River Trip

I was fortunate to be invited on a river trip earlier this month.  I was invited for an overnight river trip on the racoon river.  There were 5 of us on this trip.

We got all of our geared loaded up and we set out for the put in location.  The put in location was highly congested with many people preparing for a party down the river.  It was a little nerve-racking trying to get all of our stuff into the canoes and kayaks and into the water with so many people around trying to get their tubes, beer and music launched down the river.


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Why in the Hell did you move to Iowa?

Why in the Hell did you move to Iowa?

When I first moved to Iowa my friends and family thought I was crazy.  No one could understand why I would move from Florida, the place where I was born and raised my entire life, you know the sun the beaches the warm weather (actually brutally hot and humid).

Why would anyone want to leave?

Well, this post is not really about the reasons I would leave Florida but rather why I chose to Move to Iowa.

My wife is from north west Iowa, a little town called Spencer it is near the “Iowa Great lakes” Okoboji area.  I know what you’re thinking but no, my wife didn’t ask for us to move here.

Actually, I asked her to move here.  I am not sure what it is about the Midwest but I found a peacefulness here that I really enjoyed.  I am not sure if it has something to do with the fact that my mother’s side of the family is from north east Iowa in a little town called Cresco.  Maybe I had the feeling of returning to my home land, hmm… I don’t know if that is the reason either.

I started visiting Iowa with my wife once or twice a year and I always enjoyed my time here.  We would visit in the summer and rush off to the lakes in Okoboji.  We had great times, loved the water and the fire flies and the fact that in the middle of summer I was actually comfortable in Iowa and didn’t find myself retreating inside to the air conditioner.  I could actually enjoy myself outside and the humidity, what humidity?  Even though Iowans think the humidity is horrible I have to say this weather is very pleasant.

Ok, I know what you’re thinking.  What about the winters?

We visited in the winter as well, I remember my first visit in January and it was, uhh, refreshing!  Yes, it was pretty cold, I think it was wind chills -30 degrees F.   My brother-in-law took me snowmobiling.  I was so afraid that it would be too cold for me to do anything.  Actually, I was afraid that my lungs would freeze (naïve Floridian).  Anyhow, the weather was fine, snowmobiling was a success and my lungs didn’t freeze.

My wife and I drove up from Florida a few times with the kids and we would spend some of our time in Des Moines.  This is when I started to get the idea of moving to the heartland, corn country, the flyover state of Iowa.  My wife and I just had a new house built for our growing family back in Florida and we hadn’t lived there for 6 months when I came up with the idea of moving.  My wife thought I was crazy but she was also interested in the possibility of packing up and exploring a new area of this fine country.

So, we narrowed down our choices to a few different cities in Colorado, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Iowa.

We finally decided on the greatest city of all DES MOINES, IOWA.

So, we moved to Des Moines, IA.  Well actually, we settled in West Des Moines.  We moved here in October of 2013.  At the time our children were ages 5, 3 and 5 months.  We moved here the week before Halloween and thankfully my wife’s college roommate lives here and we were invited to their house for beggar’s night.  Excuse me, what is beggar’s night?

We learned that here in Des Moines they do the trick or treat the night before Halloween.  We had no idea and was glad that our friends were able to fill us in on this “beggar’s night” thing that I never heard of before.

Anyhow, we moved to Iowa and I was excited for this new adventure and I am still excited as I am learning more about this great state.   That first winter was one of the coldest winters in many years and yes there were some cold days for sure.  But I didn’t mind it.  I am thankful for the chance to actually have a winter and snow..

My first winter I learned a lot, no need to put your beer in the refrigerator and take up valuable space.  People set their beer in the garage.  Great idea!  I also learned that driving slow in winter is the way to go.

I enjoy layering up hanging outside around a fire.  Oh, and Snow blowing is great, I love it!

I never had experience seasons before.  I am used to hot and extremely hot.  This is all new and to watch the cycle of life is pretty cool.


My next posts will be about Des Moines, and why this city is great.  I am going to write about different experiences from biking, rafting, camping eating out etc.  As I explore I will keep adding and I will also give recommendations on different companies. Like my buddies that came out help take care of my trees.

So stay tuned as I get this up and running and try to post each week.