Sunday, April 30, 2017

Pretty. Dull.

My friend Kirby and I did a little wandering around Iowa for a couple of days this past week. There are a couple of dozen counties in the northwestern part of that state that I'd never been to before, and we had just enough free time to drive over there (from Wisconsin), cruise through them all, and head back (to Wisconsin).

Impressions are that (a) the people there are of the friendly sort; (b) the countryside is pretty, even with all the fields lying bare awaiting the planting of crops; and (c) there is no reason on earth, beyond making a living, to be there.

Here are all the things I spotted in 24 counties that were worth stopping to take a picture of:

There seems to be a local tradition of painting big rocks with patriotic themes. These two pictures are of the Lyon County "Freedom Rock."

And these three are of the Clay County "Freedom Rock."

In Britt, Iowa, we stumbled across the National Hobo Museum, located here because it's where the hobos hold their annual convention. I didn't even know there was such a group.

The next few pictures were taken inside.
hobo symbols
racks of exhibits
drink holder

We drove out to this mound expecting it to be an Indian mound; it's not, as the sign explains. The area is operated as a wildlife refuge by a group called the Osceola County Conservation Board, which is either not really a governmental entity, or else indulges in an un-American mingling of church and state.

Somewhere along the road we came to one of those outdoor Heritage Parks; I forget where. It was closed, so this is the only photo I could get. This bit of folk art appears to be old farm machinery piled up and welded together to form a sculpture.

And then, finally, this bit of folk art: Pocahontas represented as a Plains Indian.

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