Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Day 1, Warrensburg to Waterloo

Not so routine a day after all: we left a bit before 7 AM, picked up a Mountain Dew and cinnamon roll in Warrensburg, and headed north on MO-13. Wasn't too long before we crossed the Missouri Ocean via Lexington's Ike Skelton Bridge.

As we reached Richmond, we hit rain, light, then torrential.  We weren't to be deterred from our mission of taking pictures of courthouses (well, we were deterred and skipped Ray County at Richmond); our first was Caldwell County at Kingston between raindrops.  It was followed at Gallatin, Davies County seat.

Caldwell County, Kingston Missouri

Davies County, Gallatin Missouri

At Gallatin, we turned east on MO-6, which turned out to be a pretty well-traveled road, even after Jamesport - the Amish weren't out braving the weather. We picked up Grundy County at Trenton, then turned north on US-65 to Princeton (Mercer County) and east on US-136 to Unionville (Putnam County).  Did you know all three of these counties have GAR monuments prominently placed at or near the courthouse?

Grundy County, Trenton, Missouri

Mercer County, Princeton, Missouri

Putnam County, Unionville, Missouri

We headed north on MO-5, and crossed the Iowa line to IA-5 - did you know that can take Hiway 5 from Des Moines to near Little Rock?  Yep, use IA-5, MO-5, and AR-5 & you'll not change numbers.  We picked up Appanoose County at Centerville and Monroe County at Albia.

Appanoose County, Centerville, Iowa

Monroe County, Albia, Iowa

We had an excellent lunch at Highway CafĂ© in Albia - plentiful meat, potatoes, a salad & real ice cream for only $7.45 each (plus tax & tip).  Topped off the gas and made our first mistake of the trip.  Bill turned east on US-34 toward Ottumwa instead of continuing to the north side of Albia to pick up IA-137 to US-63, a 14 mile trip instead of the 42 miles we actually took.  Oh, well - at least we found the Mahaska County courthouse at Oskaloosa
and the Poweshiek County one at Montezuma.

Mahaska County, Oskaloosa, Iowa

Poweshiek County, Montezuma, Iowa

We finally arrived at Waterloo, wandered around the area where we thought the HIE was located, and finally found it at 4 PM.  Here's a few tidbits we noticed: 

  • Iowa uses cable barriers on roadsides where Missouri uses guardrails, but the speed limit on well-maintained highways with good shoulders is only 55.  
  • Southern Iowa has lots of hills - I should say valleys.
  • Malcolm IA has a Pour House Bar & Grill
  • US-63 near Tama is the Iowa River Scenic Byway.
  • Tama is home of the Cut Loose Salon (not quite a cute as Warrensburg's Curl Up & Dye)
  • Iowa towns, like northern Missouri ones, have GAR monuments on the courthouse lawn. In our part of Missouri the monuments are generally in cemeteries.  

Today's miles: 371.  Tomorrow we'll continue on US-63 to near Rochester, MN, then MN-42 to Wabasha, then WI-25 to Menomonie. We'll visit some old friends nearby at Knapp.

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