Finally real travel. A road trip to Des Moines, Iowa. I love to drive. I find long trips to be relaxing. That is a good thing because Des Moines is just over 5 hours from Chicago. The downside of this particular trip is the scenery is lacking, at least from my perspective. It is relative flat farm land all the way. I do have a friend who loved going through these types of areas. He would give a running dialog on the crops being grown and how they were doing. He loved to see what farm equipment was being used and how they had configured their buildings and silos. Not surprisingly he was from farm country.
An advantage of using your own transportation is the freedom. This includes the freedom to pack as much as you want and the freedom to set your own schedule. I like being able to take as much camera gear as I want. For clothes it is easier because I am rather routine in what I wear. But this time we had to also pack for a formal occasion so it was nice to not have to worry about lugging a suit bag around. I still get antsy when I have to be at the airport by a certain time. It is nice to know that a traffic delay only means I will be on the road a little longer, not that I will have to hustle through the airport.
On these long trips I use the radio until I am out of range then play CDs. I do not listen to my CDs all that much so this is something of a treat. I have tried Books on Tape but find it very difficult to put my focus on the narration. With the music I can tune in and out as I want without losing that much.
The downtown area of Des Moines has fairly recently undergone major revitalization. A lot of people were out and about during the day. At night it is very quiet. I am used to Chicago where people are downtown in droves at all hours. Kind of strange to walk around at 10 pm and be the only one on the street. Not really comfortable with that.