Citizens of Keokuk, Iowa: YOU ARE WELCOME. Thanks to the intrepidness of The Amators, you had one night of less vice than normal. Which vice? We do not know… but we suspect it was at least one, potentially more, possibly three or four. How do we know you had less? The evidence strongly suggests this was the case. Was it circumstantial? Sure, yes. But it was solid. Let’s start with leaving Mark Twain’s place.
We were rollin’. I was singing “On the Road Again” at the top of my Willie Nelson range. We wanted to get a little further north to make today and tomorrow a little less ick on the kids. I really had my eye on Iowa, but the border was probably out of reach. Or so I thought. It turns out, when you start in the middle of the state (north-south, not east-west) reaching the northern border isn’t so bad. Hello Keokuk, Iowa.
We made a Walmart stop (ugh… I love to hate that place – I’m very very sorry, Dad). In the parking lot, Scott and I, using different apps, both came up with the same place. It was a few miles down on the road, literally on the banks of the Mississippi River. Yes please. We’ve been doing some nano-themed learning focused on the river (like a nano-degree, but with less information which was entirely derived from Wikipedia and a few other sources) so how cool to actually stay on it?! For more fun facts https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keokuk,_Iowa.
We drove through town. It’s a cool place. Old buildings. Very late 1800s-y. Most of the buildings were empty or had tattoos shops/bars/used furniture stores. I’m not being snotty (but kinda, I am), it just didn’t look polished and artsy (but it could). The gay community has not spruced this place up at all. For the Maine fam – it looked like downtown Lewiston but with really cool building facades. Then we drove down the hill, over the railroad tracks and hit the river. We found 2 city-owned spots for $16/night right on the river. Then, an old man with no teeth in a pick-up rolled up to the RV and suggested we go to the “RV park” instead. That was about a half mile down the road. When we arrived, he claimed that it had been full just last weekend.
There were leaves everywhere and the grass was knee high. It clearly hadn’t been used as an RV park in awhile. But it had working electric and water and there was only 1 other RV and it was just for the night… and the deciding factor was that there was a fence between us and the Mississippi just in case one of the little people made a break for it. Oh, I forgot, there was no “office” nor any way to identify anyone to pay… in other words, it was free?
Here is a photo to set the scene better:
We ate dinner, put the kids to bed and settled in. That’s when we started noticing the cars driving by. Beyond us on the road was maybe a half mile of pavement that dead-ended in what appeared to be a refinery but it was on a rail line so I’m not the right person to venture a guess as to what it does. I thought the trucks were going there. Until we noticed that any car that drove past us, drove back past us less than 5 minutes later.
Go go gadget spidey senses.
My first conclusion was that the old man had set us up for a robbery. In retrospect – ha! No one wants to rob an ’85 Winnie. That’s just funny. But it just… I don’t know… it didn’t feel like that. Sure the cars were going slow and sure they were looking at us. But it wasn’t… “like that”. The energy didn’t feel like that. That is my very professional description of the situation, of course.
Could it be that we had some serious Spaceballs fans in our midst and they were delighted to see Eagle 5 had landed in their backyard? Possibly. But I never saw a camera.
There was also that 1 other RV parked in the lot.
I’ve never seen a sorrier truck/travel trailer combo. All of the windows were broken out of it and sort of covered with plastic. The truck didn’t have headlights or a bumper. Actually, I didn’t think anyone would live in it until I saw the lady come out of it (which almost made me fall over). None of the trucks stopped by that RV, so who knows. I can only make guesses. Scott slept on the converted bed closest to the door with a machete in his hand. (Scott here – the trucks did stop. That lady in the picture got into at least 4 different vehicles that I saw. Old Lady Eagles Eyes missed that part.)
Sure enough, the truck parade continued in the morning after we got up. With the night behind us, that’s when I finally got a kick out of it. Was there some desperate John out there really needing some private time with the death trap Black Widow? Did someone absolutely have to score some drugs but thought we might be undercover DEA? Were illegal arms sales put on hold for a 12 hour period? We’ll never know. But we do know… whatever happens on the Mississippi river banks in Keokuk, Iowa came to a screeching halt on the night of 08-09 Sept 2016 thanks entirely to the Amators.
The crackerjack crime squad.