Two days in Iowa and still no crop circles!

Welcome, loyal readers, from the banks of the Mississippi in the metropolis of Bettendorf, Iowa!

But first, a serious note. My mom wrote about me on Wednesday in her blog. It can be found here (please take a minute to read it if you haven’t already). Now, she told me before embarking on a week-long trip to the beach to keep an eye out, as she had written an entry for me. So Wednesday rolled around and I checked her blog on my phone in my tent where I was camping at Indiana Dunes State Park. I knew this was the entry since that was my picture I took and I instantly knew I was that “guy who quit his job.” I was excited…curious. What child doesn’t want to hear what their parents have to say about them? Especially when there’s a good chance it’s bragging about yourself.

I had no idea it would hit as hard as it did though. I was feeling a bit exhausted at the time – a really close friend and I had a heart-to-heart conversation the night before on some disagreements, I was feeling a tiny bit lonely, and I had come super close to calling it quits, or at least taking a serious hiatus, not two days before. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t tear up. All I feel like I’m doing is aimlessly wandering the country with the goal to try and touch all 48 states and maybe see a football stadium here and a national park there. Yet here’s my momma, doing what she does best with her writing, and making it sound like something amazing, special, and extraordinary. It felt great. It’s an amazing feeling to be out on the road – alone – making any state park or campground your home and knowing someone as close as my mom is out there, proud enough of her son to tell her entire writing community about it. And in turn, sending them all my direction to have a glance at what a writer’s son is doing in his life. So if you’re new here, thanks for stopping by! And I’ll apologize in advance for not being nearly as talented as my mother at painting pictures with words.

Not only am I lucky enough to have an amazing mother, I’m crashing with my step-dad’s sister in Bettendorf, Iowa. Angela’s been an absolutely amazing host! I’m not sure I’ll have plenty of exciting, unique Iowa adventures (Let’s be honest here…Iowa isn’t exactly a happening place), but it’s been a great two days so far just being able to fit back into a normal life for a little while. Wednesday was just a good solid afternoon of visiting, a home cooked meal, and crashing in front of a DVD.

Today, we ventured a little further. We started at the John Deer Pavilion in Moline, Illinois. From there, we drove around the Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island, Illinois. They’ve got a cemetery of confederate soldiers from the Civil War (or War of Northern Aggression, if my step dad or brother are reading) which was really cool. For lunch, we hit Sneaky Pete’s in Le Claire, Iowa for a delicious steak sandwich. It was a very quirky place, as it was a Western-themed restaurant and had an old saloon section. According to the menu, the tin roof in the saloon was the original and there were still bullet holes (I can attest to this) in the ceiling. Very cool! The restaurant portion had neck ties on the walls & ceiling as a way for the customer’s to be involved in the experience. We just happened to sit under a Viagara tie. And we couldn’t figure out why anyone would ever have a tie like that to give away. After lunch was the Buffalo Bill Museum. He was born in Le Claire, hence the location, and I’m related to him some distant way, hence the interest. We came back to the house to rest up some, but headed back out to see The Town. It was an excellent movie, if you’ve been needing a reason to see it.

Tomorrow’s going to include a 4 hour cruise tour on the Mississippi River, which I’m looking forward to. I’ll also need to do a little planning on where I’ll be heading next. If the weather cooperates, I might look into heading north to Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the Dakotas. If the weather’s looking like it might start getting a little rough, Nebraska and a southern route might be the way to go. Either way, I’m continuing on my trek thanks to some Northern support (thank you again) and the amazing words my mom crafted. I’ve printed a copy of the entry and will certainly be the first place I go to on any bad day from here on out.

No worries y’all, I got this 🙂

Here are some more pictures. The first is Mt. Holden, the 2nd highest dune in the park. The second is a picture of Lake Michigan from the top of said dune. The third is the John Deere Pavilion. And the fourth is a shot of the confederate soldier cemetery at Rock Island.

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10 Responses to Two days in Iowa and still no crop circles!

  1. Hope Clark says:

    You mean I’m making you stay out there roaming around? Whoops! LOL Keep your head about you and decide you’re on this trip to learn more about yourself, and you’ll do fine. Nothing says it’s all supposed to be rosy and cotton candy, but the good moments will be remarkably sweet. But we’ll be here when you decide it’s time to come home. Love you.

  2. Teresa says:

    Listen to your mom. She is proud of you and awesome. I read her blog just about every day.

    Keep on going!!! And remember, home is where you connect to when you need to feel special and loved.
    Teresa

  3. RMJinAK says:

    Hey, Matt – I have camped at the Indiana Dunes campground! When we used to visit your Uncle Bill at Wheaton, that is where we camped. If your picture is the main path from the campground down to the lake, then I have walked on that path, forty-some years ago. I had no idea you were going to find your way there! Sounds like you’re getting a second wind for the next chapter of your wonderful adventure. Keep on exploring America and you’ll likely discover even more about yourself! Love you always!

    • Hey Daddy! I’m trying to keep this updated on a fairly regular basis, so keep checking back!

      I didn’t know I’d wind up there either. Just managed to stumble onto it between Ohio and Iowa. The picture is from one of the trails leading from the beach up to the 2nd highest dune. Not sure if that would have been there when you were there, as they said the dunes shift fairly often.

  4. donna rogers says:

    I’m originally from WI. Have relatives in Waukesha, which is just west of Milwaukee, and could maybe see if any might want to let you camp on their properties. Milwaukee is just north of Chicago if you are stopping anywhere near Chicago. If you go through WI, you might find somewhere to camp near the WI Dells. The dells are big tall cliff-like structures created by the glaciers. I used to go rock climbing there with friends. Madison is near there, as well, and is a cool college town.
    As far as a destination, if you loved being on the water in Maine, I’d consider taking the drive along the coast of California as a really neat destination. I think California is one of the most beautiful places in the continental U.S. and I didn’t see it mentioned on the list of states you’ve visited. Too bad I missed you in FL. You could have camped in my backyard. I live on a lake. maybe next time. have a great trip — i look forward to reading more and seeing more pics! (couldn’t see the one with the beard)

    • Thank you for that comment! I spent a while last night trying to find something to do in Wisconsin so I wouldn’t just be driving straight through it and couldn’t stumble on anything that seemed to interest me. But the WI Dells sounds fascinating. It’s about to the point where it’s getting much too cold to camp though. Weather’s predicting lows in the 30s tonight and I just don’t have the gear to handle that at the moment.

  5. sidney says:

    If it were easy then everyone would be doing it…and that would be boring! If I may suggest when you don’t know where to go next: get out the map, write a few places down, cut them out, put them in a hat, draw one out…and voila!

    • My problem is finding a place that usually has something to do I enjoy or just catches my eye. I drove straight through Rhode Island and Connecticut without seeing anything and I don’t want to make a habit of that.

      • sidney says:

        This is what I mean: http://tourism.state.wi.us/maps_guides.aspx

        You look at the map then just randomly choose places. Then put those in the hat.

        Ironically it’s in France I’ve met 2 people from Wisconsin (one is married to an American, the other to a French man). Two of the nicest people you’ll meet… You’ve got to UW, have the cheese and the ice cream, they talk non-stop about… And pet a cow. You’ve not lived until you’ve pet a Wisconsin cow…according to them. 😉 And the crop circles could be there…

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