In the second part of our trip through Iowa, we had an early game to go to. The drive from Des Moines to Burlington is about 2 and a half to three hours but that did not stop us from making several stops along the way. There were two stops that we had to make in Des Moines before we headed on the road to Burlington, Iowa.
The first stop that we made was to see a sculpture of two giant wrenches in the middle of a park. These wrenches were gigantic and make for a great photo opportunity. The wrenches are located one block away from the sculpture park that we visited the day before. The next stop that we made was to a giant frying pan that is in front of a community center. You come up to this giant replica of this black cast iron frying pan and makes for another goofy photo opportunity.
The last stop that we made in Des Moines was to see a cemetery. You may ask what is unique about a cemetery? The cemetery is located in the middle of a traffic circle which seems odd until you hear the story. The cemetery was a family plot in the late 19th century. The traffic circle was then constructed around the cemetery which is how the cemetery came to be in the middle of a traffic circle. The cemetery only has a couple of graves in it and it amazing to see these graves sticking out in the middle of a traffic circle.
There was only one more stop that we made on our way to Burlington and that was the American Gothic House in Eldon, Iowa. The American Gothic House is a unique stop and there is only one room in the museum plus a video. You can make it through the House in about a half hour and if you want to take a photo, they will dress you up in the same clothes as the painting which will give you a photo to cherish forever.
The last stop that we made was after the game when we visited the future birthplace of Captain Kirk in Riverside, Iowa. The birthplace is behind a barbershop and restaurant in the middle of town. It’s pretty cool to walk down the alley and see this tombstone that celebrates the future birth of an American hero. It does make me wonder if people will actually know the story of Captain Kirk a century from now.
From the American Gothic House, our next stop was to watch the Burlington Bees, the single-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, play at their home field, Community Field. Burlington is the smallest town in all of minor league baseball. There are not many signs which tell you how to get to the field but the tallest flagpole in Iowa is directly in front of the park. The tickets are very cheap $6 for general admission and the park is lovely. The difference between Burlington and Clinton is Burlington is not as cramped and there is plenty of space. Burlington has metal bleachers and reminds me a lot of the Lake County Fielders stadium which is located in Zion, Illinois. The product is good, the staff is friendly especially when they are spraying all the local children with a hose and you can’t beat a shady spot for six bucks.
Iowa is filled with a lot of quirky art. At any time you can find two giant wrenches or a giant frying pan. Or you could be driving down the road and find a cemetery in the middle of the road. Bottom line, you never do know what you are going to find driving through Iowa.