Iowa and Illinois

Iowa and Illinois

June 24th to July 22nd, 2023

After a brief tour of Indiana, we stayed at mom's house in Muscatine, Iowa for a few weeks. On the way to Iowa, we stopped at a couple national parks (of course). We had our new trailer in tow, and it was only the second time we'd ever been in a moving motor home together. It was nice to be able to see the country that way.

We went to the Indiana Dunes first, and we found a great place to park our 72 feet of home on wheels. We went to the visitor center and watched a movie, and we really wanted to see the place. Who knew there were big sand dunes and beautiful beaches at the Great Lakes? We didn't! A tour wasn't possible with our motor home, and the car was tightly strapped to the inside of the car hauler. We knew we were coming back to this area in future years, so we decided to skip the bigger tour for now.

Next, we went to the Pullman National Historical Park in Chicago. Yes, we drove on Chicago highways and through Chicago streets. This trip took a bit of planning, and we called the site to make sure there was room for us to park before we got there. We got the spot and managed to get through the small parking lot without any drama.

The park was pretty and there was a great museum, but we both thought they focused on the wrong thing. This was the site of a planned community to build Pullman rail cars, and the people who worked for Pullman were treated poorly. They came together to demand and receive better treatment, and it was an awesome story of accomplishment. The site mostly focused on the rail cars, though, which was weird. Still, the garden was pretty.

We did two national parks during a trip to a new location! We were getting better at this. We finally got to mom's in Iowa, and it was so nice to be back. This trip, we made it to a few new restaurants (all of them great) and we toured the National Pearl Button Museum in Muscatine. Monica's grandma worked at the button factory when she lived there, so she had a bit of history with the industry. It was pretty cool to learn about all of it and see how Muscatine came to be.

As two women who spent a long time in Colorado, we were used to the desert. The Denver area is dry and often brown, and there aren't many trees on the plains. In contrast, the Midwest is lush and green. We were really enjoying that part of it, even on the humid days. It never got buggy, and the hot days were few and far between. We had a lovely day when we visited Janet, Bev, Diane, and the rest of the group of friends in Illinois.

Our time was spent in town at Prophetstown, Illinois, and out at Diane's farm. She made us a wonderful lunch, and we played Swoop with the group of women. It was a fantastic day. She has a lot of land surrounded by their corn fields, and a very impressive garden. Lacey loved running after tennis balls, farm cats, chickens, and their dog.

It's always awesome at mom's!

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