. Just looking at the map I see that for about its last twenty miles before the Mississippi the Des Moines River is the State Line between Iowa and Missouri.
568.0 The land is fairly flat now and looking all around the homes, silos and shed are located in clumps of trees surrounded by all the ploughed fields.
569.0 A turnoff for Swedesburg and there was an animal made of straw at the entrance to the little town - there is also a Swedish/American Museum here.
And now I am starting to get a few raindrops on the windshield.
571.3 Turnoff for Olds. Like Swedesburg this is just a little township to the west of the highway.
Although driving over fairly flat country the road dips down every now and then into a lower valley where there is a creek or river or a swampy area, then it goes up and back onto flat country again.
574.7 Swamps, lakes and wildlife (birds) to the right ... those few rainspots did not amount to anything, but judging by the sky it is quite possible I may get another shower or two yet today.
578.2 Some pigs in a yard off to the right.
582.3 10:05 Leaving US-218 for IA-92.
582.7 A stop sign and I will be turning west (left) here.
583.6 Entering Ainsworth.
584.5 Oskaloosa, which is on US-63, is 60 miles.
586.6 Lots of long shed with the food drums at each end - either chicken or pig sheds - two separate farms with them.
If I stayed on this road, IA-92, I could take it all the way into Council Bluff, going through Winterset where the covered bridges of Madison are located.
588.6 More of the chicken or pig sheds, first one farm, then ahead of me one on each side of the road.
Rural Iowa is actually very beautiful; it is also fairly thickly populated which means it has very rich soil which is very productive to be able to sustain so many farms.
590.1 Entering Washington, a very nice looking town with some pretty impressive homes ... a beautiful red bud tree in full bloom ... also cherry blossom ... 70°.
591.4 As I turn with IA-92 west straight a head of me is a block with 45° angle parking in the center of the road and the main downtown area of Washington with some rather interesting looking buildings. However, I am going to keep on route because I want to stop in Pella and spend some time there. This town would also be a county seat with a courthouse and clock tower.
592.0 Lovely park, Sunset Park, with a wonderful looking playground area for children. Some of the park has gardens in it, historical markers - a very pretty spot.
593.4 Out in the country again. Strong winds from the southwest continue and I can feel the car being buffeted.
The road wound around a bit in Washington, then when leaving the town went north and since then has again turned west.
600.5 A horse with a newborn foal standing on wobbly legs!
600.7 Entering West Chester.
602.0 10:30 Not quite 2½ hours since I left the motel this morning.
Farmers out ploughing their fields. Again all the countryside is fairly flat.
604.5 Another large farm with the chicken (or pigs) shed, also terraced fields because momentarily the road is going through a hillier area. I really would like to know whether these sheds are being used to raise chickens or pigs! ... Maybe even turkeys!
I continue to be amazed at the number of farms that are dotted all over rural Iowa.
607.8 A farmer on a tractor with a piece of machinery which looks as if he could be sowing seed.
608.4 There were pigs at that farm.
609.0 A side road to the left had a sign by it: “Bridge Closed” I wonder what river that was over! Probably the Skunk River.
Well! There sure isn’t much traffic on IA-92 ... a nice, quiet, pleasant drive and passing some lovely farms.
615.1 Passing a cemetery, Bethel, out in the middle of the farm country and not near a church.
616.3 A lot of pigs.
The countryside for some time now has been gently undulating rather than flat.
619.1 Passing a house up on a hill which has a red brick driveway going in from the road around a bend and all the way up to the top of the hill.
622.5 More pigs, on the right ... cattle grazing on the left.
A lot of people have red bud trees which are looking particularly lovely at present.
623.1 There is a lady on a mower tractor cutting grass ... it is unbelievable how much cut grass there is around many of the houses - nice well kept houses, a lot of them white and with the red bud trees - looking lovely especially under a blue sky.
Entering Sigourney ... 73° ... as you come into these towns the speed drops down to 45 mph, then 35 mph, then 25 mph. There is a lovely bell and clock tower to the left, probably a courthouse.
Oskaloosa now is just 22 miles.
625.2 Passing a farm on the left and it has a little model of a pig by the name of the farm ... two hawks flying overhead ... I have seen a number of largish birds with speckles on their feathers in my travels, some yesterday, but mostly today and the last one that I just saw now was in such a position that I think that what I am seeing are pheasants that have been killed along the road.
629.5 Turnoff for a place called What Cheer ... Oskaloosa is just 15 miles.
633.0 Crossing the North Skunk River.
636.6 A high point in the road before it dips down into what looks to be a fairly wide valley where the fields have all been ploughed. Beyond the fields are a line of trees, probably along a river or creek. The road is skirting around the valley with some woods to my right and the ploughed field to my left.
638.4 Starting to cross the South Skunk River. The road is also crossing a marshy area.
639.0 A wildlife area to the left - a lake with islands in it, probably homes for a lot of water fowl and ducks.
639.4 Starting to go uphill again.
Oskaloosa ... Pride, Progress and Tradition - a pretty sign as the road approaches the town, and I have a huge tractor in front of me hauling two trailers of corn seed.
A sign for speed zone ahead, but I think I’m already down below the speed!
644.2 A lovely house on my right overlooking a large pond and there looks to be a resident flock of Canada geese on the grass beside the pond.

