USA 6 month Road Trip - Kickapoo
One night in Iowa, the next in Illinois, then one in Indiana - 200+ miles every day in rainy weather with hundreds and hundreds of miles of corn (mielie) and soya beans. A pleasant change from the over 6 thousand miles of forest we seem to have travelled through. After 3 months of nearly perfect weather conditions we can hardly complain. The farmers in this Corn and Soya Bean growing area had not had rain for 29 days and needed it badly, or so the lady at the welcome centre told me, as we entered Iowa.
Two great campgrounds, firstly at Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area just outside Cedar Falls and then at the State Park at Kickapoo near Peoria. We finally fell to temptation and stopped in driving rain in some small town along the way to visit Dairy Queen (or DQ as the adverts say) for a delicious Banana Split (me) and a Blizzard (Audrey) and they were worth waiting for!
Matilda, with the hitch rack that we fitted a couple of days ago, now has a pleasant sitting /dining room available - just perfect for the rainy weather we are experiencing at present. On Saturday evening, after booking in at our campsite, Matilda got stuck in the mud at the “Colonial Faire” in the State Park. We had seen a notice advertising this event and had gone to explore!
The locals, once a year, put on a re-enactment of life in earlier times and set up a tent village. Everyone dresses up in clothing as worn 200 years ago and they put on a show for the local schools and public. There are French Trappers, Farmers, Furriers, Soldiers and Priests and Indians etc. This is something like we used to have in Derdepoort near Pretoria when I was growing up when on 16th December every year the locals had a re-enactment of the battle of Blood River with a predictable outcome in the battle between the Voortrekkers and Zulu’s. Not certain if the Zulus were farm workers or some of the Afrikaners with blackened faces but I do know their chances of survival in the mock battle was 0% as they faced the frontloader guns of the ‘Boers’!
The trouble is that with the heavy rains experienced over the previous two days, the parking area at the faire had become a morass, and we duly got stuck in the mud. Luckily our turn of the century adventurers had modern 4 wheel drive trucks and managed to tow us to safety after we begged for help. The helpers were dressed in buckskin and “ ‘coonskin hats” but their truck was 2009 vintage and they kindly gave up their place in the supper line to come and help us – ‘we have had some practice today as two school busses and several of the pageanteers have needed help already so we left the chain in the truck’.