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At our campsite near Des Moines, we saw a Luna Moth, elk and bison on the preserve down the road (which Nathaniel called a “conservatory” to the woman selling us firewood, will never forget that), and a catfish on a… leash on the shore of the lake we were camping along. We grilled veggie dogs and made s’mores and listened to the sounds of animals all night long. Cody slept almost through the whole night, snuggled up next to Nat. It was a good time. Before we went to sleep, we drove in to town to get a look at the car. We noticed a really cool old sign for a diner across the street and decided to go there for breakfast in the morning.

In the morning, we drove to the diner and were surprised by the amount of cars in the parking lot, thinking the place must be really good. Then we realized the cars were all the dealership’s, and the diner and adjoining hotel buildings (five or six of them) were all completely abandoned, and looked like they had been for years. We felt pretty dumb for not noticing the night before. I wish we could have explored more; the place was incredible (I so wanted to find the indoor pool!). But as the area was really overgrown and I was in a sundress and sandals (not to mention in my boredom at work have been reading way too much NoSleep), we just wandered around the outside and then had to get going.

But we did end up getting the car! So the trip was a success, and no more Nathaniel scouring Craigslist 24 hours a day. For now.