Driving home from my weekend in Peoria at my sister’s proved to be quite a challenge last Monday. When I hit Iowa City, Interstate 80 turned into an icy washboard with bumper to bumper trucks driving 2o mph. I learned how to drive on snowy roads in northern Illinois and just couldn’t see any reason to be going so slow, so I headed off to the north to take the country roads and was rewarded with some beautiful scenery. I also got to check off something on my life list: visit the town of Belle Plaine. I love the area on I80 around the exits for Belle Plaine and What Cheer and have wanted to see these Iowa towns ever since I first drove to Ames from Indiana. The farmland here is so sensuously rolling, dotted with grazing cows and sculpted with contour farming. Not far from Belle Plaine, I even saw a winter rainbow to the side of the setting sun!