The Vacation Begins

Sunday morning, September 9 — the start of our vacation. Things got off to an exciting start. It had rained during the night and water had collected along the bottom of our garage door. I was putting the last bit of luggage in the trunk while the door was rising. A stream of cold water hit me dead center on the top of my head and ran down my back.

Our first-day destination was North Sioux City, South Dakota. It was 597 miles via I-90 and 556 miles via I-80. We opted for Route 20 straight across Illinois and Iowa. It was only 489 miles and had the added advantage of not being an interstate.

The scenery wasn’t thrilling, but I always enjoy driving somewhere I haven’t been before. And it wasn’t all boring. I took photos through the bug-splattered windshield of things we passed that captured the essence of Iowa. Like barns with purple roofs …

And farmers cutting dead corn …

Most of the corn and soybean fields we passed looked completely dried-out and dead from the drought.

Here are some of the highlights of driving across Iowa:

  • I saw a road-killed badger.
  • Gas in Dubuque was $3.69/gallon.
  • We listened to my playlist as we drove and decided our new “our song” is “The Curley Shuffle” by Jump ‘N the Saddle Band because we both like it and also because we both think our previous “our song” is silly.

After we passed Fort Dodge, Route 20 became a two-lane road. We started seeing signs informing us of how far it was to Sac City, the site of our first vacation stop. Every time we saw a sign, I gave my wife a high-five which she returned with varying degrees of enthusiasm. I was amazed that we made it all the way into the town without seeing a single sign promoting it’s main attraction.

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