Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day 4 Summer Vacation 2009

Here is a map of todays route. 281 KM

It’s a Wonderful Life… Yes it is, and isn’t it coincidental that we are in Denison Iowa, the birthplace of Donna Reed. If you remember, Donna Reed starred in the movie It’s A Wonderful Life, along with Jimmy Stewart in the 1946 Christmas classic. The town of Denison is working hard to preserve and promote anything Donna Reed. They started with the towns water tower. Unfortunately, it is pouring rain, and I mean pouring, so the pictures of the water tower did not turn out that great shooting from inside the car.

0443 Water Tower Denison IA

West of Dunlap Iowa we found a roadside display standing in a corn field. The corn is at least 6’ tall and the girl stands 17’ tall. She appears to be quite upset because her dog has chewed her favourite Teddy Bear toy.

0453 17' Tall Girl & Dog west of Dunlap IA

Also west of Dunlap Iowa the train tracks run alongside the road and Karen was able to snap this photo of the train as it passed by.

0456 Train west of Dunlap IA

In Woodbine Iowa we found about a 1 mile section of brick Lincoln Hwy. One of the locals told me that the brick had all been lifted and re-set a couple of years ago. That tells me that Woodbine is proud of their section of the Lincoln Highway.

0459 Lincoln Way Brick Road Woodbine IA0460 Lincoln Way Brick Road Woodbine IA0461 Lincoln Way Brick Road Woodbine IA

We had read about the Brick Street Station in Woodbine IA and we were looking forward to sampling their specialty desserts, however, as is becoming more common on the Lincoln Highway… It Was CLOSED. Despite the Open sign in the door, it was definitely closed. It is noon on a Thursday in July. I did find a tiny little sign out by the road that says they only open at 5pm. So we take some photos and move along.

0468 Brick Street Station Woodbine IA0472 Brick Street Station Woodbine IA0473 Brick Street Station Woodbine IA

We were looking for the Observation Deck at the Hitchcock Campground in Honey Creek IA. We read in a book that from this observation deck, you can look down upon what was original Lincoln Highway. Before we found the Observation Deck, we stopped at the side of the road at what we thought should be Honey Creek Hill, the cars on the original Lincoln highway would struggle to go up this hill. We climbed to the top, there is no way that our car was going to go up that grade. At the top, we could see the Observation Deck, so we knew we had the right place. The pictures do not give you the true sense of the degree of angle in this hill, but you can see our car way at the bottom.

0475 Honey Creek Hill0476 Honey Creek Hill0477 Honey Creek Hill

We did find the paved road that takes you up to the Observation Deck and there is more of the original Lincoln up here on top of the hill.

0481 Observation Deck at Honey Creek IA0482 Original Lincoln Hwy Honeycreek IA0483 Original Lincoln Hwy Honeycreek IA

Moving along we drove through Crescent Iowa, their little town is decked out with some nice banners on the lamp posts.

0495 Crescent IA0496 Crescent IA

Then it was on through Council Bluffs IA and then as we were crossing over the border between Iowa and Nebraska, we got on the Interstate I-80 to skirt around Omaha NE. I have no desire to tackle the city streets of Omaha searching for segments of the Lincoln. Get me away from these large cities, I am much happier driving on the back roads of rural America.

For all of our friends at home, Did you know that Waverly had a Water Tower ?? Karen did a great job of snapping this photo as we were driving past it at 75 MPH… yes, 75 is the posted speed limit on I-80 in Nebraska. That converts to 120 KM/H We can’t legally go that fast on our highways in Ontario.

0508 Water Tower Waverly NE

We arrived in York Nebraska where we will spend the next 2 days. There are several things to do and see in York, so it is a good place to pull over and take a break from the driving. Tonight we went to a restaurant that was recommended to us by an agent working in a travel centre that we stopped at just inside the Nebraska State border. He told us that Chances R is a great restaurant and he was not kidding. The decor was beautiful with lots of stained glass, lots of dark wood and mirrors. I had what is undisputedly the best ever Blue Cheese dressing on my salad. They make their own dressing. I don’t know if I will ever be able to eat Rennee’s or Paul Newman’s Blue Cheese dressing ever again. But once again it was the desserts that topped off a great meal. Karen had the German Chocolate Cake and I had the Cherry Cheesecake.

0511i German Chocolate Cake & Cherry Cheesecake at Chances R York NE

All throughout York the streets are lined with American Flags hanging from every lamp post. One long stretch of road is known as The Avenue of Flags. Here is one photo that I snapped with my blackberry, but I will come back tomorrow with the good camera and try to snap a photo of the pole after pole of American Flags.

0511j Main Street Flag & Banner York NE

York NE also has, in my opinion, the best painted design on their water tower that we have seen in any of our travels. It is going to be hard for any town to beat this one. You will have to wait till tomorrow though before you can see it, so that I can locate the best vantage point to snap the photo.

As usual you can see all of our photos from today on my FLICKR site.

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