2014 Travels travel blog

Carpes in Walnut Woods State Park

Back on the "super slab"
This is I 80 west of Iowa City

Entering West Des Moines on IA 5

Walnut Woods State Park
A smallish park conveniently close to Des Moines at...

Walnut Woods State Park Hiking

Hiking trail mushrooms

The trail wound along the Turkey River

Dappled sunshine

Messiest campsite contender

Another entrant

Plenty of room in these pop-ups!

Wed, 28 May: A day early used to full advantage!

Because HWH was able to take us in for service a day early, we departed for Des Moines a day early. This is almost like getting a free day added to your life. Thanks HWH!

After breakfast we settled our (very resonable) repair bill, got the coach ready to roll, and hooked up the car. Bob rolled wheels at 0822 and we drove the ¼ mile to I 80 and headed west. This was the first extended drive we'd taken on an Interstate for a while and it reinforced our preference for the slower pace of "lesser" byways.

We switched drivers at a rest stop and Sandi took the helm for the balance of the journey. East of Des Moines we transitioned to US 65 and then IA 5 which took us to the east and south of the city center. In West Des Moines we exited to local roads that took us to the Walnut Woods State Park.

Walnut Woods SP is a gem along the Turkey River in southwest Des Moines. It has several camping sites, eight of which are non-reservable. That means they are available on a first-come basis. We found an electric (30 amp) only site that would accommodate Carpe's forty feet and shoehorned her into it.

It is a lovely site at only $14/nite. It does, alas, have too many trees for our satellite dish to see its "birds", but enough open sky to keep our solar system working.

We'll be here thru the weekend and then continue north to Forest City. Our Sister-In-Law, Carolyn Swanson (Allan's widow) lives in nearby Urbandale so we hope to visit while in town. An additional bonus, Bob's niece Krissy will be visiting along with her son (grand nephew) Luke. A mini family reunion!!!

Today's particulars: 152 miles, 8½ mpg.

Sun, 01 June: Well, there goes May!

Where did the Merry Month of May go? It seems as tho we celebrated its arrival back in Farmington New Mexico, and here we are in Iowa.

Our time here has been mostly relaxing. We had the pleasure of visiting with family and doing some sightseeing and shopping. But, for the most part, we thoroughly enjoyed the peace and quiet of this lovely State Park. Until Friday that is...

Thursday we decided to explore some of the park's trails. We took the "short" hike that left our camping area and wound thru a lovely forest to the Turkey River. The trees and other greenery were wearing that "newly sprouted" green that marks spring. We enjoyed the experience and have posted some pix of our "adventure".

Friday marked the arrival of the "weekenders". This is a destination park and is very popular with the locals looking to get back to nature. They arrived in motorhomes, campers, trailers, tents, and just about every other type of camping equipment imaginable. And they all arrived with kids, kids, dogs, more kids, more dogs, and very smokey campfires.

The place was a zoo from midday Friday thru Saturday and into Sunday morning. Then, wonder of wonders, they packed up and left. Sunday afternoon and evening was as quiet and peaceful as could be. A true study in contrasts.

We're outta hear tomorrow.

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