Said the campaign sign on the opposite side of I-80 as we headed into Iowa. Sadly, we couldn’t find the sign on our side of the highway for a picture. But suffice it to say that John and I nodded our heads in agreement with the sign. 
We flew out of Michigan, down into Indiana and hung a right. With drizzles occasionally turning into pelting rain, we made it past Valparaiso and Gary, and I played all the John Mellencamp I had on the iPod. Then into Illinois, during which I happened to be on the phone with a work colleague who happened to be raised in Illinois. He desperately wanted us to stop and eat a stuffed pizza. But once he described it, I knew that if we ate such a pizza, we’d then have to nap for three hours before we drove.
The driving has rarely been without at least some excitement. John captured the following image, somewhere in Illinois, at about 60 miles an hour:
Then it was into Iowa, as we crossed the Mississippi (whee – we’re in the western US!). Right then we saw the sign for the Largest Truck Stop in the World. We were due a stop anyway, and that was a compelling place to do so. As we got out of the car, we both said, “This is bullshit. There’s no way this is the largest truckstop in the world. No way.” Then we walked inside. Imagine a small mall completely filled with kitsch and travel “necessities”. Then we learned about the dentist, chiropractor, and movie theater upstairs. Chastened, we quietly agreed that maybe it really was the biggest one anywhere.
We’re stopping at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa tonight. I called there and asked to speak to the poker room manager. I thought I could perhaps sweet-talk him into giving us the poker room rate, referencing my connection to Bluff magazine. He asked for a few minutes to look into it. When he called back, we had a comped room; turns out that my book was the first one he’d ever read about Texas Hold’em. Heh.
It’s cool to think that people are reading these little missives from the road. And they are quite literally from the road – with mobile wireless, I’m getting work done from the co-pilot seat of the Honda.
P.S. I mentioned in the original post that a security guard wished us “Safe travels and God bless” as we departed. I didn’t realize just how literally that would work out for us. One of our cloud of truly extraordinary friends and family stepped in to lend some invaluable assistance to the trip, deus ex cielo. This person would be embarrassed if I mentioned them by name, but they’ll know who they are, and I felt it important to thank them in public.
 That also gives me a legit excuse to link to this Onion article, which makes me laugh out loud every time I read it.