Contrary to slanderous Eastern opinion, much of Iowa is not flat, but rolling hills country with a lot of timber, a handsome and imaginative landscape, crowded with constant small changes of scene and full of little creeks winding with pools where shiners, crappies and catfish hover.Paul Engle
Iowa is not completely flat
The backroads of Iowa have plenty of hills that take you up and down like a roller coaster. Most of the time you can’t see over the next hill.
Corn in Iowa
Ninety-eight percent of the corn grown in Iowa is not edible for humans. It is used to make ethanol, cooking oil, and feed for animals. It is not sweet corn.
Drivers in Iowa are cautious
There is not much traffic on the back roads of Iowa. Cars don’t try to speed by you, drivers don’t honk or flip you off. They drive slowly.
No sign of diversity
Most of the people that I saw in Iowa were not of color. I didn’t see any migrant workers in the fields or hotels. I saw some students from China and the Mideast at the University of Iowa.
No out of town license plates
Not many people visit Iowa. I think that the Iowa State Fair draws from nearby states. I could not play the license plate game because there were only Iowan license plates.
Limited places to use the restroom and restaurants to eat at
If you are traveling the backroads of Iowa look for Casey. They saved my life twice when I was lost. Casey is equal to QT or QuickStop. They have gas, snacks, and coffee. It was the only place to get coffee. Many of the restaurants and shops in the small towns are closed on Mondays. No one could give me a reason for this.
Casey General Store
State Center, Iowa
Picturesque farm houses
The farm houses were usually white and their barns red. This fascinated me because it reminded me of pictures in story books about farms. The corn stalks were more than “knee high” and ready to be harvested. The soybeans spread like a thick green carpet up and down the hills. It was so different the desert where I live.
Farm with soybeans
These markings appear on barns that are more than 50 years old. The farmer chooses the quilt pattern and it is then painted on the barn. There are actually tours that will take you around and show you the different markings. I saw many of them. I was only able to take a picture of this one.
Knee high corn
Route 66 has the notoriety of being the first highway to cross the US.
It was the Lincoln Highway which first ran coast-to-coast from Times Square in New York City west to Lincoln Park in San Francisco, originally through 13 states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California. It was dedicated on October 31, 1913.
Lincoln Highway Bridge, Tama, Iowa
I would like to thank all of the people who helped me when I was lost. Thanks to my cousin Anna and her husband Steve for letting me hang out at their house.
Get to know the USA. Tavel by car and enjoy what you don’t have at home.