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March 1-2, 2010 - Des Moines

The week starts with a Monday afternoon flight to Des Moines.

It is snowing in Atlanta, but not here - finally a trip without snow.
(Snow is on the ground, but not actually in the air.)

Then again, it can be quite pretty, but I've had my share this year - five trips in a row were snowy (LSE, DSM, TUL, LSE, then it even snowed on us in Spain).

Anyway, the purpose of the trip was to meet with a large convenience store chain based in West Des Moines, which, yes, is a separate city from Des Moines.
The midwest is creative like that... South Bend, West Lafayette, etc.
I learn that here in corn country, the E85 (high corn ethanol blend) is so heavily subsidised, it is $1.99/gal. Also, the MidGrade has the subsidized ethanol in it, too, so 89 is cheaper than 87. Craziness.

More shots of Kum & Go.
Sometimes I wonder how I got into this line of work, but I do love it and it pays the bills, so I don't dwell on it.

It does feel strange sometimes, like I'm casing gas stations.

We change our flights to come home a day early, but still have some time to kill.
(There aren't exactly hourly flights from DSM.)
So, we head downtown to look around.

We head towards the Iowa State Capitol,

which is awesome!

Georgia's gold dome is impressive, but this is a whole nuther ball of wax.

White man looks at the land he's about to steal from the native.
It was nice that they memorialized that in bronze.

A view of Des Moines from the steps of the Capitol.

Douglas noticed that a nearby building has a cool reflection.

Like a funhouse, when you move, the building distorts.

We drive around the Capitol...

and find a memorial column to Iowans who died in service to their country.

More time to kill, so we find the local arena

and cross some random bridge that was built wider than it needed to be. Seriously, you can't see it, but this is a 4-lane-wide bridge, but the road is only two lanes, so they put downtown parking right on the bridge.
Building ahead... what a novel concept.

One last look at the Capitol and we head for DSM, then home.