Des Moines

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Des Moines was a great capital to visit.


After our city camping experience in Madison, we decided to camp a little way outside of Des Moines. We had good experiences just winging it and getting camp sites, but our luck ran out in Des Moines. The place that we picked was filled up or reserved by the time we arrived. It looked great and we wished we could have stayed, but instead we had to drive further on  to a different park. Cherry Glen Campground was run by the Conservation Corp and It was amazing.  I am glad we ended up there, so lady luck was with us all along. The sites were spaced out and we were able to pick the one we wanted at the back of the camp ground. It was an extremely difficult back in (I have heard it called a blind back in). We worked as a team and made it in without a problem.

While we were staying at this amazing park my back was in misery. I must have hurt it in Madison hauling water to the campsite. Since we were rained out for the day, we decided to stay in camp and I was able to recover to a manageable level with Sarah’s help. To adventure across the country with three kids is definitely a team endeavor that requires everyone (including the kids) working together. I am truly grateful to have a wife that is amazing in so many ways!

There was lots of ways to learn at the Des Moines Capitol and everyone walked away with some new information.

The Iowa Capitol Building was topped in gold and had free parking, so it rated high in my book. We were there on a weekday, so the tour was not as full as the rest we had taken. Like the other capital buildings we have seen, it was full of art and history. There was a model of the USS Iowa that must have been twenty feet long and the guide knew the entire history of the battleship. A doll display with every governors’ wife’s dress and hair style at the inauguration ball just blew us away. The justice bench was hand carved by a talented artist.  When the state decided to extend the bench and add justices, they were able to get the original artist to come back and finish even though it had been decades!

Throughout the entire Capitol Building there is beautiful art, architecture, and history.

This building is a work of art itself with all the hinges hand carved and every singe hinge was different. There is a painting with corn that just seemed like any another oil painting until you looked closely at it. That is when you realize it is the best painted corn ever. The guide told a story about the artist and his quest to paint the most realistic picture of corn that lasted his entire life and culminated in an amazing talent. There was just too much to mention and so many great things to take pictures of it would take a large book to express the experience. I would recommend going to see this capitol in person and make sure you see my favorite thing in it. There is a hand made game table someone made with the scrapes of marble and wood left over from the construction of the capital building. Anyone who knows me is aware that I love a good game!



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After the rain, someone found a friend in the campsite!


These old radiator heaters were scattered around the capitol building.

Sarah wishes she caught the rope breaking on camera when I was in this hammock and came crashing to the ground!
Journey really liked the hand carved marble decorations on the stairs.

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