WHILE NEBRASKA is known as the Cornhusker State, its next door neighbor, Iowa, is really where corn is king. In fact the State of Iowa is #1 for corn production -- followed closely by soybeans. So, here we are deep in "corn belt" country that's rich with fertile soil and lots of summer rain. Interestingly, the summer months are four times wetter (12" rainfall) than the winter (only 3"), and that encourages the high agricultural production. It's easy to recognize that Iowa has a proliferation of family farms, small towns, agriculture and farm organizations.
Most corn is harvested not for human consumption, but feed for livestock. So it shouldn't be a surprise that Iowa ranks #1 in cattle, hogs, and pig farms in the country. It's estimated that a typical farm grows enough food and fiber for 279 people. That's something of value in a heavily populated world.
Des Moines, Iowa's State Capitol, is located at the junction of two rivers -- the Des Moines and Racoon Rivers. Here the city has constructed an iconic "landmark" pedestrian bridge to enhance the city's riverfront. The bridge features two curved decks to separate traffic and allow closeup views of the river flowing below. Very cool. I'm beginning to think there's competition among cities to come up with creative architectural designs!
Speaking of architecture, the State Capitol building is distinctively unique as the only five-domed capitol in the country. All those domes must be necessary since the building houses the State Senate, House of Representatives, Governor's office, and chambers for the State Supreme Court.
This corn belt city even has its "corny" side... We found a giant 23 foot outdoor garden trowel (named Plantoir) stuck in the lawn of Des Moine's Meredith Corporation, who publish Better Homes and Gardens magazine among others such as Family Circle, Do-It-Yourself, Rachael Ray, and Eating Well.
I suppose they need a large shovel to dig up all those stories.
Although I'm just passing through this time, I would like to return to enjoy the city more. Des Moines appears to be a resilient, friendly and optimistic place to visit. Downtown redevelopment is impressive including wonderful sculptures in Western Gateway Park, providing a cheerful, optimistic contrast to the hardship it suffered from floods and tornadoes that hit the state in 2008.
Week 23, 1866 Miles, Weather 81F☀️