Ron & Elena's 2007-2010 Travels travel blog



















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(Ron Writing) We decided to attend the Iowa State Fair. I grew up in Iowa but have never attended what is often touted as one of the best state fairs in the nation. We left Arnolds Park about 10 AM and drove south on HW 71 to Spencer, IA. Spencer is home to the Clay County IA Fair in September. That was the fair I went to almost every year while living in Iowa. It was far bigger than any of the other county fairs around. At Spencer we headed east on HW 18 to Algona, IA. From Algona we took HW 169 south to the Fort Dodge, IA area where we picked up HW 20 east to I-35 south. Then we took I-35 all the way to Des Moines and the Iowa State Fair Grounds.

It was cloudy today and we had a little rain as we were driving. We got here around 4 PM and found the campground on the fairgrounds. They have about 160 acres with around 2,000 campsites. Many people come here a few days before the fair starts and camp during the entire 10 days of the fair. We plan to be here for 3 nights. They have a lot of sites with hook-ups but those were all reserved well in advance of the fair and the only way to reserve one was to take it for the full duration of the fair. We are in an "overflow" area which is basically a pasture and quite hilly. We never thought we'd every be put "out to pasture" at this young age! In fact I had to put the truck in 4 wheel drive to make it up the hill on the slick grass and soft earth. This is quite an experience. It's the biggest camping event we've ever attended! We'll try to get some photos of the campground tomorrow.

The fair starts tomorrow but we wanted to see the pre-fair parade on Grand Avenue west of the Capitol building. We got there just as the parade was starting and stayed for almost the full time. It lasted almost 2 hours. Certainly not the Rose Parade but it was lots of fun with lots of bands, dance groups, horses, tractors, and a variety of other entries.

It rained for awhile during the parade but we were okay with our raincoats on. However, when we got back to the campground it was a lot muddier than when we left. Even with the 4 WD and not pulling the trailer we had a pretty difficult time getting back to our campsite. Now as I write this at about 10 PM we are having a real thunderstorm and it's raining hard. We may be here longer than 3 days if it keeps raining!!!

We're looking forward to going to the fair tomorrow so we're hoping for better weather.

I'm including a few photos of the parade so you can get an idea of what it was like.

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