Saturday, July 25, 2015

June 22, 2015 - Omaha, NE to Des Moines, IA

It was cloudy outside.  Because of that we discussed if we should stick to our original plan of visiting Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo.  As we were debating it started to rain, rain and rain.  "Let's visit the zoo another time," Erwin said. Now to Plan B.

We decided not to stay another night here because we realized there may not be enough time for us to reach our destination in Indiana by June 24  and we wanted to have enough time to settle down and rest before we meet Lori Pope and Eric Woomer at their rehearsal dinner on Friday, June 26. Their wedding is on Saturday the 27th.

After checking out of the campground we parked our Lil' Home (LH) at a large parking lot within the park.  We took the Jeep to go to the bank to withdraw cash, then got gas fill-up.  It was starting to get very hot and we were sweating even though the air conditioning was running at full blast. Okay, Now for Plan B ... It was to visit attractions in downtown Omaha, but because of the heat and foul weather we decided to put it on hold until next time we visit Omaha.  Now on to Plan C.

We visited with Lorraine and Jack, had lunch. Edith asked Lorraine if she could turn on the tv to Weather Channel, so she can see what the weather is like at the destination we want to stay at this evening.  Rain spots here and there, but it should be ok, we thought.

Lorraine's flower/vegetable garden
Lorraine spelled the name for it, but Edith can't remember what it is called

Lorraine made pumpkin nut loaves and gave one to us to take home.  We had few slices of it after lunch and they were so moist and yummy.  

Erwin, Lorraine & Jack
After bidding Lorraine and Jack good-bye we went back to NP Dodge Park where our LH was parked at, got the Jeep hooked up to the LH. It was around 2:50 pm when we finally left.  Not much time left for sightseeing in some places along the way.

From the park we got on I-680, crossed the bridge over Missouri River to the state line of Iowa.  I-680 becomes I-80, and we are now on way to Des Moines, IA.

There were lots of wind turbines alongside I-80 between Avoca, IA and exit for Marne, IA. Dark rain clouds appeared at the horizon and it started to drizzle.

There was enough time for short sightseeing. We got off at exit 54 to get on 173 North (Western Skies Scenic Byway) because we wanted to check out the town called Elk Horn, IA (it is a Danish village).  In this town there is a Danish Windmill (the only working windmill in USA). That was Plan C!

Bust of Hans Christian Andersen
Famous Danish storyteller

History on Danish Windmill: between November 1975 and March 1977 the people of Elk Horn, Iowa turned a dream into a reality  - raising more than $100,000 and using over 300 volunteers to locate, purchase, move, and rebuild an authentic Danish windmill. It took the volunteers over a year to rebuild it.

Edith instructed Erwin to take Exit 76 from I-80, so she can get a close-up shot of Smiley Face Tower in Adair, IA.  It is a roadside attraction. Check

Adair, IA Water Tower - it was erected in 1979
It is one of about 24 Smiley Towers in USA
Lots of them are in Michigan and Illinois

After checking GPS to see how much further we have to go to Amana, IA we figured it will be so late to continue the trip and decided to dry camp at Super Walmart in Des Moines, IA. 

Edith used RV Parky app that will list places you can camp at when in a town/city, such as campgrounds, rest areas, Walmarts, Camping Worlds, Cabella's, Cracker Barrels, and Truck Stops (Love's, Flying J, Travel Pilot) in USA, Canada, and Mexico. Most of the rest areas do not allow overnight parking.  Some limit a 4 hour stay. When parking at Super Walmart be sure to park your RV at the very end of the parking lot, not so close to the store. Some will allow you to use a generator to run A.C., but you cannot run it during the night.  It is wise to check with the manager first to be sure it is ok.  

We did not have anything in the fridge or freezer to fix something for supper.  We were in mood for chicken stir fry with oriental vegetables. Walmart was not far from where we parked, so we walked over there and picked up stuff.

After supper we played Tri-onimos. Edith won the first 2 games and Erwin won the last 2 games.  We decided not to continue the game to break the tie and were ready for bed. Maybe one of us did not want to be a loser, so made an excuse to go to bed?

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