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 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

Day 8: A little fun and relaxation in Iowa

Day 8: Thursday, May 23, 2013. Coralville Lake Dam Complex Corps of Engineers Park in Iowa City, Iowa, Lindner Point Campground, Site L2. 181 miles traveled.

After 2 days of hard driving we decided to take a break and stop around lunch time at a Corps of Engineers park on Coralville Lake in Iowa City, IA. The drive from Illinois took us across the mighty Mississippi River into Iowa. The first exit in Iowa is for Le Claire, the home of Antique Archaeology from “American Pickers”. We didn’t want to try to find it with the trailer behind us so we continued on to  the World’s Largest Truckstop, the Iowa 80 in Walcott, IA. We bought diesel and wandered around the huge souvenir shop and food court. There is parking for 800 trucks with additional spaces for cars and RV’s. In addition to the shopping and food there are showers, a barber shop, a dentist, chiropractor, a movie theater, and even a self-serve dog wash!

After getting set up at our site, we took a drive to check out the dam and lake.

We took a walk on the Woodpecker Trail near our campsite after dinner.

We found that there is more to Iowa than just corn fields! Ready now to continue our adventure!

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