Day 31

Saturday, June 25, 2005Des Moines, IA
Miles: 3579More Art!
After sauntering out of bed around 11, we showered and decided to check out the art show in our own back yard, our back yard being the Iowa State Fairgrounds. This one had less of a carnival atmosphere and more exorbinant prices, but it also had air conditioning. We watched a glass blower demonstrate his craft and enjoyed assorted and sundry displays of art.

We then headed on to the state Capitol Building since it has a shiny gold dome and we realized that Des Moines is the first state capital we had been in since leaving Concord. We marvelled at the seating for Iowa's puny Congress (less than 200 people? How?!) and admired the building's cool statuary, murals, architecture, and decor. There were also several memorials around the grounds, including one for Iowans who died at Pearl Harbor (and in WWII in general), those who fought in the War of the Rebellion, a Peace Officer Memorial, a replica of the Statue of Liberty presented by the Boy Scouts, and of course the requisite floating head of Christopher Columbus. Iowa has a lot of flat, open land, and apparently every inch of it must contain either corn or statuary.

After thoroughly admiring the capitol area, we headed out to the Des Moines Art Center. We sang karaoke in front of a video collage and studied Christian Jankowski's art. Most of his work is video/film based; some of it was cool and some of it was just artsy. We didn't have long there since they closed at 4:00 and we only started our day a few hours earlier. Supposedly there was some more traditional art but we were not permitted to see it due to that whole closing the museum thing.

Since we were halfway there already, we headed out of Des Moines to a town called Jordan Creek since the local city paper indicated that there would be an orchestral ensemble playing by the creek at 6:00. This "town" turned out to be a condo-farm; the "town center" was a huge mall (owned by the same company, we believe); the "creek " was a man-made pond with some fountains in it. Even so, it seemed pleasant enough, until the orchestra was running late and the Iowa sun decided it should increase its heat before setting. As we strolled around for a bit, we noticed that the orchestra, in fitting with the theme for the evening, was actually a duet, so we bagged the whole heat stroke music idea and settled in for night two of the Lewin/Des Moines Michael Caine Film Festival. (We watched Bewitched.)

After the movie, we headed back in to town and caught up with the Art Festival in time for the evening's fireworks. The banks of the river made for plenty of clear viewing for all. Muddy butts acquired, we headed home (yup, the fairgrounds) and hit the hay.