Entering Oskaloosa ... speed limit 45 mph and I’m doing about 10!! There is a lot of roadwork along here and the farm vehicle is barely clearing the cones.
Lilacs in flower, deep and pale pink mountain flocks surrounding the base of a tree.
644.6 11:17 Green light and the farm vehicle is turning off to the left.
645.7 A stop light at Market Street, which is also US-63, the route I came through last time ... a lovely Tudor-style building on the southwest corner and a church on the northwest corner ... two- and three-storey buildings lining the main street to the left.
646.7 11:23 The right lane is for IA-163 west to Des Moines - 58 miles.
647.2 Turning off IA-92 for IA-163, a northwesterly, a four-lane divided route, 65 mph, to the State Capital.
648.3 Pella is 14 miles.
650.3 A lonely old cemetery in the middle of what will be a corn field to the right.
651.5 Passed a farm with the name on the barn, Van Hooglum Farm, and I am saying to myself, that must be a Dutch farm. Of course, I’m not far from Pella which is a Dutch area. It is also from somewhere around here that Melba grew up and her family were Dutch.
652.5 To the left, rows and rows and rows of posts, but I couldn’t see anything else ... possibly vines will be planted and there will be trellises between each post.
653.0 A mass of yellow tulips flowering at a private home to my right.
Farm buildings look well painted, well cared for, clean and tidy.
655.4 More pigs to the right, big pink ones.
657.6 An amazing looking farmhouse, a brick one with all kinds of decor on it and well kept - just beautiful ... actually a magnificent place with a verandah on at least three sides of it.
659.8 Another rather attractive brick homestead, but I think it may no longer being used.
What a beautiful area!
Pella Historical Village is at Exit-42.
661.6 Entering Pella.
662.2 11:37 3½ hours + 1 minute since leaving Days Inn in Quincy and I have just left IA-163 to go into Pella.
There are beds of tulips at some of the industrial areas I am passing and I am turning onto Oskaloosa road which is taking me into downtown Pella.
663.2 More tulips in flower and they are all along this factory here - the various colors are massed together. I have turned off the road at the moment and I am looking for somewhere to park.
There is certainly a beautiful show of tulips ... tulips everywhere and they look to be at their prime at the moment.
664.0 11:44 - 11:58 Parked in Pella Windows parking lot while I took a few pictures of the tulips..
I parked the car again about a block north and walked around taking pictures of the windmills and interesting buildings - what a lovely city!
1882 building with a big clock tower by it, old brick buildings. Oh! This is gorgeous here and I am glad that I came through Pella.
An interesting brick gateway and I have pulled into a parking spot and I am going walking again.
Pella sure is beautiful. I have thoroughly enjoyed my walk, found a second windmill.
The houses along this street as I drive straight down from the main street all have beds of tulips massed in different colors.
665.3 12:31 Back at Main Street and the northeast corner of the park where the first windmill is located. Hopefully this is the road I want this time . I’m on the right road now! I am just enthralled with this town. I am on Business IA-163 and beds of tulips continue all along the way, both sides of the road. Everyone has tulips planted.
665.9 A house has a small Dutch windmill, and there’s another small one on the other side.
666.012:34 - 12:40 GAS - Pella, IA - $1.719/gal. - 15.125 gals. - $26.00
Now I have a full tank and am heading out towards Des Moines which is 41 miles. I also have a mouthful of peppers. I prepared all the peppers last night, so I could munch on them in the car.
667.0 12:42 Turning onto the long ramp for IA-163.
667.6 On the highway, four-lane divided
671.1 A large pig farm. Lots of farms and crops continuing this side of Pella also. Now, unless there is something really worth mentioning, I am going to tune out whilst I eat my lunch!
677.8 Entering Monroe.
677.9 12:52 The exit for IA-14, which goes north to Newton (home of Maytag washing machines), then is the main street through Marshalltown.
679.9 There is even a piece of farm machinery over to the left hand side on the freeway!
681.3 Monroe Plant, Heartland Hybrids to the right - I was going to say it looks like a big seed company and that’s probably exactly what it is.
A strong wind continues to buffet the car and the wind may possibly have spoiled a number of the pictures I took in Pella. It was so strong there that the tulips were in constant motion.
686.0 An old train, not being used any more - just parked there - old and rusty.
686.6 The other end of the old train.
694.9 A landfill site on my left and the strong wind is certainly causing there to be a lot of dust in the air.
696.4 You can tell easily that this is the old road - sometimes it is a lot lower than the new road, sometimes higher because the new road has been leveled considerably.
699.3 1:10 Speed reduced - coming into the outskirts of Des Moines.
702.4 Caught sight of the fist tall building and now there are traffic lights along this road, so even though it is four-lane divided it is no longer a freeway.
702.7 Junction with US-65 north.
There was enough rain this morning to wash off most of the bugs I had caught on the windshield last night.
704.4 The road no longer divided.
704.6 1:18 Entering Des Moines.
705.6 Stopped at a stop light at the entrance to the State fair Grounds, and just before that I could see the downtown area with its tall buildings, also the gold domes of the State Capitol.
707.0 Passing a lovely display of tulips, also a cow and a calf , near a dairy, the Anderson Erickson Dairy, with an A & E on it, and I guess this is where dairy products are brought in for bottling, and shipped to the stores. And now I am trying to see how I can get onto I-235 north!
Junction with I-35, but from here there is no entrance onto it ... a lot of construction at this point ... so I am still on IA-163 going into town!
709.0 The State House is out to my left now ... bridge over the Des Moines River.
709.1 End of the bridge.
709.7 I’m turning off University Avenue, down 6th Avenue to go to I-235. I still don’t know if I can go east or west on that.
OK, I am going back east to be on the road on which I really wanted to be.
710.6 Back on the highway and crossing the river ... the gold dome of the Capitol is very bright and shiny.
711.0 A tremendous amount of construction taking place on the highways in this area.
712.4 Crossing over University Avenue which is the continuation of IA-163.
712.7 End of roadwork.
716.7 1:40 The junction with I-80 west. The winds are fierce and there is quite a haze in the air probably from all the dust created by farmers ploughing their fields.
721.5 Start of the bridge across the Des Moines River.
726.6 A mass of red bud trees.
727.0 1:49Leaving I-80 at Exit-127 ... this is just as I-80 turns south and I am turning north on IA-141. IA-44 turns west off when this route continues north. Just after I go round a bend I will be looking for IA-17. It is hot and dusty. The dust is unbelievable!
730.0 Crossing over IA-44.
732.3 Beaver Creek - a lovely park out to my right.
735.6 Leaving IA-141 at Exit-146 for IA-17 to Madrid and to Boone.
736.0 2:00 On IA-17 north.
736.7 Texas longhorns at a farm and just past that a lot of black cattle on a green hillside, no trees ... all green grass and black cattle, and some fairly new farmhouses ... it is good to be out of the rat race again! Off the Interstate!
739.6 Start of the bridge - crossing the Des Moines River again - a long bridge going over the river and marshes, backwaters.
739.7 Bridge ending but the road is still built up until it reaches a hill.
739.9 Hill and end of the road being built up above surrounding land.
I have driven through a lot of different parts of Iowa and now, I am currently northwest of Des Moines, the capital of the state, and I don’t think I have ever seen any really poor or depressed areas in Iowa.
744.1 Entering Madrid.
744.8 Junction with IA-210 and the business district was to the west of that junction.
46°! I don’t think so!
745.4 Leaving town.
If there were any tumbleweeds around here, they sure would tumble!
I think the dust I have to contend with in Memphis is awful, but I don’t know what I would think of it here! You would never get rid of it.
750.8 Entering Luther.
751.2 Gas is $1.659.
755.9 2:21 Stopped for roadwork at a temporary stop light for a single lane just before crossing over US-30 and the wind is pelting my car with gravel, which I don’t appreciate.
756.1 Turning off IA-17 for a ramp onto US-30.
756.5 2:24 Joining US-30.
757.1 Boone is 4 miles, Jefferson 30 miles.
757.7 Entering Boone.
759.4 Turning off US-30 at South Story Street.
760.2 We welcome you to Boone - a big sign at the side of the road.
A house with a mass of blossom trees all in blossom. There are some very nice looking homes here.
761.1 Turning onto 2nd Street.
761.3 2:35 Arrive at Lynn’s in Boone. I guess that I got here too early - I have been to both the front and back doors and there doesn’t seem to be anyone around, although Lynn’s car is in the driveway. Oh! The garage door is opening, so someone must be home.
When I arrived at Lynn’s she was all ready to start driving me around Boone and the surrounding countryside. Once out in the country she drove to the Des Moines River valley to see the Kate Shelley Memorial High Bridge ... the following is information which I downloaded from the web:-

