Day 32

Sunday, June 26, 2005Boone, IA
Miles: 3684Nope, not named for Daniel Boone
We packed up an extremely disgustingly buggy tent. Ceridwen turned in to a girly girl and ran around the campsite screaming while Keath flicked a entymologist's dream sample off of the sleeping accomodations. After thoroughly de-bugging ourselves and our belongings, we headed for Ames, Iowa, home of Iowa State University.

Once in Ames, we went to Reiman Gardens, right next to the football stadium for some reason. There we looked at some pretty flowers and some pretty butterflies (in quantities to put the Tenessee Aquarium to shame), listened to some pretty music, and ate some yummy ice cream. All in all, it was a pleasant Sunday afternoon.

But it was not over yet. We had a train to catch. In Boone. Boone boasts the last commercially produced steam engine in the world. Boone is home to the The Iowa Railroad Historical Society which acquires and maintains trains, train parts, train buildings, and train memorabilia with ties to Iowa history. We rode an Electric Trolly built in 1915 and took a ride on the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad, which was being pulled today by the aforementioned steam engine. (Which means we got good and dirty as the soot blew in our glassless windows.) Our Conductor/Tour Guide deputized us as Scenic Railway marketing agents, so if you are ever in Central Iowa, be sure to take a ride! Or, just leave all your money to them in your will. They like that.

After our train returned to the depot, we headed for the local state park: Ledges State Park. We saw no ledges, but saw a nice campsite and some showers which looked like they might just get some soot off of us...

(By the way, Boone was named for Colonel Nathan Boone, Daniel's son.)