Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Why Iowa, again?

Two years ago we took a road trip from Seattle. Our easternmost point was Tama, in central Iowa. My great grandparents had married there in 1867, and Iowa was one of three remaining states I had never been to. I found a bed and and breakfast in Montezuma, about 30 miles south of Tama. We had a memorable time there, during the planting season. You can read about that visit here.

This was a good year to go back during the harvest. We thought about it because, as frequent flyers on Alaska Airlines, we were about 2500 miles short of qualifying for MVP status for next year.  Minneapolis was about the right distance away and about the right cost, so if we added a short flight to Des Moines and a Budget car rental to Montezuma, we would be set. I talked to Stacy, the owner of the B&B, about the best time to visit. They had had a rainy spring, so the planting was later than usual. She said mid-October was a good time to experience the harvesting of the corn and soybeans.

Also, since our last visit to Iowa, I had found the name of my great grandmother's mother. We planned to visit the pioneer cemetery near Tama where she was buried.

The second half of our trip would be to Fairfield, Iowa. Three years ago we got a home exchange offer from a couple there. It sounded like an interesting place, but the timing wasn't good. Later that year the woman, Stacey, contacted me. She is an artist and was planning a trip up the west coast to find galleries where she could display her work. She asked if she could stay with us during her visit to the Seattle area, and I said yes. Stacey stayed for three days. She and I did a lot of talking; we actually discussed teaming up on a book. She reminded me that we now had a place to stay when we came to Fairfield. So we will be doing that as well.

Our trip was uneventful and we are settled into our room, in the barn at English Valley Bed and Breakfast in Montezuma, Iowa.





13 comments:

Judy and Emma said...

I hope you brought a very warm coat!

DJan said...

And to think in a week's time we will be settled in on Vashon Island. You are a traveling guru! :-)

Retired English Teacher said...

I agree with DJan. You are having a great trip. See you soon.

Meryl Baer said...

Enjoy! You are a vagabond!

MyMaracas said...

It's a great time of year to be there. Have a wonderful time!

Brian from Searsport said...

In Montezuma, you are about 70 miles from my son in Cedar Rapids... but only 20 miles from Grinnell. Searsport sent settlers west to Grinnell, IA to help settle it. They came from the Congregational Church in Searsport.

Arkansas Patti said...

You make travel seem so easy but it has taken careful planning and taking advantage of situations. Well done. You could write a "how to travel" book.

Tom Sightings said...

Sounds like a nice trip. I'm embarrassed to say, even if you count my drive cross country in 2004 (just passing thru Miss., Ala, and a few others states like that) there are STILL 10 states I haven't been to, inclu. Alaska and Hawaii. But I have been to Iowa, twice.

Grandmother (Mary) said...

Enjoy your trip. I lived for awhile in Macy, NE, near to Iowa and got to visit S. Sioux City a few times.

Out on the prairie said...

What a fun time, lots of color changes

Olga said...

You do get around. Hope you have a good time.

Linda Reeder said...

Oh, I will want to know what you are learning on this trip. We saw so much corn and soybeans during our travels to Penn and Ohio this summer. I want to know about the harvest.

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Ha! Your photos look very much like a great Iowa farmhouse B&B where we stayed several times...and no wonder, because it was on the same exit from I-90, just a couple of miles north of Montezuma. (4386 110th St., Malcom IA-- you drive within a mile of it to get back to the freeway) Probably has changed hands by now; when we stayed there it had been in the same family 100+ years). Some lovely people in that part of the world.