Ah, the Journey.

So a cross-country road trip is like writing a book.  You begin at the beginning but you can’t reach the end without driving through the middle. Gotta let the ride happen, can’t rush it.

My son and I are on a dip your feet into the Atlantic all the way to a dip your feet into the Pacific kind of trip.

Maine is water and mysterious primeval forests.  Massachusetts and Upstate New York are trees. Pennsylvania is rolling farmland.  Ohio is much the same.  Indiana is quick, thank god, and Illinois is almost as quick. Again, thank god.

The essence of Iowa.  Alive.

The essence of Iowa. Alive.

But Iowa… my home state of Iowa is paradise.  Don’t let anyone tell you the soil in Iowa has lost its fertility.  Don’t let anyone tell you Iowa is a one-trick pony– corn and soybeans and nothing else.  Iowa is colleges and books and libraries, forest and fields, farms large and small, the Amanas, pastureland, cows, pigs, chickens, sweet-smelling hay, and yes, corn and soybeans.  It’s been that way for generations.

The Amana Colonies.

The Amana Colonies.

The forests are so thick in my hometown you can’t even walk through.  We spent one evening, and one night.  Took a short hike and saw deer, wild turkeys, fireflies (oh how I love and miss fireflies!), and we ate at Christie Creme – a hangout since my father’s day. The cheeseburgers with grilled onions are still as hot, juicy, delicious as ever.  And they still sell homemade sherbet– the flavor changing daily.

Christie Creme - right before the thunderstorm hit. We sat in the rain anyway to eat our burgers anyway.

Christie Creme – right before the thunderstorm hit. We sat in the rain anyway to eat our burgers.

Best of all?  We got hit with a good old fashioned Iowa thunderstorm. Sigh… I feel complete.

Sometimes the middle is the best part.


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22 Responses to Ah, the Journey.

  1. Ray Plasse says:


  2. Tom Stronach says:

    They don’t sell burgers at Krispy Creme too, do they? Iowa sounds fab, but then it did produce your little………

  3. Penelope says:

    Safe trip home! Miss you already!

  4. You CAN go home again!
    Thanks for taking us along via pictures and vivid details.
    Continue your quest, dip your toes in both oceans (August 6 is “Wiggle Your Toes Day”
    –I think it counts triple if it’s in an ocean…), and savor every mile!

  5. Diana Stevan says:

    I can see all the love you have for your home state. Nourishing for the soul. Like they say, no place like home. Enjoy!

  6. Tim Dittmer says:

    Iowa? Julia? Must have hit a bad sector in my hard drive. :-)

  7. What a fabulous trip to take with your son. Travel safe.

  8. Thanks, Stephanie – one more day! Stopped in Nevada for the night.

  9. Yes, Tim. Iowa is the very best state in the Union. No kidding. The best. We should meet there! ;)

  10. Thanks, Diana. Yes sweetie, love my home state. It was very hard for me to move away.

  11. Oh Marylin – you can totally go home again! To be honest, I’d move back in a heartbeat if hubby was willing but he’s not a big fan of the Midwest. I’m wiggling my toes right now.

  12. As safe as we can drive, Penny! Miss you too!

  13. Yeah, Jaye – long road trip!

  14. Nah, Tom, but if I believe before her downfall, Ms. Paula Deen was making burgers with Krispy Creme doughnut buns, or something of that sort. Hey! I think I’ve just been insulted! Used to ride my horse to Christie Creme, sit on the brick wall behind the store and eat my sherbet. Shared it with the horse!

  15. Roberta says:

    Yes, indeed. The middle is often the best.

    I envy you…..real sherbet, Christie Creme, juicy cheeseburgers with grilled onions…..
    May I go with you next year when you take this trip? We can do cross post s on each other’s blog. :)

  16. Tom Stronach says:

    Me, insult you, it was the horse’s perky little one I ws referring to……….

  17. Oh, so now I’m as big as a horse? Thanks, Tom! ;)

  18. Oh you gotta go, Roberta – anyone who passes through Council Bluffs must eat at two places – Christie Creme (and make sure you ask for grilled onions) and Pizza King, which has the best pizza outside of Italy.

  19. anny cook says:

    It sounds delightful. I’m happy not too much was changed…

  20. Oh Anny, it is my idea of perfection!