Moving East from Des Moines, the WINs actually stayed at a campground! F. W. Kent County Park was really nice. I wish we'd do this more often. The best part of the park was a 1.4 mile walk around a lake near where we were parked. (Sorry about the rain drop in the photo...)
And I met a new friend too!
The main reason we were in the area was to visit the Amana Colonies, a group of 7 villages settled in the 1850s by a German religious group. The villages were built one hour apart when traveling by ox cart. Each village had a church, a farm, multi-family residences and communal kitchens.
Now days, there are a lot of wineries and other businesses that attract tourists.
The Woolen Mill is still in operation.
And lots of other businesses, including a furniture store that will make you a rocking chair in any size you desire. (Yes, Edith Ann has been here too...)
And of course, there is lots of rusty stuff! I just love it when they are half-buried.
Well, maybe this is a little too much.
We also visited the Old Capitol Museum, guarded by an Iowa Hawkeye.
I loved the old quill pens.
Next door was the Museum of Natural History.
It was very good, with dioramas illustrating the history of the region.
The Old Brick Church was also nearby.
We also went to see the Devonian Fossil Gorge. In 1993, a flood swept away a campground and exposed the fossil rocks in the gorge.
You had to look for the fossils, but they were there.
We also had a good time at the Iowa Renaissance Festival over the weekend.
There were lots of very authentic-looking costumes.
I don't know what the mermaid had to do with a Renaissance Festival, but Phil really liked her, even with the blue lips.