Well, we made it back safely from our whirl wind trip to Omaha. For those of you who had no faith in my ability to navigate the 320 mile trip across the great state of Iowa with a load of sheep and my sister Marie as my co-pilot... you've probably met us.
This is a card I gave Marie a few years back and it is a pretty accurate depiction of what happens in our travels.
Our plan was to be in Omaha by 9 AM Saturday morning, so at 4 AM, Marie arrived at our house to load sheep, and stuff the truck full of snacks-cause that's just what she does. Still half-asleep, we clumsily loaded the 3 sheepies into the truck without incident (luckily they were half-asleep as well) and headed for the open road with the wind blowing through our hair ( the air conditioning in my truck is 2-70....two windows down at 70 miles an hour) and the smell of sheep emanating from our clothes.... life is good.
When I mentioned that this trip is 320 miles, I should have clarified. The route is 320 miles....on Interstate 80... each direction....straight, flat shot across this great state that I love. 320 miles.
I was going to post lots of pictures of the 'scenery' along the way.....like this.......
But then I remembered this video that really captures the essence of what it means to travel interstate 80 through Iowa.
Down the interstate we drove, mile after mile, the sheep quietly munching on hay in the back of the truck. The trip went pretty quickly, perhaps it went quickly because we were hauling sheep so we weren't tempted to stop along the route, or maybe it was because there were massive amounts of caffeine consumed due to the aforementioned 4 AM start time....whatever. We arrived in Omaha just a few minutes later than planned, but still were able to meet the new sheep owners by about 9 :15 and transfer sheep into their vehicle so that they could take them to their final destination in Colorado....incidentally, it is surprising how many onlookers gather when you transfer baaaing sheep in the middle of a hotel parking lot first thing in the morning.
Now that the sheep were safely delivered, we decided that we would take our time on the return trip. We pointed the truck to the East and started our trek back to the East coast of Iowa.
We were actually doing pretty well staying focused and hadn't been distracted by too many things along the way. One thing I wanted to do was to get some pictures of the 'wind farms' once we got closer to Adair, Iowa. We have been past the wind farms before, in a previous trip, but since I was driving then too I was never been able to get pictures of the turbines..........well.....there was that ONE incident in the previous trip when I handed my camera to Marie and asked her to take some photos of them. She pointed the camera out the window and after a couple of clicks she turned to me and said, "Darn it!" "What's the matter, Marie?" I asked. To which she replied, "I wanted to take a picture of that one, but the blades aren't moving." After a few thoughtful moments when I wondered if she had really just said that, I answered, "That's OK, Marie, they won't be moving in the picture either."
So this time I was taking my chances pointing the camera out the window and clicking random shots myself without looking...cause I was driving.
Hmmm...kinda crooked. We decided to follow an exit where we could see seemingly hundreds of turbines off in the distance surrounding a small town-this looked like a great place to take some pictures.
I was trying to get some shots that would show the enormity of these turbines, but I don't know if it is possible to capture it in a photo. I am all for green energy, but I couldn't help thinking, as I looked across the horizon dotted with these massive structures, that I would not want to gaze out on my pastures and see something reminiscent of a Stephen King movie towering over my property. I have always been curious as to whether or not there is a lot of noise emitted from the turbines...the answer is a resounding YES! From a distance, they seem to be silently sweeping their giant arms through the air, effortlessly turning, but as we got closer we could hear the pulsing "whoosh, whoosh, whoosh" of the blades.
Our curiosity about the turbines had been satisfied, so on down the road we went to turn around and head back to the interstate. Then we saw THIS...
Well, obviously, this begged the question, "Is it an antique city, or a city full of antiques...and does a town of 897 constitute a city in the first place???" These questions had to be answered.
We drove into town along the tree-lined street, passing blocks of beautiful older homes with perfectly manicured lawns, wrought iron fences and cozy porch swings. As we approached the 'downtown' area we saw what we were looking for-shop after shop of antiques...we had hit the mother load.
The first place we stopped had some awesome metal sculptures and garden items.
Here is Marie with a giant metal pig and such.
Inside the shop was full of antiques of all kinds.
We explored store after store...I think it was 'Take your tractor to work day' at this shop.
" OOoooooooooohhhhhh, shiny!"
It could take us years to get out of this place.
This store had three levels. I think we all know how I feel about heights..this picture still makes me nauseous, but...
I had to go all the way to the top floor to find AN ENTIRE ROOM FULL OF OLD CHAIRS! I love old chairs. I couldn't actually go into the room to look around because that would have meant going up a few more steps and then having to turn around at some point to come back down the stairs which overlook the open center of the building...all the way down. Waaaaay down. See previous photo. Dooooown.
The last shop we went to had a bakery with the tantalizing smell of fresh-baked bread wafting out onto the sidewalk beckoning us to come in. Once inside, we lusted over the delicious-looking pastries and rolls, but decided to wait and have some real food once we got back on the road. Before we left I went into the restroom to wash my hands and was quite puzzled by this sign on the inside.
Is there a way to get out of the bathroom without unlocking the latch???
We did remarkably well by only spending a couple of hours in this quaint little town, and amazingly, we didn't buy ANYTHING! There were lots of lovely items, but for the most part the prices were a bit high, probably due to the fact that a lot of tourists pass through. I prefer to find treasures under piles of junk at a flea market or in dusty boxes at a garage sale...I guess it gives me more of a sense of accomplishment, the search is half the fun.
We got back on the road and made one other stop at a large garden center, but since it is towards the end of the season there wasn't a great selection left-again, we bought nothing!
We arrived back home at about 4:30 in the afternoon..extremely tired, but we had a great time. I KNOW! From one side of Iowa to the other in about twelve hours without getting overly distracted? Unbelievable. And you thought we would be gone for a week.