Sunday, August 22, 2010

Iowa - Summer 2010

After my wonderful experience in Iowa in the winter of 2008 for the Iowa Caucuses I fell in love with the state. Long open spaces, quaint old barns, gigantic grain storage units, nice people, cows… Then the ground was all covered with snow and I had to rush in and out of the car shielding myself from cold winds. The icy white was beautiful, but I knew Iowa was known for another season and another ground covering, so I decided to go back during corn and soybean season to drive through the rolling hills of green and gold and to attend the famous Iowa State Fair this summer.

I’m pleased to say this trip was as good as the first. Coming from New York, at times my eyes crave wide open spaces, full open blue skies, puffy white clouds and the friendlier slower pace of a non-urban place. Iowa has all that in spades along with swaths of wind energy turbines whose slow rotations can calm even the most stressed out soul.

It’s funny to think that miles and miles of corn stalks can be so soothing and endlessly mesmerizing, but at least for me it’s true. I spent days with my forehead right up to the window staring at the deep greens and shimmering gold. Then just when I needed a break an old barn would appear and show the glorious farming history in its weather worn exterior.

I know nothing about farming but am always curious so I look at tractors, grain sheds and gigantic irrigation rigs with immense curiosity. I even made Rick, my host and tour guide, pull off the road so I could check out a hog confinement, where they were fattening up 1000s of pigs. Iowans can’t believe I’d want to stop, but I needed to see what it looked like and say a few hellos to the pigs who seemed very happy to have a visitor.

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