April 1, 2010

Iowa, I salute you.

You know, I judge the states by their rest stops. Iowa rules supreme. It's breezy and 77°, the sun is setting over the semis on I-80, and we're sitting outside with our laptops at a picnic table — and we can plug in our power cords and pick up free WiFi.

Photo 22

We're somewhere between the 500th and the 600th mile of our trek home from Boulder.

(The photo was taken — as the mirror-image hints — with Photo Booth. From my MacBook Pro. The other computer is Meade's Air.)

36 comments:

edutcher said...

80 is a nice ride. We went from Akron to Salt Lake in 3 days- me, The Blonde, and B. Treasure Dog; I refuse to participate in that ordeal called driving through.

Where did you guys cut into 80? One of the nicest things I've ever seen, speaking of sunsets, was pulling through Sidney, NE (old army town) just at sunset as a long freight was pulling in on the UP. (If only the engine had been steam!).

Very How the West Was Won.

traditionalguy said...

States can surprise you. Mississippi had the cleanest and best designed rest stops across the deep south. And after seeing the rest of Mississippi, that was a huge surprise.

bagoh20 said...

Damn Gobmnt welfare WIFI. Probably giving away the TP to anybody that wants it too. And what's this rest stop crap? Why when I was a kid, the rest stop was for the horses. Decent people don't rest till Sunday. Now git home, those stumps ain't pullin' themselves.

JorgXMcKie said...

@traditionalguy, maybe it's because no one in Mississippi uses the rest stops.

;->=

Choey said...

Welcome to Iowa (aka the soybean infested regions). Hope you can take some time to see more than rest stops. We actually have some interesting things to see here.

Douglas said...

The best thing ever to come out of Iowa was an empty school bus.

Bruce Hayden said...

Where did you guys cut into 80?

I would think that the best way would probably be I-76. Fastest way from Boulder there would probably be to pick up the new NE portion of E-470, which is, unfortunately, a toll road (I just got a bill today for using it in December - they take photos of your license plates and then bill the owner). The (brand new) connection from U.S. 36 to E-470 doesn't look easy from Google Maps.

Another alternative would be to take U.S. 36 to I-25, and pick up I-76 there. Also, they could take Baseline east out of Boulder, which turns into 168th avenue, which eventually runs into I-76. While the shortest route, I would expect to also be the slowest.

jgm said...

A-house is right about Iowa rest stops. At the risk of being CrackMC-like, a couple of self-linkages from almost four years ago, when their rest stops already had wifi.

jj121957 said...

There is a nice rest stop on I-40 just west of Flagstaff. Middle of a pine forest and clean the last time I was there. Heck, I start chugging coffee at Kingman just so I can stop there.

kate said...

The best thing about driving across Kansas is the mint Dilly bars at their Dairy Queens. really.

btesh said...

So glad you liked the rest stops in Iowa, Did you know the Iowa has one of, if not the highest corp. tax rates in the WORLD, not the country, the WORLD. They also have very nice schools and lovely parks,I just can't understand why you would need to leave to find a job

Superdad said...

State-owned rest stops are an outdated oddity. There is absolutely no reason for them to exist. Privatize them. There are plenty of people who would pay for the land, clean the bathrooms and give you free WiFi for the ability run a restaurant or a gas station at that spot.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Did you stop here, at the World's Largest Truck Stop in Walcott, Iowa?

I watched a show about it on the Travel Channel. It's on my list of places to see in Iowa this summer.

Hucbald said...

I recently returned from gigs in Tucson and Las Vegas, and you'll just LOVE Arizona: The governor there has closed all of the state's rest areas to save money. I shit you not.

JAL said...

Now if the Atlanta Airport would just catch on.

No outside. OK.
No picnic tables. OK.

But what got me was no free wifi.

Cross country trips can be cool.

I like I-40 going through the high desert. (Can't remember the rest stops.)

wv noiditye
nudity in Brooklyn (right Trooper?)

JAL said...

@ jgm

Speaking of Crack? Why is he so quiet?

Scott said...

J. P. Donleavy wrote a book called The Lady Who Liked Clean Restrooms. Maybe he was writing about Althouse?

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JDo said...

When I travel, logging onto the Internet at a highway rest area isn't ever the highlight of my trip.

