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09/12/2001: Weds. Sept. 12, 2001
Wrote a bit, till Karen woke. Then packed up and got on the road a bit after 8:00. We'd called home from the river front last night. There was full digital cell service in this middle-of-nowhere spot! Anyway, we'd heard of a gasoline panic driving prices up to $3 and even $5 in Indianapolis and St. Louis. We bought gas at the first gas station we came across for $1.74, about $.20 higher than they'd been the day before. The coffee was weak, too.
Wednesday was a day of driving. We hit I-80 at Iowa City, our first interstate since leaving the St. Louis area. We stopped for a picnic lunch at the second or third rest area; Iowa has them every 30 miles or so. A brief rest area nature walk, during which Karen found, picked, and ate wild plums, and then back on the road.

Karen picks wild plums behind a rest area off of I-80 in Iowa
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The first of several shots of the Old Dutch Mill in Elk Horn, IA
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Inside of the Old Dutch Mill in Elk Horn, IA. Looking up at the peak of the turret.
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Looking along the sail of the mill
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Note the crab apples in season, the flags at half mast, and the fine weather we had to start out our trip
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We stopped again in Elk Horn, IA to tour the 1850's Dutch windmill which was moved to Iowa in the 1970's and restored. The site also has an official Iowa welcome center, so we got a hotel coupon book. These really give you the best lodging deals. The AAA rates can't compete. We stopped again for dinner at the Omaha Indian Reservation casino and buffet, north and across the river from the city named for the tribe. It was fresh catfish night, and Karen really liked the fried catfish, comparing it to Larry Reed's. The natives here look more like the cartoons/caricatures here than do the Southwestern Indians. Anyway, gas on the "res" was only $1.58 for super (they were out of regular). We'd decided to stay in Sioux City, IA. There was a campground for $12, or a coupon hotel for $39. After last night, a bed and bath seemed like a good idea. So, we indulged. Therefore, I could send email.
 Out of Iowa, and into South Dakota:
Next: Thursday 9/13/01

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