The best things in life are free or at least not more than a nickel and for that reason alone we love Wall Drug (Cool Stop#37). Where else can you get free ice water as well as coffee for five cents? They actually charge 20 cents if you take it to go, but that is still a lot cheaper than Starbucks. An article framed on the wall there describes Wall Drug as being famous for being famous (kind of like the Kardashians of drug stores). There is some truth to that, but few places in America deliver on their promises as well as Wall Drug. The billboards advertise the chance to see a giant dinosaur and, by godly, you will see a giant flesh eating tyrannosaurus roar every fifteen minutes or so. And we are proud to say that for the first time Henna, with her hands over her ears, was able to stay for almost the entire growling.
Cool Stop #38 is the granddaddy of all roadside attractions. Run almost continuously from 1854 (the fair took some time off for both the Spanish American War and World War II), the Iowa State Fair offers children a chance to marvel at farm animals and then throw up their lunch after riding some spinning object. Luckily the fair flows from animal exhibits to rides which results in most of the vomit being spilled outside of the animal pens. The Iowa State Fair is also good for showing off exciting advances in stick-food technology (my favorite was a rib wrapped in bacon; just $3). One of my favorite magazines is the The Onion which has been having a lot of fun at the fair’s expense (one article told how Iowa fair workers were told to shoot non-Iowa residents on sight).
We had a good time checking out the animals (who knew that ostrich eggs and their hatchlings could be so big) as well as browsing among the food items. Henna and I rode the carrousel and then Corey and Henna spent a lot of time concerned about where I might get sick. Luckily that did not happen and I left with a better appreciation for solid ground.
Another road side attraction worth your time is The World’s Largest Truck Stop off Interstate 80 between Iowa City and Davenport (Cool Spot #39). Plenty of truck stops offer showers and laundry mats, but dentists and chiropractors too? And if we were not so anxious to get home, I would have got my hair cut there too. But at last, home beckoned and the essentials were put off for a few more days. Noel 8/16/13