Cross Country Road Trip Legs 3 and 4: Illinois and Iowa

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Driving out of Ohio in the morning was pretty. We hit Indiana.
 Nothing much there but corn.
In Illinois we saw our first wind turbines. They are so pretty and elegant! Plus so good for the environment. Well done, states who have lots of wind turbines in their fields!
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Speaking of fields, as you probably know, this has been a terribly hot and drought-ridden summer throughout the bulk of the US, especially the parts that are covered in corn and soybean fields. The soybeans were still pretty green, but most of the corn was dying or totally dead. Here’s my cousin showing a stunted, dried ear from the field across the street.
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We spent two nights with my aunt and cousins, hanging out and talking. Got to know the four boys that my cousins have–they are great kids, and wow, they never stop moving!
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I also finished the baby sweater I began in July at my other aunt’s house in Illinois. I’m going to say it again, because it’s that big of a deal. I FINISHED A SWEATER! It’s tiny and full of mistakes (it’s supposed to be long-sleeved, for one), but I finished the damn thing! This is a huge milestone in my crafting ‘career’!
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This is not necessarily for one of mine; I don’t even know how big a baby this would fit. Oh, and this was the first time I had to pick up stitches to create cuffs–that made me nervous, but Mister M’s mom is a knitter and she helped teach/talk me through it when we were there at the weekend.
Anyway, having two different sets of family rest time on our roadtrip was wonderful.
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After a short return after a forgotten item, we drove northwest and finally hit I-80 West into Iowa.
We pulled off just over the border to go to our first Steak n Shake! I had this ridiculous s’mores shake.
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Following lunch, we went to find the Mississippi River. This town didn’t have a terribly picturesque riverside park, but it sufficed for our photo purposes.
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I realized a month or so ago that I had only been taking those headless weekly belly shots and ignoring the life I was leading while pregnant. Now, I hadn’t had been having much of a life lately, but starting on this roadtrip I sure was! So I have purposely been trying to get a few shots of me and my belly out and about, doing things and going places. I think that will be a fun thing to look back on for me and the littles–where I took them before they were out. 🙂

Anyway, later on, we stopped by the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. Mostly to get another stamp in our National Parks Passport. But we stayed for a few minutes and looked at some of the buildings.

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 The teeny tiny house where he was born:
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Parts of the whole village are preserved or rebuilt, which is kind of neat. Here’s a blacksmithy built in the 1950s with materials from the 1870s. (Hoover’s father was a blacksmith.) Check out the different size shoes–far left is a donkey, second is a ‘normal’ sized horse or pony, and third from left is a draught horse!
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Iowa was all corn in rolling hills. It was actually quite lovely.

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