Iowa, Where We've Been

Field of Dreams, Captain Kirk’s Birthplace, Devonian Fossil Gorge, & Bass Farms

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Field of Dreams

“If You Build It, They Will Come…” and so we went, along with about 100 others on a hot summer day to an old baseball field in Dyersville, Iowa. Out amongst the corn fields of this rural town is an old movie set to a classic and beloved film known as the Field of Dreams.

In the movie, Ray began hearing voices as he walked the corn fields on his farm. After thinking it over for a while, he decided he’d follow the call of the voice telling him to build a baseball field on his farm in hopes that a famous (and deceased) baseball player, Shoeless Joe Jackson, would come. After a season of waiting for something to happen and nearly going into bankruptcy over the plowed over corn, he did arrive. Not only him, but an entire team came to play on his field. Just when he thought it was over, he began hearing voices again sending him on another puzzling quest. Ray was sent on a journey to bring an author, Terence Mann, back to Iowa, for whose purpose he had yet to understand.

I’ll not continue if you haven’t seen the movie so as not to spoil it. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend watching it.

The movie was shot on this location during the summer of 1988. It has stayed mostly the same except for the expansion of the barns to include merchandising and an eatery for “those who came.”

Terence Mann’s famous speech is written on a board inside the gift shop.

The day we visited the American Legion was playing a friendly game on the field.

We took turns going through the corn in the back of the field and walking off into the distance.

Captain Kirk’s Birthplace

Who knew Iowa was so full of movie history? From Field of Dreams to Star Trek, Riverside, Iowa is the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk.

Dr. Gillian Taylor: “Don’t tell me, you’re from outer space.”

Captain James T. Kirk: “No, I’m from Iowa. I only work in outer space.”

The future Captain James T. Kirk is set to be born in Riverside, Iowa on March 22, 2228. How do we know that?

In Gene Roddenberry’s book, Making of Star Trek (1968), it was stated that Kirk would be born in a small town in Iowa. A Riverside, Iowa councilman was a fan of the show and put a motion forward at the next council meeting that Riverside declare itself the Future Birthplace of the famous Captain. The motion passed unanimously. 

An engraved monument was put into place in 1985 with the inscription and date. Later in May 2009, it eventually joined the Star Trek cannon when it was identified in the 2009 Star Trek reboot movie.

The date on the plaque, however, has been called into question by fellow Trekkies. The date of March 22, 2233 is the accepted date of his birth in the Star Trek universe, but wasn’t promoted until eight years after the date on the plaque. However, the March 22nd date bears more significance in that it is the actual birthday of William Shatner. 

In the same small town, a museum offers Trekkies an additional place to visit to get their Trek fill, called The Voyage Home, after the fourth movie in the series. This small museum has a number of figurines, autographs, replicas, and posters. But it does have an original artifact from the series, Data’s desk. 

Just behind the Captain’s chair is Data’s actual desk from The Next Generation series. This desk sat in Data’s quarters on the show.

Ellie took a ride on the transporter after wrestling a gorn. If anyone finds which star system she’s gone to, let me know!

Devonian Fossil Gorge

The Devonian Fossil Gorge was unearthed in 1993 when a flood swept through the area and carried out the top layers of soil and rock. When the waters receded an archaeological wealth of information was found at the site. 

What kind of fossils? 

Many different kinds of coral, brachiopods, trilobites, and crinoids are just some of the fossils found here. 

The whole site is open for exploring. In fact, that little figure there in the middle is Ellie sitting on a rock checking out the fossils. The whole area is just littered with them.

What does the coral found in Iowa mean? 

It means that at one time Iowa had a sea water ocean covering it.

These specimens are huge at about 6″-12″ across.

Some of these smaller sections contain branches and cross-sections of other coral that grew in the lower layers. 


Bass Farms

It’s the start of the harvest festival season and we’re in Iowa. What better way to start the season off than with a corn maze. 

The owner asked us where we were from and when we replied, “Colorado,” she stated she knew of Anderson Farms. 

“We went to that one all the time when we were there. It was a yearly tradition.”

Apparently all the corn maze farms get together once a year to discuss their corn mazes and get their detective games ready for the season. Clues are hidden in the corn maze, you’re given a card and as you walk through the maze and find the clues, you punch out the card until you are left with just one character, one place, and one tool left. It’s very similar to how the board game Clue is played. 

Bass Farms had this really neat setup where you can launch tennis balls in sling shots at targets. That was a blast… until we had to pick them all up and return them! 

The kids scooted down a big, plastic ramp until coming to an abrupt halt at the bottom. Jaden toppled over his first time down, not ready for the end of the ramp at the bottom of it.

We found a really big spider, hard at work on her web. It had to be 2′-3′ across, covering the opening of the massive play pumpkin in the photo above. It was neat to sit and watch her weave it for a while.



Palisades-Kepler State Park

The turns in the campground were a bit tight. We were able to do it with our 40′ fifth wheel, but had to be creative when turning around at the dump station after getting fresh water. We had to use the visitor parking area and fortunately there weren’t any cars there at the time. Turning out of our site was also a problem as the roads were not really designed to make that turn for a big rig. Our site was not level, but we were able to position it back far enough to help with some of the angle. 

Down by the cabins (northwest side), there is a walkway to go down to the river. There’s a gazebo and walking path down there. There were quite a few chipmunks and deer down there and also a lot of bugs so keep your screen doors shut. It was otherwise quiet here and we had a peaceful stay.

We had electric only. Fresh water and sewer dump was located in the dump area. There are also a few fresh water spigots scattered throughout. There is a men’s and women’s toilet near the far west side of the campground. There is a bathhouse with 3 showers and toilets located on the southeastern side. 

We got 23 down/9 up on Starlink. 2 bars on the Verizon phones and 2 bars with the cell antenna (26/8). AT&T was 3 bars with the cell antenna (12/0.3).