By: CHUCK HACKENMILLER January 11, 2002

     Work begins on Kate Shelley High Bridge project

      Workers from American Bridge Co., a business with headquarters in Pennsylvania, Monday began the process of strengthening the double-track Kate Shelley High Bridge west of Boone.

      Tim Mavis of Michigan, general foreman for the project, said the project will including heating the iron on the bridge and adding more iron so that the bridge will be strong enough to accommodate two Union Pacific trains on the bridge at one time.

      At present, one train can cross the bridge while another train may have to wait on the other side. The train also has to slow down as it crosses the bridge. When the project of strengthening the bridge is complete, both trains will be able to cross the bridge at likely speeds of 50 miles per hour.

      "We expect to spend at least six months (working) at this site," Mavis said. The project crew will include 14 iron workers out of the Des Moines local, he said. American Bridge Co. was contracted by Union Pacific to do the work on the bridge.

      American Bridge Co. has a link to Union Bridge Co., the company that was involved in the initial bridge construction. In the early 1900s, Union Bridge merged with American Bridge. Mavis showed some of the original drawings of the Des Moines River Viaduct, drawn up by engineers from the Chicago & North Western Railway, which were dated Dec. 11, 1899.

      The rail at the top of the bridge is about 180 feet from ground level. American Bridge crew members Tuesday were assembling an enclosed three-section 100-foot tower with steps that will reach the low part of the bridge. A floor will be installed on the low rectangular section of the bridge, giving the workers a base to place their equipment, air compressors, torches and a "shack" for personal breaks.

      Mavis said the crew is accustomed to working in high places and American Bridge Co. stresses safety at all times.

      "It's not as risky as some may think. Our men are tied off on lines all the time with full body harnesses," he said.

      Dallas Compeau, Michigan, is the project superintendent and Dan Schwarz of Pennsylvania is the project engineer. Project managers are John Schober and Bill Johnson.

      Schwarz said the bridge is in good shape for being at least 100 years old. He said there was not as much rust on the bridge as he expected.

      American Bridge Co. recently completed a two-year project working on the Mackinaw Bridge, a toll bridge in the far north area of Michigan.

      "We will continue to maintain (train) traffic over the bridge, except when we perform the iron heating procedure. At that time, there will be a railroad flagman available to stop the train until we're done with the procedure," Mavis said. There will be about 100 tons of iron added to the bridge.

