692. Onawa, Monona County (IA05)

Red brick? Check.
Square tower? Check.

What?  Is this Kansas?  Not so much, I guess, since it seems to have detail work similar to Cass County.   Overall, I give it good marks.  Bravo, Onawa!  Oddly enough, I had a weird series of emotional ups and downs here.  I stopped at a grocery store for a newspaper, and it turns out that Onawa, with a population of just shy of 3,000, has two town newspapers!  Cool!  I pulled into a gas station to fill up and found that the actual gas prices were ten cents lower than the advertised price!  Great!  After filling up, I drove down the street and found a gas station priced ten cents below the price I had just paid.  Boo-urns!  And what is it with all this cheap gas in the Midwest?  I’ve been seeing prices I’m used to seeing at home, in the middle of oil and refinery country.  Heck, at least one fill-up thus far has been cheaper than anything I could have found in Texas.  Iowa and Kansas (from a fuel perspective) are definitely giving Texas a run for its money and blowing the doors off Arizona and Las Vegas.

I haven’t mentioned it at all up to this point, but the wind out here was insane.  There had been mini dust storms and dust devils all over the place.  It reminded me more of Levelland and the Texas Panhandle than nearby Kansas.  It seemed to chill out a bit as soon as I got into town, probably all the ground-level buildings breaking up the lines of approach.  But before I arrived, I was out in it looking for a cache.  The first one I attempted was something magnetic on a steel light pole, but I worried that the wind might have blown it off.  I’ve heard about wind strong enough to blow off clothing, but I’d never been in it before.  I’m not kidding when I say this: it would have blown off my shirt had I not been wearing a cardigan over it.  I found a nano at a nearby rest stop on a tall sign.  How it managed to survive up there, I’ll never know.  But survive it did, so I had a cache and no need to linger in the county.  Once my business was done here, I went back to driving north until I arrived in…

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