The Aluminum Asylum

The Aluminum Asylum
Our home on wheels

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Mowcow, West Branch and Amana, Iowa....

Let's see just where the heck I am regarding trip commentary...Oh yeah...we were at HWH getting the leveler fixed. I was quite impressed with this company. NOT the surroundings...from the looks of it, it could easily pass for a abandoned junk yard. However, there are 6 50 amp electric boxes for those of us who come in for service. Plus, our appointment was for 12:45 and they told us to bring the rig into the service bay early. Then they loaded up all the customers and took us to lunch! They have a table reserved at a local cafe and paid for everything. Once we got back to the yard, Paul and I had about 4 hours to kill. Well, I know you aren't gonna believe this, but we went to Herbert Hoover Presidential Library. I was quite impressed. It was nicely done, and there was a whole lot to Bert than I knew from history books. Of course, I've never read anything about him, only that he was the scapegoat for the Great Depression, however, that's not entirely the whole truth. He was in Coolidge's cabinet and urged that dufus to take measures against the speculation on Wall Street. So, although Hoover's policies attempted to right the wrongs, there was a whole bunch of stuff going on that he had no control the dust bowl drought.

Here is PROOF POSITIVE that I was there...nice picture eh? Paulie always does such of good job of making sure I look great, dontcha think?

Anyways, we watched a nice movie about his life, walked thru his childhood home and then hit a local tavern in the town of his birth , West Branch. Killian's on tap. It was 98 degrees in the shade so Paulie and I had a couple then went back to the HWH place to get the rig. They said we could stay another night (wow, that helps the budget!) 50 amp service. We decide since we are so close to The Amana Colonies we would take a day and go visit there.

Friday morning we were up and out of HWH. Paulie actually let me drive.
I was doing nicely on I80 heading west to Iowa City. Speed limit is 70, but, being conservative (!) and not having driven for a while....I set the cruise control to 60. No problems until we approach Iowa City...where 380 goes around the we get to the top of a hill, the traffic is jammed up, me thinking it is due to the bypass AND the traffic for the mall. I glance into my mirror and see the third lane is totally clear, and put on my turn signal...just as I crest the hill, the truck in front of us is burning rubber to STOP...holy crap....I am heading to certain death for both of us if I crash into the back end of the truck....Meantime, Paulie is screaming brake brake BRAKE but I veer into the left lane...I miss that sucker of a truck by inches...I mean this was exciting! I almost lost control of the rig, but being the daughter of a truck driver, I am not gonna let this puppy flip over and I certainly aint' gonna let that poor little toad slam into the cement divider....It takes me what seems like forever to gain control of the rig....but it was prolly seconds...we are weaving quite badly...Paulie is screaming....I look into the rear monitor and see the little red Vue and the poor thing is just swerving side to side. Crap. I get control and wow, Paulie starts yelling at me. All I can do is laugh and say I am sorry, it was all my fault as I explain I thought it was interchange backup was trying to change lanes into the left to follow I80, and didn't see the truck lock up its breaks. I laugh cause I am relieved...I get a lecture about how this is NOT funny. Seems I80 is closed and thus the huge back up. Ok, I listen, as it was my fault. We continue on 380 and we now need directions on how to get to the campground in Amana. Again out of nowhere a school bus cuts in front of me and then almost immediately swerves back into the left lane...sure you ass, the truck in front of you is stopped...just let ME hit his ass....grrrr. I hit the brake hard, and just barely stop in time. At least Paulie didn't scream this time. I swear, that one wasn't my fault, I had the jake break on, and I was well under the speed limit. Jackass bus driver. OK, we now reach the road the campground is signs until you are right at the turn...I had been going under the limit but made the turn anyways...NOW Paulie himself has done this, so he keeps his mouth shut. I mutter that he'd better be a better navigator and he mutters something about me never driving again. Baloney. If he let me drive more, I'd have MORE experience. Or, we'd be dead. Paul said all that went thru his mind the first incident was that Zack was gonna get all that insurance money. No regrets about his life, no flashes of anything, just the thought of Zack being loaded with our death proceeds. Geesh. I wasn't thinking of anything but getting control over the rig. We would have been dead if we had hit that truck...of this I have no doubt. Extra prayers of thanks today!

We sign in to Amana Colonies Campground and get the PA discount so it's only $12 instead of $24. We get our selves fairly settled and go off to the main Amana area. Its a comfortable 95 degrees. We go for lunch at the Ox Yoke Inn for lunch. Everyone's tables are loaded with this family style food...saurbraten, brats, sauerkraut, etc and we are drooling. No way are we gonna pay $13 per person and then get nothing to take style has no doggie bags darn it. We settle on a ruben type ham and roast beef, and a side of hot potato salad. Delish.

Paul puts my scooter together and off we go to investigate the wineries, candy shops, general merchandise stores and the like. We hit the bakery and bought strudel, I went to consult the Herb Lady about my constant bladder infections and then we went to the meat market...We then saved the brewery for last...oh, what great German beer. We have also visited the museum, saw a movie about the original community or commune. Great day. We head back home to the rig. I am uploading some pictures now for you to see....

This was one of the homes that is now a museum...interesting fact...all the dead were dressed in white nightclothes, with knit hats for men, and lacy bonnets and shawls for ladies...special booties and mittens...

An Amana workshop.

The local Laundromat, prototype to the washiteria....hehehehe. As a commune, certain folks were assigned cooking, some laundry, some tended gardens, some made bread. Not communism....communalism...I'd prolly get to clean the outhouses...speaking of which here is a picture of the school latrine...

The micro brewery...

Another home now a kitchen specialty shop...I finally found a butter keeper after looking for 5 years!

This is the furniture and clock shoppe and I guess factory. I also went to the woolen works and the sweaters were simply stunning. If I had an extra $200 I just might buy one!

That's it for now. Paulie is a bit under the weather so we are gonna stay another night here. I am about ready to have some cherry strudel....



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