      The Kate Shelley High Bridge, considered the longest and highest double-track bridge in the world, was finished in 1901. It is located 3½ miles northwest of Boone and is among the county's popular tourist sites. The bridge's length is approximately 2,685 feet.

      In the early 1980s, officials named the high bridge in memory of Kate Shelley, Boone County heroine. According to the Chicago & North Western Railway history page, the bridge is one of the few major American viaducts named for a woman. During a driving storm and flood in July 1881, she witnessed that a steam train engine fell from the Honey Creek bridge near Moingona. She heroically battled the storm and high water while crossing the Des Moines River Bridge on her hands and knees to warn the people at the Moingona train station about the bridge accident, and to stop the midnight express train from experiencing the same fate.

To get a good view of the Kate Shelley Memorial Bridge we crossed the Des Moines River via a single-lane wooden wagon bridge, which in itself was an interesting structure.
From here we went in search of a possible view of the Boone & Scenic Railroad High Bridge, claimed to be the highest inter-urban trestle in the world at 685 feet long and 156 feet high. This bridge does not cross the Des Moines River and was illusive to find. I got one brief glimpse of a part of the bridge and nothing worth photographing.
The next point of interest was a lake created by the Don Williams Dam across Bluff Creek.. The park surrounding the dam was very pleasant and provided a number of activities, camping, swimming, fishing, golfing and picnicking. Along the roadways throughout the park were chainsaw carved animals and birds created by a local Boone artist. This same artist is the one who carved the cardinal and angels which Lynn has at the front of her house. She had them carved from trees which grew too big and they sit on the stumps left behind when the trees were felled.
Our last stop was in the little town of Fraser and just as we arrived here the Boone & Scenic Railroad trained pulled into the YMCA Camp. Lynn is a volunteer for the Scenic Railroad and was surprised to see the train. She chatted with a number of folks whom she knew whilst I photographed the train. It had been reserved for a special tour by the Rotary Club and had stopped in Fraser for the passengers to have dinner at the YMCA Camp before returning to Boone.
I have no idea of how far Lynn drove this afternoon, but I am sure we covered a good many miles!

The day’s total - 286 miles
Trip Total - 761 miles

DAY 3 - Thursday, April 29 - Boone, IA

Today was another busy one as Lynn continued to show me what Boone County had to offer.
We started out the day by going to the local Methodist Church which was holding a craft fair and a plant and bake sale. We went there for breakfast as coffee and cinnamon rolls were being served first thing in the morning!
After breakfast we stopped in at the house to pick up cameras and Lynn filled up with gas before setting off for the Iowa Arboretum. This is something I would have expected to see closer to Des Moines. It was delightful walking around the grounds with many trees in full blossom. Some daffodils were still flowering, but the hyacinths were at their best. There are beautiful gazebos on the grounds and these are rented out for weddings and other functions. We spent the best part of the morning here and before returning to Boone Lynn drove me through the grounds of the Iowa State 4H Camp. Back in town I was treated to lunch at the Boone Golf and Country Club.
After lunch we had time to drive by the Community College and go back to Mamie Eisenhower’s birthplace. We walked around the house on a path of 8" square bricks, made locally in Boone, and see the garage which had been built to match the house and to house a car which President Eisenhower had given to the city.
By now it was time for Lynn to pick up a friend whom she had promised to drive to the airport in Des Moines for a flight to Chicago.
After leaving the Des Moines International Airport we drove north on Fleur Drive to Grand Avenue, east through downtown to I-235, then north to Ames. Here we visited the Butterfly House at Reimer Gardens on the grounds of Iowa State University. The gardens are located near the football stadium. We did not have time to wander through the gardens which originally were left to the people, free of charge. Then someone had the bright idea of building the Butterfly House for which there is a charge and you can only get to the gardens through the Butterfly House! There were dozens of butterflies flying around and we were there for some time trying to get some good photographs.
After leaving Ames Lynn drove me aound other parts of Boone County showing me properties which she owns and rents out to farmers, also one where she has thought of possibly building a house!
Then, closer to town we drove through a beautiful city park in which there was a statue of Teddy Roosevelt. Upon leaving the park we went past the front and back of a number of underground houses. At the back the lawns continue right over the roofs whist at the front the houses look like normal brick houses.
Then it was on through Ledges State Park. We started at the top of the hill then wound down into the ravine which is enclosed by sandstone cliffs. We forded Peas and Davis Creeks as we drove through the ravine to the exit from the park where there is a poll with markers on it showing flood levels of the Des Moines River in various years, the highest marker being the flood of 1993.
What a day! I had certainly been treated to the best of what Boone has to offer and I had the feeling that I had not seen it all! I think Lynn said that we had driven over 150 miles since she had bought gas that morning! We had supper and a quiet evening at home looking at pictures we had each taken with our digital cameras.

