The end of “Moving – Part 1” saw us leaving Ohio two days late, in the late morning in a truck that sounded like it was going to rattle apart and was about as comfortable as sitting on a jackhammer, so let’s pick up from there. We got out of Ohio fine, and thought that we would be able to make Des Moines in about 11 hours – wrong again. Turns out that the 10 hour drive that Mapquest tell you it would be is only if you have an unlimited supply of gas, a bladder the size of an Olympic pool, and no other traffic to slow you down.
We (of course) encountered three long stretches of road construction, followed by a couple of traffic accidents and then (of course) the required stops for gas and restroom – plus we needed to check on the cats to make sure they were OK. They were fine, but every time we climbed up to the car to check them they would start crying. Eventually we did make it to Des Moines but it was about 11:30pm so we just got to our friends house (he was the best man at our wedding) and crashed for the night (kitties got their own little place to hang our and rest from the ordeal).
The next day we were given the grand tour of Des Moines and I learned a few things while we were there. First, they have a drive through malt shop that has the BEST shakes ever!! Honestly, I shit you not on this, they were fantastic! Second, we learned that their capitol building has a gold dome on top of it.
Third, the Governor’s mansion looks just like the Haunted Mansion from Disney Land.
Finally we learned that Des Moines is very proud of a 15’ fiberglass sculpture of a cow that they have… yep, they have one and I have seen it.
There is also a wonderful art museum in Des Moines and we spent quite a few hours wandering through looking at paintings, sculptures and drawing. There are actually three building that are part of the Des Moines Art Center; the first one was designed by Eliel Saarinen in 1948, the second by I.M. Pei in 1968 and the final building was designed by Richard Meier. All of them are large and open with windows that are positioned so that they don’t just look outside, but form their own work of art with the window acting as a frame for it. Definitely worth going to see if you pass through the area.
So, we spent the day relaxing with friends, catching up and just having a good time but the next morning we were on the road and on our way but not without being presented with gifts to remind us of our visit like this wonderful t-shirt that is super funny.
I have already worn it to class and actually had a few people look and say things like “I didn’t know Des Moines was in Ohio” and “Ohio grows potatoes? I always thought it was Idaho…” Yep, future leaders I tell ya.
As we passed through Idaho and into Wyoming I did appreciate the long, open road that consisted mainly of the self movers, like us, and the 18 wheelers. The miles just rolled along and the other drivers were friendly and didn’t crowd anyone. If they wanted to pass, you just waved them along and they would flash their lights as a thank you. It was peaceful. I can see how truckers would really like that job.
We finally stopped in Cheyenne and got a room at the Best Western there since all the other places were full. They charged us $150 (because of the cats) and when we got there at 9:30 the restaurant was closed. They didn’t even have room service! Supposedly this was a three star place but room service closed down at 9:00 pm. So we just had some of our road snacks and made a mental note to never stay at Best Western again. Plus, one of the shelves in the bathroom closet had come off and was laying on the floor not to mention that the bed had a huge dent where everyone else who had used that room had slept. I don’t think they knew about flipping the matress or maybe even buying a new one.
Best Western sucks.
Here are a few of the literally hundreds (yes, hundreds) of pictures we took on the road. Hope you like them and I’ll finish this all up next weekend. Oh, the last shot is of the sign from Buford, Wyoming – population 1. The population used to be 2 but the guy’s son moved off to college (serious).