After a stormy midwestern night, on a clear and lovely morning, we set off for Ames, IA. The landscape was greener though not as flat as we had thought it might be. The roads were straight. The farms all look very very similar. The fields were full of soy and corn.
We stopped for our first truly awful brunch in a surprisingly packed cafe in Auburn. Given the crowds of elderly Iowans presumably the terrible food wasn't that unusual round those parts and they liked it that way but hard precooked scrambled eggs, dried out bacon and thoroughly dubious sausages were a sorry excuse for breakfast, and a big change from the good brunches we've had on the road up until then.
After that we headed east. Our destination was Ames, a university town half an hour north of Des Moines, the state capital. Why you ask? Or rather, why? asked many of our friends in San Francisco. Why are you going to Iowa for a week? Well we have friends working and studying at the university. So at about 3 in the afternoon we pulled up outside their house in a quiet tree-lined street near the university.