The day’s total - 0 miles
Trip Total - 761 miles

DAY 4 - Friday, April 30 - Boone to Springbrook, IA

761.0 9:20 Leave Lynn’s to drive to Springbrook. I decided to take a different route rather than taking US-30 into Jefferson then going south on IA-4. After leaving Lynn’s I drove out the same direction I came into town to the highway, US-30.
There is complete cloud cover in the sky.
762.8 9:23 Turning onto US-30 west. Besides all the clouds in the sky this is a much cooler day, could almost say that it was chilly!
765.0 Going downhill into a wide valley, lots of trees around.
765.2 I am crossing the Des Moines River.
765.4 End of the bridge. After coming off the bridge the road continues across the valley some of which is being farmed.
766.5 A turnoff for Kate Shelley Park and the road will be leaving the valley shortly - almost immediately after that turnoff to the left. I don’t know if the Kate Shelley Park is in the same place as the Kate Shelley Bridge.
768.6 Kate Shelley High Bridge is 3 miles off to the right ... question answered! So Kate Shelley Park and Kate Shelley Bridge are in different locations.
770.3 9:31 Leaving US-30 at Exit 126 for US-169 south to Perry. Boone County P-70 goes north to Don Williams Recreation Area - 6 miles.
770.7 9:32 Turning onto US-169 south.
(The GPS showed only one street in Boone - Mamie Eisenhower Boulevard).
774.6 Passing a country church, Swedish Lutheran, and cemetery.
775.4 Passing the turnoff for Iowa Arboretum, 10 miles ... it is also the turnoff for Luther along Boone Co. Rd. E-57.
780.1 I am just looking at how dark the soil is, a very rich looking soil.
784.4 9:47 Turned of US-169 for ramp onto IA-141.
784.7 I am on IA-141 going west.
786.6 9:49 Entering Perry. IA-141 is four-lane divided and I appear to be skirting around the main part of Perry.
789.0 9:52 - 10:01 Perry - McDonald’s to get some coffee. When I asked, “How much?” the attendant said, “That’s OK.” - $0!
789.2 10:02 Back on the highway.
789.5 End of the divided road and start of two-way traffic.
790.5 Woods on both sides of the road, this just as I am coming up to cross the Racoon River
790.6 Crossing the Racoon River.
I am taking a different from usual route into Springbrook, because in the past I have Taken US-30 into Jefferson, then south from there. Although this is a different route it is still through rural Iowa with its rich soil and many farms, homesteads with trees around them, all the sheds and silos - just a very pleasant countryside.
794.7 Just passed a house which faces onto the road and at the side of it was a cold cellar, a mound of dirt heaped up and a door into it.
803.1 10:19 The junction with IA-4 south. I’m not very far from Springbrook now, and looking across the fields, it is hard to realize that tucked down below the horizon there is this wonderful State Park, a wooded area, with a dam in it, trails through the woods. a beautiful area.
807.2 10:24 Leaving IA-4 for Guthrie Co. Rd. F-25 and Springbrook is 5 miles ahead.
810.4 I can see all the trees at Springbrook State Park now and just ahead the road starts to wind around the southern end of the park.
811.5 The trees straight ahead and the road turning south as it winds around towards the entrance.
812.5 10:30 Turning into Springbrook Conservation Education Center.
813.0 10:32 Arrive Springbrook.

