Friday, April 19, 2013

Adventures in Indianola

Today I enjoyed a French toast breakfast at the hotel
and then drove about 20 miles south to Indianola. Indianola has a population of about 15,000. The town was founded in 1849, three years after Iowa became a state. A Wikipedia article says the town was named after a town of the same name in Texas. (Indianola, Texas is now a ghost town, destroyed by a hurricane.)

The temperature early this morning was about 33 and there was a stiff wind blowing. I'm certainly in denial of the weather. I should have brought along a hat and gloves, had a winter coat. 

I went to Indianola to do a Volksmarch, picking this one to go in my Walking the USA for the letter, I. The walk box is located at Jiffy Express. I found the clerk at the counter here to be especially helpful.

I found the map and decided to do a 5K look that went around the Simpson College campus.

The route first went on city streets by an old Carnegie Library.

Indianola now has a new library, and this building is used by the Des Moines Area Opera. Walks often go by a Carnegie Library because some walkers keep track of how many of these buildings they can find.

The route took me north. I noticed a squirrel run and especially noticed it for it was a different color than the ones I see in Minnesota.  I was able to get this photo of this inquisitive fellow.

Soon I found myself on the campus of the college. Simpson was founded in 1860. It has many old buildings and also some quite new buildings.

This is College Hall. A careful look at the flags will show the American flag is at half-mast in honor of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing.

I wandered into the library and found some interesting displays of old objects related to the college's history.

This is a set of Dresden china, owned by a music professor in the 1920s. It has a motif of buildings from the campus on the pieces.

And here's a band uniform from the 1950s.

I noticed some flowers! These are the first spring flowers I've seen outdoors this year.

Near this area I noticed this window in a old building.

With further investigation I learned this is a Science Building, built in 1889. And much to my surprise, one of the first students here was George Washington Carver.  Carver went on to finish his baccalaureate degree at Iowa State University, the first African-American student who graduated from the University.

The walk next took me by Buxton Park.

 This will be more lovely later in the spring and summer, but it looked good to me for we are seeing piles of white in Minnesota, rather than green grass.

I walked a large rectangle path north of the park and then back to the campus. Then the walk took me through a residential area. Glad to have been routed there, for in this neighborhood I saw something I've never seen before:

yes, indeed -- pink garbage cans. I noticed these by many houses in this neighborhood.

I was getting interested now for a break. The route took me through the downtown area and I spotted Uncommon Grounds. I decided to go there for a coffee and also got a half sandwich. All was good and I think I made a good choice for there was a steady line of people coming into this shop to pick up their lunch.

Leaving the coffee shop, this window caught my eye.

This building is now occupied by a law firm. It appeared that some kind of sign had been removed over the front door, this I have no idea about how old is this building nor what was its original use.

The last four blocks back to the start point were cold. In the time I was in the coffee shop the sun disappeared and gray clouds blew in. I was glad the remainder of the walk was very short.

My second adventure occurred a bit up the road.

Above is the National Balloon Museum, this kind of balloon:

Enjoyed a short visit here. I'd never before seen all the equipment that goes with the balloons, nor did I know anything about balloon competitions.

Returned to the Des Moines area and decided to try to find the Jordan Creek Shopping Center. I found Cheesecake Factory. Haven't been in this restaurant for years.

Enjoyed a lovely salad

and got a piece of cheesecake to bring back to the hotel for later this evening.

No comments: