Saturday, July 23, 2005

Red Roads

We have been traveling the interstates for much of the trip. Blue roads on the map. We did take route 63 north from Columbia, Missouri to Des Moines, Iowa. A red road on the map. These roads offer a chance to drive through small towns and enjoy a more intimate view of the land. This sooner than planned turn to the north also started moving us away from the incredible heat that the area has been experiencing. It worked. Here are the temperatures yesterday of our departure point, Columbia, Missouri, and our destination Des Moines Iowa.

The area that we traveled consisted of rolling hills and beautifully maintained farms. We commented that we felt as though we were passing through an immaculately maintained park displaying farm life. Nothing was out of place. Everything was clean and meticulously maintained. There is a religious sect that live in the area of northern Missouri who, like the Amish, drive horse drawn carriges for transportation and we saw some of them traveling in the special lane reserved for them on highway 63. Click here for is the link to Wikipedia's overview of Missouri.

We departed from the planned route shown in the first graphic and took route 36 westward to pick up a part of the interstate leading into Des Moines since our destination campground was on the west side of the city. We had made reservations earlier using our cell phone. This slight change of plan was due to our first campground choice on the east side of the city being full. That one had 95 motorhomes coming in as a group which took all of the remaining sites.

We both needed to renew some prescription medicines and Missouri has no Walgreens but Iowa does. We called the prescriptions in on the cell phone and found the pharmacies to be unusually friendly and helpful. The store we called, the one closest to our campsite, didn't have all of the medicines that we needed and without asking they called the next closest store and coordinated getting the prescriptions filled for us.

Bob used his cellular connection and the laptop to locate the campground and the drug stores as well as directions to them. The trip went flawlessly and the pharmacies were extremely courteous and helpful. We have found this to be true of Walgreens no matter where we travel with one exception and that is the store closest to our home. We always have problems with that store and yet every other one we deal with on the road is an example of courtesy and helpfulness. We have talked a lot about that and think that it might be due to the very large customer load on that store.

We were both very tired and slept soundly here in Des Moines, Iowa. It is our first visit to Iowa and we will traverse it further today as we continue north. Click here for the Wikipedia link to Iowa. We were interested to read that western Iowa is an area of Loess hills that are hundreds of feet thick. What is Loess? Click here for the Wikipedia pages on that very interesting topic. Yes, wind does have something to do with it. That can be your assignment for today.

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