Monday, August 5, 2013

"The Day the Music Died"

Clear Lake, Iowa
Oakwood RV Park

Saturday we left Winterset but not before we found my phone underneath the center console in the truck.  We were headed to Fort Dodge and after being rocked and rolled on the highway we decided to break down and see if the interstate would be any smoother.  We realized we hadn't emptied our black tank in 19 days so used the rest area dump station.

On our way to Fort Dodge we saw a sign for Bushy Creek State Park.  It sounded interesting so off we went.  Of course, it took us down a few gravel roads.  We followed the few and far between signs to the campground only to find out it was an equine one.  Every site had a stall and huge sites to accommodate any size horse trailer.  We got some very strange looks pulling our RV through the park. We realized they didn't want to share with us.  We ended up driving in a maze to get out of there.  I wasn't worried because Mary told me you can't get lost you will eventually end up on a road.  We finally found our way back to Fort Dodge and we both said let's head somewhere else.  

We went to Webster City and the road to the city campground was an underpass at 13'5.  We are 13'5 tall and we didn't want to chance it.  Bill made a u-turn and we got back on the interstate.  We pulled into Clear Lake about 4 pm which is late for us. 

Yesterday we decided to go see the crash site of Buddy Holly.  

 Every time we got near the site we'd find these signs.  We tried detouring around and found some more.  If you found the spot, you had to walk about 1/2 mile to the site.  We gave up and came back in time for me to watch the Diamondbacks lose again.  

We had a nice rain in the middle of the night and woke up to dry but cloudy skies.  I was doing the breakfast dishes when LC and Marilyn came to the door.  They were in town for the car show.   We met them at the MOC Rally.  We enjoyed visiting with them and went to the rv park office and extended our time here.  It was nice to have your very own tour guide.  LC used to live in Clear Lake so we learned a lot about the area.

A trip to Clear Lake wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Surf Ballroom.

Here's our "tour guides"-- Marilyn Wyatt and LC Boyer

This is the last concert were Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper played.
We were lucky that our "tour guide" knew about the backstage room which lead from where they would park the bus to the stage.  All the musicians that played the Surf Ballroom signed the wall of the backstage room.

It was interesting reading all the inscriptions.

Leonard said they would have as many as 500 people dancing here.
Looking up into the ceiling.  LC said it used to have clouds in the ceiling.
The photo doesn't capture the rows and rows of booths.
It was nice to walk on the stage where so many great musicians have performed.
All of the booths had a little call box to the waitress.  
LC told us that they didn't have a liquor license so they couldn't sell alcohol.  Instead they sold tickets and used the tickets for the drinks.  

There were autographed pictures of so many performers.

Needless to say we enjoyed reminiscing about these people.
It did seem strange to have palm trees surrounding the stage in Iowa.

What a wonderful trip back in time.  Thanks so much to LC for giving us the special stories.  

This is the view from the deli where we stopped.  It was cloudy but still very pretty.  LC knew the owner and they were very famous for their pies, so famous they were sold out.  We had some excellent sandwiches.  

What a small world it is, when you can travel the USA and find someone you know.  I'm sure our paths will cross again and hopefully next month.  

Turtle Safely..........


  1. So glad you found your phone. Did you ever find out why the roads were so tore up? Quite the ballroom - those definitely were the days.

  2. Hi Jan & Bill, We just missed you in Iowa, on Friday we left Forest City and the Winnebago rally. We're now in Ohio to visit friends and then head to Maryland to see family.

    If you're still in the same area, go to Forest City and tour the Winnebago factory. You can stay in the visitor lot (30 amps) free for 1 or 2 nights. Forest City is a friendly, little town and also has a city park (Pammel) with electric only and plenty of dump and water fill up places.
    Joe & Alice


Thank you for visiting today and please feel free to leave a comment. I enjoy reading your comments.