I tend to visit towns and people. But that's just me.

One of the Moons said...

Did you also notice the stop on the western side of I-80 that is a shrine to Henry Wallace? How appropriate that they celebrate this avowed Communist. As a native son I was horrified but not surprised. I was more than happy to leave my opinion of the man in the facility however.
Cec

AngryKook said...

Well, if you judge a state by its rest stops, I'm ashamed of my state.

Delaware doesn't have any rest stops. The one on I-95 is shut down. Although there might still be one on Rt.13.

Well, I'm ashamed of that, and the fact that Biden is from here.

campy said...

I owe Ioway for her ham and her beef and her lamb,
And her strawberry jam, and her pie!

I owe Ioway more than I can ever pay,
So I think I'll move to Californ-i-ay!

AJ Lynch said...

Hucbald said

"The governor there has closed all of the state's rest areas to save money. I shit you not."

I shit you not? Has the makings of a new state slogan!

Scott said...

@OotM: But Wallace was a political figure of national import.

Certainly they must have monuments to Herbert Hoover, the only president that Iowa has ever produced.

Scott said...

@AngryKook: Are you talking about the big one with the gas station and the fast food concessions inside?

In other words, Delaware can't even support a rest stop that is GENERATING REVENUE?

Sheesh. Maybe they should do like New Hampshire, and put state liquor stores at the highway rest stops. Nothing is more relaxing then knocking back a half pint of booze before heading out on that long holiday vacation trip.

MadisonMan said...

Did you also notice the stop on the western side of I-80 that is a shrine to Henry Wallace? How appropriate that they celebrate this avowed Communist.

I think you need to read the entire bio of Henry Wallace, and not stop halfway through.

reader_iam said...

Wait. Why the heck would there need to be a series of rest stops on the bit of I-95 that goes through Delaware? It's not as if it's very rural right through there, or not very easy to stop. Personally, I would find it irritating and quite unnecessary to spend tax dollars that way.

(I have lived in Iowa since early 1996 and lived in Delaware for 24 years before that.

I am writing this comment from a house off Limestone Road, in Delaware, which state we still spend up to 2-1/2 months a year.)

Rest stops in Delaware??? Who needs 'em?

kentuckyhusseinliz said...

Saluting Iowa for free wifi in rest areas?

As a former Iowegian, who will retire there Lord willing, there is a lot more about Iowa to salute.

But we keep it a secret to keep the riffraff out.

bagoh20 said...

"Arizona: The governor there has closed all of the state's rest areas to save money. I shit you not."

How stupid is that when as superdad said they could be privatized, open, employing people AND paying into the state rather than costing it anything.

This stuff is so easy.

And BTW the WIFI is not free. My guess is it actually cost Iowa many times the what it cost Starbucks, who actually makes a profit from it. Just a guess.

Opus One Media said...

Why do things that seem convoluted appear to be backward and upside down?

Opus One Media said...

traditionalguy said...
States can surprise you. Mississippi had the cleanest and best designed rest stops across the deep south."

can it be that no one in Mississippi has ever used an indoor restroom? just askin'.

Leptopus said...

If you do stop at Iowa-80, the World's Largest Truck Stop (tm), do eat in the restaurant proper. It's not that the fast food places are bad, but the deep-fried pork chops in the restaurant are really good. Not Amanas good, but good.

Come to that, stop at the Brick Haus or the Ox Yoke (in Amana proper, not Little Amana), and have the smoked pork chop ("Keiser Ripchen" or something like that on the menu). Out of this world.

WV: tringl. You'll definitely feel a tringl run up your leg.

kentuckyhusseinliz said...

Real Amanas--excellent German cooking. Good idea to eat with a group, get served family style. Huge bowls of veggies and sides on the table. That's where I went for my college graduation dinner.

comatus said...
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comatus said...

The most beautiful spot in the lower 48 is the mountains of NE Iowa, no joke, look it up. They have their own Pike's Peak. Same Pike.

From high atop Balltown, where Satan tempted Christ, it's easy to see that Iowa is God's back yard, and, being a fundamentally decent sort, he lets his friends play there. You can almost see it from the Interstate.

jgm said...

Wondered the same thing, JAL.