Tuesday, May 13, 2008

'Is this Heaven?...No it's Iowa'

If you are a Field of Dreams fan like we are the title of this blog will bring back great movie memories.

For over a decade now, our family has been talking about making the trek to Dyersville, IA to visit the Field of Dreams.

Before we left Quincy I picked up the extended edition of the movie with lots of extras in it about ball players who have visited the field like Johnny Bench and George Brett to name a few.

The people who own the land allow visitors free of charge and use any proceeds from souvenirs to maintain the field. They obviously realized after the movie that they were a part of something special and have done a good job of not letting it become 'a tourist trap'.

Being a sporting family from America's heartland, this movie has always been a family favorite with such really solid themes of simple joys, family connection, and making dreams come true.

The dreary weather was probably a blessing in disguise since we had the entire place to ourselves.

I can't describe the magic that comes with watching my sons and their father play on that field, the same place Ray Kinsella played catch with his father. The magic was even so good on this day that I got a really good hit out in to left field!

They expected to tear down this field after the movie but they have found that instead every year more and more people make the pilgrimage here. Last annual count was at 60,000 annually based on the guest book.

We want to come back again but in early fall when the corn is high and we can simply walk out in to the fields....just as long as everyone comes back!

If you remember the movie, you'll recall at the end the lights from all the cars coming down the lane to the farm. The lights trailed all the way back to Dyersville.

Guess what, if you turn left instead of right when you come off the farm

...well, you end up on a closed road, which means we ended up with our first experience of having to unhook and back up to correct our mistake! It was actually a pretty quick fix with Kyle taking charge of the jeep.

Once that minor incident was resolved we proceeded on without event to Charles City, IA where we decided to make use of our new Passport America membership and get 1/2 price nights stay at the R&R Campground.

It's the first time I've arrived at a private run campground where there was not someone to greet you. In fact, we never met the owners. I called the cell phone number on the door, he told me we could take whatever site we wanted, fill out the envelop on the door and drop the fee in the drop box.

Full hookups and a nice view of the Cedar River for $10 a night. I think this Passport America is going to work out well!

There was a city biking/walking bath in the woods behind where we parked so the boys took the opportunity to run and work out while I did my Nordic Track. By the time they returned it was raining pretty steady,

Ken made sloppy joes and nachos while we showered and then we stayed in and watched movies the rest of the evening because of the rain.

Hugs, C

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