Dining in Des Moines

We had originally hoped to leave Iowa on Monday, but after a ton of frustration with our car insurance, we didn’t get the word that the car would be totaled (and hence no reason to stick around) until late Friday. After getting our electric step adjusted (will need to order a new motor, but at least it’s all the way in now), we drove back to our friend’s in the crazy wind before some snow came in. So we planned to leave Sunday morning, after the wind fest was over. 

We had an admirable goal of 9 am but by the time we were actually ready to depart it was closer to 11:30. We said our goodbyes to Dan and Aoife, to their cats Buddy and Zoe, and to my adorable dog friend across the street, a collie. We were off. 

We stopped an hour or so in for a quick break in Mason City, which looks walkable from the brief bit we saw. I visited my first Hy-Vee grocery store. They’re quite the experience! This one has pizza, Italian, Asian cuisine (all in mini stores along the outside) as well as a pharmacy, a huge alcohol selection, great deli and bakery and everything you’d expect. I grabbed some additional Thanksgiving essentials since a friend of mine in Texas has invited us to join them!

We passed through Ames, IA, as well, which has a university and a bus system for public transit as well as lots of lakes and nature trails. We didn’t explore, but maybe next time we pass through. 

Our main goal for the day was to visit a food co-op or natural food store. Since we hadn’t been in Des Moines yet, we headed there, only a few miles off our route.

Gateway Grocery was beautiful, with a market cafe attached. Parking was a challenge in the RV but we made it work. Don’t bring a big rig here unless you want to park on the street. The little glimpse we had of Des Moines showed us some very nice neighborhoods worthy of further exploration. 

The Grocery was quite overpriced for most things, but the food was really high end which helped make up for it. Ross was tired and had worked hard all day, so I treated him to some Spicy Pork Belly Ramen. He loved the pork, enjoyed the spicy dish and kept raving about it, so I think I did good!

After our food adventures I grabbed some dinner and we headed to our destination, a rest stop in Lamoni with wifi and walking trails that other RV-ers had found really welcoming. We had quite the adventure getting there – we tried following one of my apps for a gas station and spent way too long amidst corn fields and deer – but we worked it out and got back on course, found gas and found the rest stop. It gets dark so quickly now. We were settled into bed before 8 am! 

The temperature dropped to 25 degrees last night (winter weather camping isn’t our favorite but we are very capable) so we are glad to be heading out of Iowa!

Today we might make a quick stop in Kansas City as we pass through. Time will tell how far we get. We can stay in Texas tomorrow night but we can also wait until Wednesday if we don’t want to rush, so we will see how the driving goes. Thanks for reading!

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