The day’s total - 52 miles
Trip Total - 813 miles

Day 5 - Saturday, May 1 - Springbrook, IA

The day’s total - 0 miles
Trip Total - 813 miles

Day 6 - Sunday, May 2 - Springbrook, IA to Lincoln, NE

I am getting ready to pull out from Springbrook and drive to Lincoln.
813.0 12:20 Leaving from Springbrook ... I had taken a look at the map and am still trying to decide which route I will take. Leaving the grounds of Springbrook I turned to the right to go out to IA-25, which I will take south. That is the main way to go from here and it is after that I have to decide!
813.7 Beautiful redbud in flower.
815.5 12:22 Stopped at the junction with IA-25.
819.2 Scattered raindrops are landing on the windshield.
820.1 It is raining, but it could just be a scattered shower because there is a lot of blue sky and the sun is shining through the clouds.
821.5 The rain has stopped and I am driving in sunshine.
It was a very good weekend with interesting programs, great photographs to see and the slide essays were absolutely amazing which had all been computerized.
822.3 12:30 Entering Guthrie Center.
822.9 Passing the Guthrie Courthouse.
823.0 12:31 Junction with IA-44 and I have turned west at this corner. Although this route has some straight stretches it is winding for the most part through the hills. This route has a sign for Iowa Scenic Byway. It continues to be that lovely rural Iowa farming country.
833.3 1,440 feet - the Missouri/Mississippi Divide, which means any water east of here flows to the Mississippi River and any west of here flows to the Missouri River, and finishes up in the Mississippi anyway!
837.2 A pheasant in flight.
841.7 A high point in the road from which there are long distant views pretty well in 360° and there are a number of these points where it appears you can see for miles.
842.9 Another high point from which you can see the road a long way ahead, but this is after it has been over several hills and around a number of corners.
There has been so much traffic on the road! ... I have seen only one car!
843.5 Quite a number of sheds for raising, I thunk probably pigs, judging from what I have seen so far. There were about six of them.
844.1 Crossing the East Nishnabotna River.
844.8 12:56 The junction with US-71 - Stop sign, and in the southwest corner there is an eye-sore of old truck, cars and goodness knows what piled up! There is a little township at this junction, Hamlin.
846.7 The high point which I could see from that last high point when I said I could see the road away ahead in the distance. After that the next section of the road was very winding, sometimes going westward and sometimes to the south.
If you like driving through farm country this is a very pretty drive.
852.0 Looking at the GPS. the road now looks to be much straighter going west than it has been.
854.2 1:07 Approaching Kimballton.
854.9 Passing the turnoff to go south to Elkhorn - 3 miles ... I will stay on IA-44. Although the road continues to be fairly straight it certainly isn’t flat.
856.3 Terraced fields.
858.0 One picture of the terraced fields - not a particularly good spot!
863.0 Another shower of rain.
864.3 There are about eight of those long narrow sheds to my right, which I am assuming are being used to raise pigs.
For a while the cross roads had the names of different birds and now I notice there is one called quince and one called orange - fruit names! Or maybe the names of trees because the last one was oak.
868.2 Entering Harlan.
868.4 1:24 Crossing the West Nishnabotna River.
869.8 1:26 Stopped at the junction with US-59 and. leaving IA-44, I am turning south - further ahead IA-44 appears to turn northwest, so it is time for me to get off and head for the interstate, particularly as I am so tired (I did not sleep well Friday night at Springbrook and last night I hardly slept at all because of my leg troubles.)
875.5 Crossing West Nishnabotna River.
876.7 There is some rain falling just west of me, and maybe a slight drizzle to the east, but there is also a lot of white fluffy clouds and blue sky above me.
878.6 I can see the traffic on I-80 ahead.
879.8 Entering Pottawattamie County ... gas stations, a new Motel 6 being built.
880.3 Leaving US-59 for I-80.
880.6 1:38 Joining into I-80 at Interchange-40.
881.0 Crossing the West Nishnabotna River ... Council Bluff is 35 miles.
881.5 I am driving west into that rain shower, some pretty big drops of rain ... I am thinking that I will leave I-80 and continue west on I-680.
893.1 1:49 Leaving I-80 and I will take I-680 to I-29. That way I can drive through downtown Omaha and see what changes have taken place since I was there last. North Omaha is 29 miles this way (and I think that Council Bluff was about 29 miles from just before the division of the interstate. Just as I am talking a great blue heron flew overhead.
906.2 In addition to it raining again strong winds from the north are buffeting the car.
908.6 2:03 At the top of the hill before starting to descend into the Missouri River flood plain.
910.4 Going under I-29.
911.2 2:05 Joining into I-29 south, and the weather is certainly a mixed bag. Looking east some beautiful blue sky, fluffy clouds, looking south and west it looks very stormy.
921.2 I can see the first high rise buildings of Omaha - I guess there is the new tower which is higher now than the Woodman Building ... and it is raining again!
928.5 Leaving I-29 for I-480 to cross the Missouri River into Omaha.
929.0 2:21 I-480 to Omaha.
929.2 Start of the bridge over the Missouri River.
929.4 The Iowa/Nebraska State Line ... and the big new building in Omaha looks to be completed. Without actually driving into the Downtown, I can’t see any other changes at present.
934.0 2:26 Rejoining I-80 and the rat race!
948.2 End of the three lanes going to Lincoln. There is a lot of roadwork in progress as the road continues south.
959.7 Starting to cross the Platte River.
960.0 End of the bridge ... Dames rocket in flower on the embankment.
What a busy road this section of the interstate is!
The day seems to brighten up a bit then another cloud and rain shower come in.
971.9 Entering Lancaster County.
977.1 Leaving the interstate at Exit-409, the Waverly exit.
980.2 Entering Lincoln, pop. 225,581.
As I drive down 84th Street past the cemetery towards the city the sky to the east is becoming very black, blackest that I have seen throughout the day.
984.1 A lot more new houses being built north of the old part of Lincoln.
984.9 3:10 Crossing “O” Street.
84th to Old Cheney, Old Cheney to 56th, then south to go to Jo’s and Sam’s
990.8 3:19 Junction with NE-2.
993.0 3:26 Arrive at Jo’s and Sam’s.

The day’s total - 180 miles
Trip Total - 993 miles

Day 7 - Monday, May 3 - Lincoln, NE

993.0 Leave for errands.
1,000.0 Wells Fargo Bank, 16th and P Branch.
1,003.9 J.C. Penney, Gateway Mall to make hair appointment.
1,004.3 Catherine’s - for underwear.
1,008.1 Got Famous Dave’s BBQ Sauce.
1,010.9 The Still to pick up wine.
1,013.0 “Home”.

The day’s total - 20 miles
Trip Total - 1013 miles

Day 8 - Tuesday, May 4 - Lincoln, NE

1,013.0 Leave to get hair cut.
1,019.8 J.C. Penney ... good to see my old hairdresaser Lina again.
1,025.7 Stopped by my old neighbor but she and the girls were not at home. However, I did see Fran and Otto.
1,029.0 “Home”.

