Saturday, August 27, 2016

Fort Dodge, IA - Back to Iowa

We drove from Medora, ND over to Fargo, ND and we passed by the largest Bison
and the largest cow before we hit the border.
It’s difficult to miss the oil fields of North Dakota, though they are much quieter than they were several years ago.

And, of course the herds. 

Here you’ve got oil refineries and hay bales - both a large part of the North Dakota economy.


At Fargo, we headed south through South Dakota and into Iowa. We stayed at a Walmart in Sioux Center overnight because we wanted to stop to see some friends in Orange City. We woke up - earlier than we had planned - and not the way we had planned. No one plans the screech of a train whistle piercing their deep sleep - 4 times at 5:05. Nope, the dulcent tones of an alarm for me. But, we were awake, ate a hurried breakfast and headed to Orange City. During the winter Smitty and Delores live in their home in Val Vista in Mesa where we stay. In the summer they move back to their home in Orange City. Both of their spouses died a while back and they have now married and are a happy couple. We can hear Dolores laugh in her kitchen, it crosses the street and enters our RV. Neat.
Then it’s across the fields of Iowa to get to Fort Dodge where my brother lives - the corn looks lush: tall and green. the soybeans look equally as good. Looks like a great harves for the Iowa farmers.

Lots of wind turbine blades on the move. We noticed lots of new turbines as we drove through familiar territory.
In Fort Dodge we like to stay in Kennedy Park a country park. but there is a problem with Kennedy - there are no reserves. Well, not the usual kind of reserves. But there are those who ‘reserve’ for their friends by putting cars in the sites. This cuts out those who truly play by the rules of the park: first come, first served.

We got there about 11:00. Gary parked at the entrance to the park and I walked around looking for a full hook-up spot. I found the last available one, asked the family next door if I could borrow their wagon to put on the spot until Gary got there with the RV. As Gary drove in, I walked to the spot, took the wagon back, walked back to the spot to guide Gary in when: a woman almost ran me over with her Jeep to get into the spot then smugly said: ‘we’ve paid for it.’

If I had remembered the system, I would have checked the tag on the electric pole and read that they had paid (maybe) for 8/24 and this was 8/26. But, her car was there. Kennedy park is nice but the management is extremely poor. No one - not the host, not the hostess, not the rangers - ever seems to notice that people reserve spots with their cars for days on end. Put your car in a spot on Wednesday, leave it there til Saturday when your friends come with their RV. It’s a lose, lose, lose, lose, win situation. Those who wanted to rent the spot on Wed, Thurs, Fri lost the spot, the campground lost money. Only one person won: it’s all about them. I don’t mind ‘First come, first served’ but let’s be fair about it.

Here are 3 spots with a car, a Jeep and a truck in them with tags that say 8/24. All ‘reserved.’ NO RV showed up until 8/27 in any of these spots.
AND, here’s the kicker: at $22 per spot per night - that’s $88 times 3 or $264 the campground lost.

Love the clouds massing across the sky. Long ago, when we moved here from a wooded lot in New Hampshire, the first thing I noticed was that we could see weather systems coming in. In New Hampshire, all we could see was the sky over our house. Here we can see from horizon to horizon.

And, now we’re back in Altoona, IA.

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