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One of the various Cy statues around town. Each is “dressed” to compliment the site where it is located. (Cy is the Iowa State mascot, in case anyone was wondering. Hickory Park is a local and personal favorite: barbecued meats galore and unique ice cream treats.)

 

Anyone singing along to the Iowa Corn Song? It was running through my head the entire time we were visiting there. We drove alongside field after field of corn in various stages of readiness for harvesting. Scattered between the fields were wind farms with blades in motion. What a site. As we crossed into Iowa there was a sign informing us that we were in the Silo and Smokestacks National Heritage Area; a designation that was new to us.

Ames and Iowa State University have both grown gracefully. After a short reorientation we were able to find our way around successfully. Certainly helps when a city can use a grid system for streets. And in the plains of Iowa there is plenty of room for that symmetry.

First day of our visit was spent having lunch with good friends and then heading to Dogtown (a commercial area adjacent to ISU) for Dinky Days. Some background: the Dinky was a small train that connected the university with downtown Ames back in the day. Turns out that this is Ames’ sesquicentennial (150 years), and we were there for one of the commemorative events. We even have the free souvenir plastic drinking glasses to prove it. Oddly enough, this is also the state of Nevada’s sesquicentennial. Quite a coincidence.

Next day we headed over to Ogden to, again, see friends and revisit favorite haunts.  We drove by our former home and acreage and were thrilled to see the trees and bushes we planted grown and thriving.

Between visiting, frequenting past and some new-to-us restaurants, taking in both Dinky Days and The Octagon Arts Festival, getting back into car mode for a couple of afternoon outings, and just meandering around to enjoy the area, we were plenty busy.

Our first Cy sitting outside a retirement center. Interestingly enough, he is dressed like Elvis.
Our first Cy sitting outside a retirement center. Interestingly enough, he is dressed like Elvis.

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Outside Mary Greeley Medical Center, well known as the birth site of our sons.  (At least well known around our house.)
Outside Mary Greeley Medical Center, well known as the birth site of our sons. (At least well known around our house.)
A cookie store in Dogtown. Note the delivery hours. Good thing this was not available when I was a student at ISU.
A cookie store in Dogtown. Note the delivery hours. Good thing this was not available when I was a student at ISU.
One of our afternoon outings was to Paton. A farmer from here invented a machine that enables a planter to put in 48 rows per pass. The patent was purchased by John Deere.
One of our afternoon outings was to Paton. A farmer from here invented a machine that enables a planter to put in 48 rows per pass. The patent was purchased by John Deere.
View of Main Street, Payton. If you look.closely you can see the tractor parked at the end.
View of Main Street, Payton. If you click on the photo to enlarge it and look closely, you can see the tractor parked at the end of the street.
This is where we had lunch in Payton. The guy who invented the "tool bar" built the restaurant to accommodate visitors who were coming to town to see his invention.
This is where we had lunch in Payton. The guy who invented the “tool bar” built the restaurant to accommodate visitors who were coming to town to see his invention.
Speaking of inventions, this guy also had a special countertop made for the bar in the restaurant. He hated that his beer would get warm while it sat in front of him so he  installed a copper trough that has a chiller running underneath it.
Speaking of inventions, this guy also had a special countertop made for the bar in the restaurant. He hated that his beer would get warm while it sat in front of him so he installed a copper trough that has a chiller running underneath it.
Bob thought I was kidding when I said that this road trip was subtitled "The Alpaca Farm Tour".  Participated in National Alpaca Farm Days by going to 2 sites near Ames. At this one the owner also had a fiber mill. Very interesting AND an opportunity to get some lovely yarns.
Bob thought I was kidding when I said that this road trip was subtitled “The Alpaca Farm Tour”. On another of our outings we participated in National Alpaca Farm Days by going to 2 sites near Ames. At this one the owner also had a fiber mill. Very interesting AND an opportunity to get some lovely yarns.
Meeting the alpaca that produced that fiber for the yarn I purchased.
Meeting the alpaca that produced the fiber for the yarn I purchased.
Alpaca skeins to add to my stash! The cream-color has a silver filament woven into it. (Gotta love the bling.) The variegated skeins are from Mr. Snuggles, and the hand-dyed colorway is called Paradise. I was thrilled with the purchase, especially since the prices were so reasonable and I was able to support a local effort.
Alpaca skeins to add to my stash! The cream-color has a silver filament woven into it. (Gotta love the bling.) The variegated skeins are from Mr. Snuggles, and the hand-dyed colorway is called Paradise. I was thrilled with the purchase, especially since the prices were so reasonable and I was able to support a local effort.