The day’s total - 16 miles
Trip Total - 1029 miles

Day 9 - Wednesday, May 5 - Lincoln, NE to Memphis, TN

1,029.0 9:30 Leave Jo’s and Sam’s, but will get gas before leaving town.
1,032.0 9:39 - 9:44 GAS - Lincoln, NE - $1.849/gal. - 15.145 gals. - $28.00
I am now heading out on NE-2 and have already seen some Dames Rocket in flower. I am driving home a day earlier than originally intended because I think that LP needs me at home. We go through these traumatic times and I need to be there to buoy him up and not let him get really down. We don’t know what the future holds, but we have to hope that things will work themselves out.
I don’t really feel much like talking or recording anything ... everything is green, so obviously winter has passed ... some of the corn fields have been prepared - I don’t know if there are any plants up yet or not!
Gas in Palmyra and Unadilla both $1.849/gallon which is the price I paid back in Lincoln. However, there was one gas station where the gas was $1.869 and the Philip’s where the car wash is at 56th and Old Cheney started at $1.969/gallon. I couldn’t see what the gas price was in Syracuse.
1,079.5 Starting to cross the Missouri River ... it is not as full as I thought it might have been at this time of the year.
1,079.8 I am over the water now and probably in Iowa.
1,080.7 It looks as if a new eagles nest has been built in one of the trees to the right, but further from the road than the one I used to look at.
$1.819/gallon here in Percival, also $1.809 at the Sapp Brothers, so I would have got it a little cheaper had I been able to make to here!
1,083.1 10:35 Joined into I-29 south.
1,093.2 10:44 The Iowa/Missouri State Line.
1,094.3 Crossing the Nishnabotna River.
1,094.5 10:45 GPS has calculated 672 miles and 10½ hour to go.
1,131.8 The corn plants are up.
Exit- 53 - gas $1.799/gallon
1,205.0 12:15 This is where I am getting ready to turn onto I-435 east - I still have 564 miles to go, 8 hours and 55 minutes. GPS is indicating that I am off route because I have taken I-435 instead of staying on I-29 and I am supposed to take one of the exits I am passing and backtrack! ... maybe I should do that sometime! It would appear that I was supposed to stay on I-29 until the junction with I-70. The current suggestion is that I should take Exit-49A for MO-152 west to US-169 to I-29!
1,227.6 Start of the bridge over the Missouri River.
1,227.8 Starting to cross the water.
1,228.3 End of the bridge.
1,230.3 Crossing the Blue River.
1,232.8 The east ramp for St. Louis is in 1½ miles.
1,233.5 GPS is still trying to recalculate! - now 539 miles, 8 hours and 24 minutes.
Oops! I’m off route again!
After the exit for I-70 to St. Louis GPS got stuck on 538 miles!
1,243.5 12:48 Left the I-435 ring route for US-71.
1,270.9 1:13 Leaving US-71 for MO-7 ... Clinton is 39 miles.
1,284.2 Lots of purple flowers in bloom along the embankment or shoulder. I’m not sure that it is Dames Rocket but it could be.
1,289.6 Gas $1.789.
1,292.5 Lots more of that purple flower and I think it is Dames rocket.
1,307.6 1:44 Entering Clinton.
1,308.8 1:45 The traffic light at the junction with MO-13, which I will be taking into Springfield.
1,328.0 2:04 86° at Lowry City.
1,333.0 2:08 Leaving the highway for the Osceola Cheese Outlet.
1,333.0 2:09 - 2:33 Osceola Cheese. I am leaving from here and I asked for the direct route from here to home and it is showing 374 miles - also says I am not on the digitized map!
1,333.3 2:35 Back on the highway, that is MO-13.
1,339.6 I have decided to turn on the air conditioning because I was getting very warm!
1,344.6 The first piece of two-way traffic road I have been on since leaving Lincoln.
1,346.8 Entering Collins and there is a traffic light just in front of me here for the junction with US-54. Gas starts at $1.779.
1,358.2 Work in progress for making the highway four-lane divided, and men are actually working here! All the reinforcing rods are laid out ready for the pouring of the concrete and these go from where I said the roadwork started and at .......
1,360.8 It is still going ahead of me,
1,362.0 End of the reinforcing rods, but now there are big piles of them waiting to be put in place.
1,363.0 The road base isn’t quite ready for the placement of the reinforcing rods - still being graded and prepared.
Some of the road is supposed to be ready by the Fall of 2004 and other parts by the Spring of 2005.
1,370.8 3:11 Bolivar, and I believe this is halfway between Lincoln and our place in Memphis.
Everything has been green today, all the trees have their leaves, the grass is green, no sign of any blossom left anywhere.
1,389.7 Missile silo on right, quite close to the road.
1,396.8 310 miles to go, 5¾ hours.
1,397.1 3:35 Entering Springfield.
1,397.6 Leaving MO-13 and turning for the ramp onto I-44 east.
1,402.1 3:41 Leaving I-44 for the ramp onto US-65 south. The traffic on US-65 through Springfield is pretty heavy.
1,411.1 3:50 Leaving US-65 for the ramp onto US-60 east.
1,411.4 The gas light just came on.
1,436.8 I have seen two horse-drawn vehicles, looked like a man and his son in one of them and a lady and her daughter in the other.
1,440.8 4:18 Leaving the highway to get gas.
1,441.0 4:21 - 4:29 GAS - Seymour, MO - $1.779/gal. - 16.864 gals. - $30.00 + $1.23 cash for a coke
Whilst waiting at the stop light to turn a man in a sulky crossed over. It is an extremely long light at this intersection, with the main street going into Seymour on the south side of the highway, and the gas station I have been to is on the left.
The GPS is indicating 68 miles to the junction with US-63 and 266 miles to home, 4 hours and 56 minutes, so I should be home around 9:30.
1,442.2 I came onto a newly surfaced road and I think this is a completely new section of road ... maybe not - has just been newly paved - certainly a beautiful surface.
1,448.2 An evergreen tree on the top of a rock cutting has been decorated with Christmas decorations.
Still seeing Dames Rocket in flower.
