Sunday, May 25, 2014

To American Gothic

 May 18

I am up before the sun this morning with a full-on case of ants in my pants.  Hubs is trying to sleep, so I try to quietly watch the sunrise.  

Hurry up and shine, you!

Finally my restlessness arouses Hubs and we get ready for the day.  

We have a long drive ahead and the rest of Illinois and some of Iowa to get through.

After getting the trailer ready to go, sleepyheads Otis and Murray are summoned for a walk around the camp ground.  

By the time they get tossed in the back seat of the car, they are ready for a nap.  

Their behavior is much improved over yesterday as we zip across the remaining plains of Illinois.  Crossing the mighty Mississippi river, we enter the undulating hills of Iowa.  

A brief stop at Walmart yields a simple lunch and some very convenient shopping.  

Several hours into our trip, we stop at the background house in Grant Wood's painting American Gothic.  Painted in 1930, it won third prize in an art competition put on by the Art Institute of Chicago. Perched on a small hill, a visitor center, small plant display, and spacious parking lot surround the tiny main attraction.  There is a mobile home next door.

Prairie Smoke

Otis and Murray have no clue what is happening, except there is a treat waiting at the end of all this posing.

It becomes clear that we will not make our original destination before evening, so I scour the map and internet for a nearby campground.  We pass one that looks like a terrific place to stay, but the site I have mapped out is a dozen more miles up the road.

At this point I become unnerved as we pull onto the gravel road and there is a large ROAD CLOSED sign blocking our path.  It is the only road leading to camp, so that must be closed as well.

Now what.

I frantically look for any other place and decide on a "popular camp for equestrian trail riding."  That sounds nice!  

Thirty minutes later we find ourselves on another gravel road with an untethered horse and a flock of goats grazing next to it.  

Are we in the right place?

Short answer, NO.

But we don't know it yet and keep plugging.  The gravel road becomes rougher and rougher, taking steep, tight turns over hills and around a lake.  

We are definitely not in the right place.

There is nowhere to turn around, so onward we go.  Finally the end of the road is in sight.  Terminating in a gravel lot, this appears to be a camp of sorts.  The only other rig seems populated with pre-pubescent boys on bikes and loose dogs.

A saggy couch makes me think they are here for more than a few days.  

We still aren't sure we are in the right place.

There are pit toilets, but the surrounding shelter is made of crumbling cinderblock and neither stall has a door.  

Oh well.  It is pretty if we put select curtains up and I'm sure there are worse places we could stay.

After a sedate dinner and sunset, we hit the sack.  Tomorrow we hope to finish off Iowa and finally enter our beloved South Dakota.  

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