Friday, June 17, 2016

Oshkosh Wisconsin to Des Moines Iowa

We were up early this morning and went down to the breakfast nook shortly after it opened at 6:00 AM. There was some excitement as a fire engine wheeled into the motel lot, sirens going, and EMT's converged on the lobby. The girl at the desk said someone thought they were having an asthma attack. All was resolved without having to transport the individual.

They dispatch the whole crew for 911 calls

There was a VROC rally taking place in Boscobel, Wisconsin this weekend. This was the 19th year and,although we haven't been in a while, I decided we should make a little detour and pay our respects. Projecting an ETA of 10:00 AM, we headed out of Oshkosh at 7:00 sharp.

Southern Wisconsin is very picturesque, with roads winding through hilly countryside of mixed trees and farmland.

A pretty drive

We love Culver's

Colourful fields

Sherm sent an early text saying he was ready to leave Kingman (Arizona) and meet Lanny in Flagstaff. I had to call him back because I couldn't text while driving, but then I showed Sandy how to do it so we'll be more flexible in the future.

Towns are well taken care of

Lots of pride

The first turbines I ever saw many years ago

Quaint place for a drink

It wasn't all big highways

Southwestern Wisconsin isn't as affluent as the southeast

 Turkey hunting capital of Wisconsin

We arrived at the Sands Motel in Boscobel one minute later than my estimate. Stewey and Duck came right over with Fly, Mad Kaw and Pecos right behind. Connie introduced us to Wizard and Borys popped up from somewhere. Borys, Fly, Mad Kaw and Pecos will be bound for Taos as soon as the weekend festivities are over.

Stewey has a new Polaris Slingshot. This is a vehicle with two front wheels and one rear powered by a Chev engine. We had never been in one before so he took Sandy for a ride and then it was my turn. Climbing into the passenger seat felt much like getting into a midway ride. I was impressed by the way it ran and cornered under its master's hand and then I was allowed to take the helm for the return trip. Thanks for the experience, Stewey. It was a hoot but I think I would still prefer a new Miata.

The gang and the Slingshot

heading out

Sitting in the shade at the Sands

Mad Kaw watches Fly wrenching (MK's Nomad)

We couldn't stay long so we bid the gang adieu and headed south on US 61 to US 151. In Fennimore, we saw Igor the cheese loving rat in front of the Carr Valley Cheese Company. As we moved further south, Wisconsin started to resemble Iowa, wide and spacious.

Fennimore Wisconsin

Igor the cheese loving rat

We crossed the mighty Mississippi into Iowa at high noon. Passing through Dubuque, we continued on along US 151. I was pleasantly surprised on one downgrade with the cruise set when the transmission downshifted itself to maintain speed. It should do this but I didn't know it could.

Approaching the Mississippi on US 151

Ole Miss

The Equinox downshifted itself while coasting downgrade

We noted that of the many motorcycle riders we saw in Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, almost no one wore helmets. I am a supporter of letting those who ride decide, but I was surprised how many decided not to wear a brain bucket.

Sandy had a craving for a Culver's caramel cashew sundae so we stopped at one in Marion, Iowa just after 1:00 pm. The place was exceptionally busy. Since this concoction wasn't something on my approved list, I ordered a mushroom/Swiss butterburger. OK, that wasn't on the approved list either but I figured it was a lesser evil.

Parked under the Culver's sign - Marion Iowa

Sandy waiting for Sundae

While at Culver's, I checked accommodations in Council Bluffs Iowa and Omaha Nebraska. There was no room at the inns, so I backed up and booked a king room at the Days Inn & Suites by the Des Moines airport. Continuing on, I noted that they filled the tire grooves in US 30 rather than repave. It made me think of the Trans Canada Highway in Saskatchewan years ago.

Filled in grooves on US 30 near Cedar Rapids

 Archer Daniels Midland Cedar Rapids Power Plant (coal fired)

I needed a short break at a Rest Area along I-80, where we saw a very cute little RV trailer. Then we stopped at a Pilot for fuel (still getting 25-26 MPG US at 75 MPH), where we saw a mini-transit van  towing a Bunkhouse motorcycle camper trailer. Sandy got a photo of a German Shepherd piloting a motor home as well. Gas cost $2.19 per gallon.

Nice little trailer

This looks like it belongs there

Woof

We couldn't begin to guess what this was

Iowa Speedway - Newton Iowa

We reached Des Moines and headed to the south part of the city where the airport and out hotel were located. A bank readout claimed 95F but my ambient air display only said 91. It didn't really matter because the A/C was working fine.

Iowa State Capitol Dome

We arrived at the Days Inn and Suites soon after 4:00 PM. Jim on the front desk was very helpful.  He told us breakfast was served starting at 4:30 AM because many guests were catching early flights out. We found our king room had a recliner and a couch.

Sandy kicking back

Considering today's hotel experience, I looked ahead to North Platte and Ogalalla, Nebraska for tomorrow night. I guess everyone here goes to town on weekends because they were either booked or ridiculously priced. I managed to get a Days Inn in Paxton for $35 plus another 3,000 points. It is rated the number 1 motel of 1 in Paxton:-))

Perkins was within walking distance. They had a 55+ menu with lower prices. Oddly, the serving sizes were the same as the regular portions. I had country (chicken) fried steak with corn and mashed potatoes. Sandy had Butterball turkey with broccoli and mashed. Autum (sic), our server, was very pleasant and competent.

Perkins Restaurant - Des Moines Iowa

What to have?

It was lots

My country fried steak

On the way back to the motel, we noticed several people training for what appeared to be Muy Thai kickboxing. I asked on fellow and he said there was a tournament at the Holiday Inn this weekend. It is the Muy Thai Classic, with 500 fighters expected.

Back in the room, Sandy watched TV while I completed the bookkeeping and blogging. All was finished by 10:00 PM.

Today's Route (420 Equinox miles):

1 comment:

Linda Gross said...

I believe Best Western allows one to use points plus cash too. I will have to check that out, as an alternative to using all points for a stay.