1,479.5 There must be something going on in Cabool - to the north of the road there are about ½ dozen colorful tents, blue and white, red and white striped tops - very large ones for some function!
1,481.4 Passing the exit for US-63 north to Houston (17 miles) and Rolla (65 miles).
1,482.0 Passing the entrance of US-63 south with US-60.
Gas here is $1.899 - this is 10 miles before Willow Springs, so I think that I lucked out getting it at $1.779.
1,489.5 A sign which originally had - “Extra lanes completed Summer 2004" had a diagonal strip pasted across it - Completed as promised. This is shortly before the business exit for US-60 and US-63 through Willow Springs.
Junk Shun Flee Market.
1,495.9 I think that I am turning off for US-63 at this point - it’s a big interchange, not fully completed yet, but it appears to me that US-60 is probably going straight ahead at that point.
1,510.0 I’m driving through West Plains ... GPS says I have 200 miles to go in 3¾ hours.
1,512.8 An incredible amount of road construction in this area - about 1 mile before the Best Western Grand Villa ... deep orange/red soil as the land is carved out for widening the road.
1,517.0 I’m on the worst part of the road now because it is two-way traffic and there are still a number of trucks which go through this area ... the hills are also steeper and the road more winding ... Jonesboro is about 102 miles.
Gas $1.799 in Koshkonong.
1,534.0 There are lots of coreopsis in flower ... there have also been a lot of white flowers which look as if they are on brambles or blackberry - blackberries, maybe, because that is what they look like but I don’t know if blackberries grow in this region ... more coreopsis - they just look like the sun shining on the ground! They are such a beautiful yellow. The coreopsis are blooming all along the way.
1,538.3 6:03 80° just before I get into Thayer.
1,540.8 6:06 Stopped at Walnut Street in Thayer.
1,542.7 6:08 The Missouri/Arkansas State Line and entering Mammoth Springs ... it will be interesting to see how far I go before darkness descends upon me!
Before getting into Thayer I was able to pass four or five semi-trailers and several cars, so I was in the front of everything, so for the steep and winding road from Mammoth Springs into Hardy has been a much easier drive. I haven’t had anyone in front of me, so haven’t been held up by anyone.
1,556.8 6:22 I now have two vehicles in front of me.
1,557.8 One of the vehicles has turned off.
1,558.9 6:24 Entering Hardy, pop. 578 ... driving along the historic main street it looks as if everything is closed and there is no sign of anyone around, but then, of course, it is almost 6:30!
1,562.6 An entire embankment yellow with coreopsis.
1,562.7 Sign for fresh strawberries and I can see a field of strawberries out to the right.
1,575.9 Gas $1.799 in Ravenden.
1,576.6 Crossing the Spring River.
1,581.0 Gas $1.869 in Imboden and $1.849 ... temperature 88°, but I think the sun might be shining on the thermometer gauge.
1,588.6 6:56 Entering Black Rock ... gas $1.799, also $1.769 at a Fina station.
1,591.0 Starting to cross the Black River, which has a lot of water in it and there looks to be some out on the flood plain, well outside its banks.
1,591.4 End of the bridge. End of the Ozarks. And now on the delta!
1,592.3 There seems to be acres of water, particularly to the right, and just before coming into Portia ... a rice paddy seems to be up and growing ... Jonesboro now 29 miles.
1,594.9 Rice paddies with the plants all growing - a kind of yellowish green.
1,595.7 Interesting! A farmer is working his field to the left, whilst all the fields to the right have been planted.
1,596.2 The rice is a lot taller and is greener than the yellowy green I saw earlier.
1,603.8 7:10 The sun is still up, but the shadows are becoming longer.
1,605.0 They are still nowhere near completing the dual highway along this area.
1,609.2 A lot of water lying around in this area and I am not sure what are creeks, rivers or flood waters.
1,614.5 Gas $1.77.9 in Bono.
1,618.1 7:25 Welcome to Jonesboro ... the sun has not set yet and the shadows are becoming very long now, but, at least, there are still shadows!
1,639.8 7:44 The lovely building which I have been observing at various stages of construction in Truman during my numerous trips along this route is a Days Inn and is now open for business.
1,642.6 The sun, a ball of fire, not quite on the horizon yet, is almost hidden by the trees and doesn’t seem to be strong enough to be throwing too many shadows!
1,645.4 Another brief view of the entire circle of the sun and it is about to touch the horizon.
1,647.0 7:49 The sun is sinking below the horizon.
1,659.6 8:00 Dusk and it wont take long to get dark ... it is becoming more difficult for me to see any details of what is around me.
1,667.5 There is a lot of color in the western sky, but no fantastic sunset ... and I can see the traffic on I-55.
1,668.2 8:07 Turning onto the ramp to enter I-55.
1,668.6 8:08 Entering I-55 ... it’s not really dark, but dark enough, but I did make it to the Interstate almost in daylight.
1,685.5 I-55 merging with I-40 from Little Rock.
1,687.7 Leaving I-55 and staying with I-40. At that point I still had 27 miles to go.
1,690.7 I can see the skyline and all the lights of downtown Memphis ... the bridge with all the lights on it is straight ahead of me ... and still there is a glow in the western sky
1,692.4 Crossing the river.
1,692.6 The Arkansas/Tennessee State Line and just after that the bridge with the lights on.
1,695.0 Turning off I-40 onto I-240 south to Jackson, Mississippi.
1,695.3 8:32 Joined into I-240.
1,700.7 8:37 Turning for I-240 east.
1,701.5 I am “On route” again! ... 15 miles to go in 21 minutes.
1,703.0 The gas needle is just on the down side of the halfway mark, still partly covering the halfway mark.
1,709.1 Turning off I-240 for TN-385.
1,714.3 Leaving TN-385 for Winchester.
1,717.0 8:56 Arrive home.

The day’s total - 688 miles
Trip Total - 1717 miles