Monday, 3 August 2009

Day 33 - Iowa City, Iowa.

Just back from our evening swim in this hotel's luxurious pool area, and I'm feeling inclined to share some pics with you all.

Mt. Rushmore was one of those things we fit in because it was on our general route. Yes, it's as much of a landmark as the Eiffel tower, but a mountain right in the middle of America isn't something you desperately plan a 6 week trip around. Still, we were in the area so of course we had to see it!

For anyone who doesn't know, this monument depicts four old presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln, in that order - we actually knew all but Roosevelt without doing any background reading. Mattias wanted it to be Roosevelt, but I was convinced that he was president during World War II, and because the moment was finished in 1941 I was sure he couldn't have gotten his own face up there. We were both right - and wrong; there have been two Roosevelt presidents, one at the turn of the century (Theodore, and the one in the monument) and one, like I thought, during WWII (Franklin D, not in the monument). While the other three are much earlier, we guess Theodore Roosevelt was included because he founded a lot of national parks.

That was today's history lesson - now on to other things! All the way from Yellowstone and into South Dakota, we'd noticed a lot of bikers going our way. At first, we figured it was because we were driving on the smaller roads. We could imagine it'd be pretty boring and stressful driving a motorbike on the interstate roads. But eventually there was just too many bikes for it to be a coincidence. They were in every hotel and petrol station, and we saw a lot of shops and restaurants displaying special "bikers welcome"-signs. Finally we asked at the Custer inn and found out that in the first week of August, bikers from all over the country gather in Sturgis in western South Dakota for a week-long rally event. This is what the parking lot at Rushmore looked like:

The week doesn't start properly until tomorrow (Monday) and we've been seeing literally thousands of bikes going the other way all day yesterday and today. Apparently Sturgis has over 500 000 bikers visiting every year! That's nearly the population of all of South Dakota. We hear that there's a lot of drinking and nudity during the Sturgis week, and considering the general shape of bikers, we're not too sad to be going in the other direction ^^

So, today we crossed into Iowa, praying and hoping for a change of scenery. This is what we got:

You guessed it... Corn fields! With some hills! Apparently it's farmland all the way to New Hampshire now.

Here's a special pic for my dear friend Kim. I think this is where Engla originates from:

We do feel a little tried of the driving now, and the homesickness is starting to set in. However, there is a light on the horizon. After looking at countless expensive hotels, we've found a reasonably priced, perfectly located cute little B&B near Providence in Rhode Island (yes, in, not on - it's not actually an island) where we're booked in for four nights to round off our long, big trip with a little rest and relaxation by the sea. Still another few nights to go until then, but we also have Niagara Falls to look forward to!

Don't get me wrong, we're still having a good time. We have some good talks in the car on days like this, when there's a lot of driving to do. And there's always something special to light up every day, like these two perfect milkshakes we were served today at a 50's style diner:

Side-by-side two flavour milkshakes, served in tall glasses (not plastic!) with whipped cream and a cherry on top. Beautiful! I had a vanana flavour, and Mattias had the chocilla. You figure it out :)


  1. SPINK! Absolut bäst hittills! Jag skrattade högt för mig själv när jag såg bilden :D

    Och jag skulle inte tacka nej till ett par såna där shakes - glassjunkie som jag är :P Minns att jag hann med ett par liknande när jag var Over There.

    För övrigt anser jag att folk som ger sig på att göra så där stora skulpturer kan dela med sig lite av sitt tålamod!

  2. hej
    underbart godis gott, sånt kan jag äta massor av
    och en liten bit Vanja på bild:) beviset för att du faktiskt är där
    hur kan ni veta så mycket om förenta staternas presidenter, mycket mer än mig, fast det är ju länge sen jag gick i skolan förstås
    katterna mår bra och vi längtar alla 3 efter er nu

  3. Hur kan vi veta så mycket om presidenterna... Jo, det ska jag säga dig - de är på sedlarna här såklart :)