This is Bistek al la Mexicana a common dish found many places. There are several places I get this some better than others but all real decent! Kind of a tomato based sauce with generally pretty tender pieces of beef and a fair amount of it. The rice is pretty generic but the frijoles can be something else. This also includes as many fresh made in front of you tortillas you want and brought to you with a smile. Something like this costs around 50-60 pesos or $3. The squeezed as you watch orange juice is 20 and brings the price up a bit but worth it. Nothing in the States I've ever had compares to this not even close plus it'll cost 7-10 smacks. I don't know what I'm going to eat when I return. It will be an adjustment as I do this so much that is go into Puerto Vallarta on the south side and have me a excellent lunch with "real" Mexican food not the slop I get back there. I do not plan on eating out much at all only at maybe three select places. Pricey yes but worth it because it's so good. I threw away so much money last summer eating way overpriced shitty food. Several times the food got thrown away as well. The whole of Mexico is an eating machine I tell you. I'm gonna miss this.

I feel good and and think the higher temps and humidity contributes to that. It's the same every time. After a month or two you realize and say " Hey I feel pretty damn good!"

Just as important I believe the food made fresh with wholesome fresh ingredients as well contributes to that. Get off the bus in town the food smells everywhere make me hungry just like that.


A Few Observations From The Last Two Weeks

I've seen huge areas being mowed around houses but I do believe the largest are in west central Kansas and this isn't one of them. I'm sure it makes them happy.

Winter wheat was almost three foot high and on the way back further north in the state it was half turned  but not as lush.

There are many oil wells many being developed and old ones refurbished as well in Kansas. Not like in Utah but there is plenty going on. 

Remember about clicking on the picture to make them bigger.

No matter where I was grain storage was being expanded at all levels. Here it's a elevator in Warsaw, IL.

This is corporate facility for sure because even if a family owns it.

Not that long ago most of a the grain produced was hauled to the local elevator to be handled. Most operators have their own now.

This is the lock and dam on the Mississippi in Keokuk,Ia.

The river still floods and this is one way to avoid trouble. What places like this and many others are known for is being "fish camps" used extensively on weekends. Use your imagination.
The curiosity with Nauvoo is over. The meal had at the Nauvoo Hotel was one of the best I've had in years. I understand the new leader of the mormons does not have as much interest in this place like the guy before him so there's not as much money coming this way. For not being tourist season it seemed there were quite a few people around.

The ferry south of Warsaw still operates for transporting what ever fits. There are not that many places to cross this huge river.

In northern Iowa things have been big for some time but I think it's even bigger now. Like land prices of 10K an acre and one parcel of 77 acres sold for 12.9.

Something like 350K for the planter alone and you can get them twice as large. With GPS if you want and with the price of seed you can literally save thousands.

This drag strip still functions in Humboldt,IA. Went down this in like '71 or so and came home with a trophy.

The house in what was my cornfield when I was just a pup still stands. The grove is still there and plumb trees still grow along side the railroad tracks.
The Grotto always gets a visit looking for new angles of the same things. The 100th anniversary is this year,

I've seen a number of places similar to this one. I guess recreating old gas stations is a new hobby. It must be expensive.

A state record musky at the fish hatchery at what is known as the "Iowa Great Lakes".

This area has been a vacation destination for many years and just a very cool place. There are lakes in Colorado but it's not the same. There is a museum and there were a lot things in there I remember from the kid days.

It was a lot of fun in here.

The "Queen" one of several over the years that gives rides that even locals continue to take. Notice the wind turbines on the horizon. They're all over the place as Iowa is second in the nation in wind power.

Guess the water gets pretty high at times.

I did catch a few and this was one of them. It was too big and was released. Got fed plenty of walleye and it was a huge treat and so good.

Was gone quite awhile and could of stayed much longer but it was just time it seemed to get back here so that's what happened. Blasted on back on Monday. Came in at 890. Drove 2600 with and average of 26.5mpg.

I had a blast it's just that simple!


  1. Thanks for the travelogue, Fly!

    1. It's something anyway and I believe yours is coming up pretty soon.

  2. Glad you had a great time!!! Eating walleye...yummmm! No crappie??? Love the grotto pics! very cool. I really love those old gas stations. I've seen some around, but they were not fixed up like the one in your pic. Gotta spend $$$'s to fix those things up. Great pics!

  3. Thanks TMoon and yes there were no crappie.

  4. I loved this quick trip. I also enjoyed seeing the home place...has it been sold? Or is it still in the family somehow?

    Winter wheat here is getting taller.

    The day was nice here today...


  5. Pretty cool header...minnows!


  6. Great pictures and header!

  7. Thanks Duta. It's very different from where I live and it must seem even more so for you.