On the way to St. Louis…

So for my birthday, Jami bought us two tickets to a St. Louis Cardinals game. We planned a little vacation that would swing us through the southern two tiers of counties.

Trip 2a

  1. (A) Des Moines
  2. (B) Oskaloosa
  3. (C) Ottumwa
  4. (D) Keosauqua
  5. (E) Fort Madison
  6. (F) Keokuk

A total of 192.5 miles and 4 hours and 14 minutes of driving time.

8. Mahaska County Courthouse. Oskaloosa, Iowa.

Composite photo of the Mahaska County Courthouse in Oskaloosa

This was our first challenge. We arrived here early in the afternoon on a Wednesday. There were cars everywhere on the square. That being said, this turned out to be one of my favorite pictures.

9. Wapello County Courthouse. Ottumwa, Iowa.

Composite photo of the Wapello County Courthouse in Ottumwa

Wapello County presented another challenge. Again, in the middle of the afternoon, as well as it physical location. The courthouse sits on a hill and there is no good spot to get a great picture. Add to that the overcast skies, and I feared I would be unimpressed with the results.

After the courthouse, we headed to Eldon, Iowa. Home of the American Gothic House. This is the house that Grant Wood used for his most famous painting… you know which one I mean, the old couple with the pitchfork…

2010 St. Louis Trip 230

10. Van Buren County Courthouse. Keosauqua, Iowa.

Composite photo of the Van Buren County Courthouse in Keosauqua

This one was weird. We struggled to find it… well, not so much find it, as verify that it was the courthouse. There were no signs anywhere. This simple two story building looked more like a house. The large trees in the lawn (not shown) prevented a panoramic view of the building. I got close with the camera and the resulting image has some quirky perspective changes that I’ve come to really like. It also had the bonus effect of making the building seem much larger than it really is.

11A. Lee County Courthouse (North). Fort Madison, Iowa.

Composite photo of the Lee County Courthouse in Fort Madison

Fort Madison is also home to the Iowa State Penitentiary. Behind the Prison, on a very high bluff overlooking the Mississippi river, you get this view:

2010 St. Louis Trip 066 Stitch

11B. Lee County Courthouse (South). Keokuk, Iowa.

Composite photo of the Lee County Courthouse in Keokuk

This one turned out great. After checking in to a hotel, we headed across the Mississippi into Illinois and drove up the river to Nauvoo. View along the way:

2010 St. Louis Trip 079 Stitch

And in downtown Keokuk, the most awesome bar name ever:

2010 St. Louis Trip 077

The current total:

County Map 2a

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