|a victim of the floods|
The sky darkened and showers began as we crossed the "Great River" into Hannibal, Missouri where they want to make sure that you know you are in Mark Twain country with an endless barrage of statues, billboards, street signs, restaurants and murals spreading the word that Tom, Huck and all the sites of their adventures were just around the corner for you to enjoy. I went to a theater presentation by an actor who has been playing Mark Twain for many years. It was a very enjoyable and skillfull performance well appreciated by a full house of tourists on a cold, wet night.
|Main Street of Bonaparte, Iowa|
I stopped in a tiny town to visit a history museum in a small abandoned church. A very enthusiastic woman greeted me and had me sign a sparsley used guest book, then gave me a rambling narrated tour of what looked like a repository of old photos, used furniture and yard sale remnants scattered about the pews and altar. I got a kick out of the totally unpretentious performance and wished her well on preserving the history of "wherever" Iowa.
Bonaparte and Bentonsport on the river and Pella, up closer to Des Moines were among the towns well worth seeing.
An old mill building in Bonaparte has been carefully restored and is now functioning as a restaurant, bar and antique shop. The grounds are especially pleasant with a not too fussy picnic area and a playground along the riverfront. Hidden away in another small town is the home that Grant Wood used as the backdrop for his iconic "American Gothic" painting. There is a very well designed small new museum on the grounds and the eager volunteers welcomed Bungee inside as their first canine visitor.
|Bungee makes himself at home in Nan's new apartment|
|Downtown Des Moines from the Chinese Garden across the river and new foot-bridge across the Des Moines River|
|Nan and Tootie|
Side between the State House and downtown core.
The imposing Iowa State House sits on a hill east of the downtown facing the city and the setting sun.
Close to Nan's apartment is pastoral and very well used Gray's Lake Park where we ran the Bunge.