Day Twelve – Des Moines IA to Home
Miles: 599
Elapsed Time: 12:10

We almost never have any memorable rides on the last day of a trip, so this year I planned to route us to some areas that might at least give us the opportunity to take a pic or two. The Embassy Suites always has a good breakfast so we started this day on a good note. Jim was leaving and heading straight home in an attempt to make some family commitments he had. We got a bright and early start as we were on our way by 7:00. We didn't make it very far before we stopped at the Iowa State Capitol to take some pics. It was on the way out but I think I was making my point. We were off the interstate very quickly and moving east on IA5. We filled up in Knoxville and continued east on IA92. Lots of corn and not much scenery but better than the alternative. We made a brief stop in Sigourney to view the Keokuk County Courthouse. The CH was built in 1911 and I would rank it as one of the best we've seen in Iowa. The classic revival style constructed of limestone is always a favorite of mine. Our next stop was a quirky one, and one I found by just looking at Google Earth trying to find something worth stopping for. In Burlington IA I found Snake Alley. This road dating to 1894 was built to connect an upscale neighborhood to the central business district. Due to the difference in elevation it made it difficult for horses and carriages to travel to the district without a very long commute, so some German Immigrants decided to build a winding road down the steep hillside allowing a quick descent and some significant time savings. The winding road reminded someone of a snake and the name stuck. I'm not sure if Carl Henry ever lived in Burlington but when he suggested a similar street be built in San Francisco and named Lombard Street, Snake Alley was already nearly 30 years old. We crossed over the Mighty Mississippi and we were in Illinois in somewhat of the home stretch. We skirted around Galesburg and got onto I-74. As we neared Peoria we exited and found our way to Obed & Issacs Brewpub for lunch. The old Cornerstone building was built in 1889 and was home to the Second Presbyterian Church for many years before it became a reception venue and ultimately this brewpub. It is a really nice place with lots of indoor and outdoor seating accompanied by good food and good beer. We got back on I-74 and stayed on the interstate all the way home. We made a stop at a rest area just inside Indiana and then the rest area just outside Batesville as tradition dictates we bid farewell. We arrived home a little after 8:00. Jim said he made it home well before his 6:00 appointment. The alternate route and extra sightseeing cost us 2 or 3 hours, but it made the day very enjoyable, and we have pics to prove it.