Friday, September 3, 2010

Road Trip

Whoops! Not that road trip. I took that one last April. But Sydney, Australia is just about my most favorite place in the world!

The road trip I want to share with you is right here in Iowa. Mr. FP (Dan) and I left Des Moines on a cool (for a change!) morning and drove northwest. Out the car windows were endless fields of corn and soybeans. Through Humbolt, Fort Dodge, and all the way to West Bend and back... corn and soybeans. And beautiful, clear blue skies.

Along the way we also saw these huge grain elevators. That small, lid-looking thing on the left is a gigantic cover for a pile of grain.
And another elevator with, of course, good 'ole John Deere equipment in the foreground. John Deere is the company that Mr. FP retired from three years ago.

This pretty grass was profuse along the edges of a pond, and many other wet places that received excessive amounts of rain this summer.

So much rain fell this summer that we learned the park we'd planned to hike - Dolliver Memorial State Park, south of Fort Dodge - was heavily damaged by flood waters from the Des Moines River. We had to alter our plans. Our next stop was the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend.

Father Dobberstein is the priest who started this project back in 1912. He and subsequent priests spent years gathering rocks, stones, crystals, shells, glass, and petrified wood that was painstakingly chipped and set into concrete to assemble this unique place.

There's no place in the world like it.
Mr. FP is standing in one of the cave-like chapel rooms.
Directly above where he's standing is this intricate ceiling.

Some of the colorful stones and crystals.

I've always been fascinated by geodes.

In the museum I read that some of the geodes came from Illinois, and others from Keokuk, Iowa.

Polished stones were used to make detailed arrangements.

In several places, mosaiac designs were inserted in pillars.
On departing, we couldn't help but giggle to see this. When was the last time you've seen a phone booth? Maybe that's how it is in a little town with 750 residents.
It was a very pleasant day and a nice diversion from the usual activities. I hope you enjoyed coming along.


  1. Looks like a very fun trip. What a fascinating building. You just never know what you can find in your own state. I love exploring NC.

  2. I do a love a road trip! Even if it is through the eyes of someone else! Thanks for sharing your outing, it looks like you had a lovely time.

  3. That looks like a very fascinating place. The stones and mosaics all make such interesting patterns. Is there a design in there somewhere?



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