As you cross into the State of Iowa the landscape starts to flatten out and the cornfield appear. Then for hundreds of kilometers it’s cornfields!!
|The corn fields go on forever|
Eventually you come to Des Moins and the surrounding counties. One of which is Madison. Type Iowa into Google and one of the main things it will come up with is the Bridges of Madison County, made famous by Clint Eastwood in the film of the same name. Now I have to admit to never actually getting through the whole film, it’s a bit of a chick flick (in fact it’s a lot of a chick flick!) But the county is beautiful rolling hills and six of the original bridges still left around the little town of Winterset.
|Some of the bridges have been moved|
|Some are in their original positions|
This town has another claim to fame as being the birthplace of one Marion Robert Morrison, aka John Wayne, who lived here until he was 3 years old when his father moved the whole family to California. The rest as they say is history, but a very interesting one.
|The Dukes birthplace|
|They are very proud of their towns favorite son|
I camped in the municipal campground for the two nights I was there, and it was terrific. It also the first time I have ever seen fireflies. Hundreds of natures little fairy lights in a free show at dusk and into the night.
|A very nice campground|
Your soon back into the corn fields for the rest of the ride across to Illinois and the mighty Mississippi. It’s still flooded and very muddy (unless it’s always very muddy?) But from Burlington I criss crossed and followed the river down through Missouri and Illinois (depending on what side of the rive you are on) until I got to St Louis. One night was enough in this very big town to see the Arch and sample some of the local brew and the hickory bacon wrapped meatloaf, at the Morgan Street Brewery, very close to the Motel. Excellent!!
|The Mississippi in flood in St Louis|
|The Morgan St Brewery|
|Brewing is done on the premisses|
|The Arch downtown|
|Very impressive close up|
Another nice surprise during the day that I came across was the small town of Hannibal. This was the birthplace of one Samuel Langhorne Clemens better known by his pen name of Mark Twain. If you look in the inspiration section of this blog you will find he is one of the two people in there. His boyhood home and the inspiration of that famous classic Tom Sawyer (including the picket fence) are preserved in the town, and they also run paddle boat trips down the river from here.
|Mark Twain's house and the picket fence|
|Paddle boat rides on Old Man River|
From St Louis I headed across the state of Illinois and into Kentucky to a town called Bowling Green. Somebody had turned the heat knob up and the humidity had gone with it. I packed the ride pants and returned to the jeans. All zips were open on the jacket I was still hot. The next day I set out to visit the local whiskey distillery and also the National Corvette Museum. Bowling green is also host to the General Motors production plant for the Corvette.
|The original Corvette|
|This racer looked really good|
|Some beautiful cars|
|Distilling on a small scale|
|Some good whiskey and rum!|
Next stop Tennessee