Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Kansas

State 14:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is

Kansas

Kansas became the 34th state on January 29, 1861 and the capital is Topeka.

We’ve wandered through Kansas on our travels and camped there twice. Both times we camped there it was only for one night. Both times we arrived late after a long driving day and left early the next morning for another day of hard driving. Both stays were pleasant and a cornfield bordered the campground. Both times as we drove through Kansas we passed by pastures filled with grazing cattle and many farms with fields of corn, wheat, and other grains. Wild sunflowers beside the highway added a splash of yellow to the landscape.

The last time we drove through Kansas was in the summer of 2013. We fought a head wind all day as we drove east on  I-70 and stopped for the night in an RV park near the interstate. I took a few photos of the fields surrounding the park but unfortunately, I lost my Kansas photos after my computer’s hard drive crashed last year.

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Iowa

State 13:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is

Iowa

Iowa became the 29th state on December 28, 1846 and the capital is Des Moines.

Iowa is another state we have driven through numerous times while wandering around America. On one of our trips we planned our journey through Iowa around two bucket list destinations.

Our first bucket list destination was the Field of Dreams Movie Site near Dyersville. (We actually camped across the Mississippi River in Wisconsin but that is for another post).

As we walked around the bases I couldn’t help but think of the famous line from the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams” starring Kevin Costner and Amy Madigan:

“If you build it he will come.”

The corn was high when we were there, just like in the movie. I could just imagine the ghosts of famous baseball players walking out of the cornfield onto the baseball diamond to play. Another famous line went through my head the entire time we were there.

“Is this heaven?”

“No. It’s Iowa”

The next Iowa destination was Winterset and it also had a movie theme. We fell in love with the town with it’s six covered bridges, John Wayne’s birthplace (and a street named after him), movie locations from “The Bridges of Madison County” starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep, and a pizza place that delivered to our campsite in the City of Winterset campground.

Driving along the gravel country roads in search of the six covered bridges was a wonderful way to spend the day. As we went from one bridge to the next we passed by acres and acres of cornfields.

The stone bridge located in the park next to the city campground was featured in one of the movie scenes. Another scene was filmed inside the Northside Cafe where the walls were covered with photographs of scenes from the movie.

John Wayne was born in Winterset and The John Wayne Home is filled with memorabilia.

A few years later as we traveled through Iowa we decided on the spur of the moment to take a break from driving to  explore around Coralville Dam.  Before we got there, we crossed the Mississippi River into Iowa and stopped at the Iowa 80, the world’s largest truck stop.

The World's Largest Truck Stop
The World’s Largest Truck Stop

A little later that day we set up camp at the Dam Complex, a Corps of Engineers Park on Coralville Lake near Iowa City. In addition to taking a look at the Coralville Dam, we discovered fossils at the Delvonian Fossil Gorge and later took a walk on a nature trail for a view of Coralville Lake.

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii     Idaho     Illinois     Indiana

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Indiana

State 12:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is

Indiana

Indiana became the 19th state on December 11, 1816 and the capital is Indianapolis.

On our one and only trip to Indiana we spent a night in Elkhart, Indiana to get some work done on our refrigerator and to do some sightseeing. Right after we got set up at the campsite the sky turned black and the rain started coming down in buckets. We ran inside the RV and turned on the tv to discover we were under a severe thunderstorm watch. Luckily, the storm only lasted a short while but by the time it was over it was too late to do anything except eat dinner. The next morning we had to continue on our way after getting the refrigerator repaired.

The storm and refrigerator repairs prevented us from visiting the RV Museum in Elkart or going to South Bend to visit the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Even though we couldn’t spend much time in Indiana I enjoyed seeing the country side as we traveled across the state.

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Illinois

State 11:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is

Illinois

Illinois became the 21st state on December 3, 1818 and the capital is Springfield.

Sometimes in our travels the only way to get to our destination was to go through Illinois. As we traveled through the state we discovered beautiful lakes, country roads, fields of corn, farms, historic places, and even saw Superman in Metropolis.

Tin Cup RV Park in early spring, Mahomet, Illinois
We went through snow flurries on our way to Tin Cup RV Park in early spring ( Mahomet, Illinois)
South Sandusky Campground on Rend Lake near Sasser, IL
South Sandusky Campground on Rend Lake near Sasser, IL
The St. Louis Arch as seen from our campsite at Casino Queen Campground East St. Louis, IL
The St. Louis Arch as seen from our campsite at Casino Queen Campground in  East St. Louis, IL
Kamp Komfort is located on this country road
One night we stayed in a campground on this country road in Carlock, IL
This old barn is located just down the road from the campground
This old barn is located just down the road from the campground in Carlock, Illinois
We visited Superman in Metropolis, Illinois
We visited Superman in Metropolis, Illinois

I’m really glad we took the time to tour Abraham Lincoln’s home in Springfield, Illinois. Our campground was a few miles out of town with a corn field in our back yard.

There was construction being done when we visited Lincoln's home in Springfield
There was construction being done when we visited Lincoln’s home in Springfield
Blondie looking to see what's in the corn behind the campground near Springfield
Blondie looking to see what’s in the corn behind the campground near Springfield

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii     Idaho

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Idaho

State 10:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is

Idaho

Idaho became the 43rd state on July 3, 1890 and the capital is Boise.

We’ve driven through the Idaho panhandle on I-90 a couple of times going between Montana and Washington but never had a chance to stop in that part of the state.

Welcome to Idaho
Welcome to Idaho

I discovered there was more to Idaho than potatoes when we spent a fabulous week in Island Park, Idaho near West Yellowstone, Montana.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that in addition to potatoes there were waterfalls, mountains, cattle ranches, and spectacular scenery.

We chose Red Rock RV Park in Island Park on a small country road as our home base for exploring Yellowstone National Park.  It was a quiet and peaceful location to relax after spending the day exploring.  We were so busy enjoying the wonders of Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and  the scenery going to and from the parks that I never got around to taking many pictures of the campground.

One of our drives took us through Yellowstone and the Tetons and back to the campground through Idaho. We passed by fields of wheat and potatoes before driving on the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway in the Targhee National Forest.

We made a stop at Mesa Falls State Park for a look at two waterfalls.

Lower Mesa Falls
Lower Mesa Falls
Stairs lead to a viewing platform at Upper Mesa Falls, Idaho
Stairs lead to a viewing platform at Upper Mesa Falls, Idaho
Upper Mesa Falls
Upper Mesa Falls
Upper Mesa Falls, Idaho
Upper Mesa Falls, Idaho

One day as we were returning to the campground we were held up by cowboys herding cattle down the road. Another day we had to cancel our plans to attend a rodeo because of a big thunderstorm.

Idaho Sunset
Idaho Sunset

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii