Day 30

Friday, June 24, 2005Des Moines, IA
Miles: 3579Hot Art!
Today we headed to Des Moines and the Iowa State Fair Campground. They have over 2000 sites, though after seeing them all, the thought of being crammed in their during fair time is a little disconcerting. As it is, only about fifteen or so are taken, so it’s not quite so sardinish. After settling into the campsite, i.e. setting up the tent and tossing the sleeping bags and camp mats in, we headed into Des Moines. This weekend is the Art Fest, a yearly event in which local artists are showcased, entertainment is provided and other fun, civic things.

We hung out in a city park for awhile, while Keath worked and Ceridwen went over the changes her newly acquired agent wants her to make to her book. That’s right, an agent. Yippee!! Let’s hope they can sell it.

After the workday was complete, it was time to seek out some Des Moines culture. We made our way to the parking lot and hopped a shuttle to the Des Moines Art Festival: three bridges in the middle of town, closed to vehicular traffic and covered with tents of art. Well, one bridge and some of the side bits had art - one was hands-on crafts and one was all food.

But there was still much art from Iowa and beyond. And most of it was fairly cool.

Unfortunately, the weather was very very un-cool. As in oppressively hot and muggy. And since Ceridwen is Welsh and prone to heat stroke, this did not bode well. Once we took a look at each artist's wares and photographed some of the cooler/creepier examples, we booked it to the air conditioned van.

Des Moines apparently has a pretty vibrant music scene, and there were many bands playing in bars and such around the city, but we didn't have much energy left so we decided to hold off on the bar scene until another day, another town, and instead headed to the suburbs for a movie. Tonight's film was Batman Begins and it did indeed rock. It would be hard for any film to be worse than the last two Batman movies, but we thought it did an even better job than Tim Burton's versions -- and that's coming from two pretty die hard Burton fans.

After the movie we headed back to the fairground for sound restful night . . . Only to be rudely interrupted by a lovely six hour thunderstorm. We tried sleeping through it, but round about 4 AM our generic brand tent's stitching gave way to excessive condensation and we made a run for the van. Roughing it, indeed. Since Ceridwen hadn't slept until we hightailed it to the van, we slept quite late in to
the next day.