Friday, September 14, 2018

New Adventures West of the Mississippi

New adventures continue to present themselves on our journey of full-time travel. As I sit here today at our campsite in another beautiful Park of our National Park System, the temperature was 91 degrees and sunny with a nice warm breeze. It is a good day to write a blog post.

All of a sudden it began to sprinkle. It was only a little shower, but it was enough for me to take cover. Waited 30 minutes. It has cooled off nicely and I am back outside. It is only dripping off the trees now.

Crossing the Mississippi River (again)

I am now reflecting back to an earlier time this year when we crossed the Mississippi River at Clinton, Iowa, on the old, tall iron bridge. I actually got a photo of the River below through the sides of the big old iron bridge.

View of Mississippi thru side of iron bridge
Army Corp of Engineers Park

That night we had a nice view of a lake from an Army Corp of Engineers (COE) park where we spent several nights. One afternoon we had a downpouring rain, including thunder and lighting. I was at the shower building and had just finished a shower when the sky opened up. I  waited until it stopped thundering and lightning and for the rain to let up, at least thirty minutes. Then I walked back to our campsite, got a little bit damp, but not drenched.

Lake at COE Park with flowering weed at left center
County Park

Iowa, by the way, has a lot of county parks, and if they are all like this one, are very nice. The park featured in the photo below has 297 acres.

Jones county park
This Bowstring bridge was manufactured in 1873, and is the last tangible artifact from the military road. It originally cost $2914.00, has been moved twice, in 1930 and to this park in 1985. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Grant Wood's Gothic Statue

Gothic Statue
This famous statue is in Anamosa, Iowa. They are developing a city park around it. Back when I was growing up in Northern Indiana, I remember seeing this couple on TV in a commercial for Kellogg's Country Corn Flakes.

"American Gothic" portrays a farmer holding a pitchfork with his daughter primly at his side. It is one of the few images to reach the status as a universally recognized cultural icon, comparable to Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa".

The Iowa commemorative quarter features the Antioch School attended by Grant Wood between 1897 and 1901. It was last used as a School in 1959. The land around it is now called Grant Wood Memorial Park. The restored schoolhouse is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Calkins Square and the Smallest National Park in Wyoming, Iowa

On a city block along Main Street in Wyoming, Iowa is the office and home of Dr. Martin  Calkins. The earliest part of the house was built in 1858.  His granddaughter and grandson left this house to the City of Wyoming.

Home of Dr. Martin Calkins
In 1862, Calkins mustered into the state militia a company of 89 men. They formed Company K of the 24th Iowa Infantry.  When Calkins died in 1909, it was his wish that a monument be erected to commemorate the patriotism and valor of the young men of Wyoming who served in the Civil  War.
Monument completed in 1921

In 1921 the monument was completed and stands about 50 feet Northeast of the Calkins House.  This memorial next to the Calkins house is the "smallest National Park in the United States".
Smallest National Park in the  United States

We have traveled many miles and taken pictures of many interesting things. Going forward, the length of my posts will depend on how good our internet signal is, how quickly I can charge my devices, and topics covered.

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