Travel is what you make it: The Great Jones County Fair NPR Show

Any of my readers out there travel for work?

Do you get to go cool and exciting cities that you’ve never been before?

LA?

London?

Delhi?

Seoul?

Well, just a heads up, if you work in agriculture, you don’t get to go to exciting cities like that.

You get to go places like the Jones County Fair. In Iowa.

Iowa Jones County

Jones County, Iowa!

But, DON’T WORRY, my story isn’t about a fair in Iowa. ūüôā

It’s about making life an adventure.

When traveling to small farming towns, like Monticello, Iowa, the best part of your travels will be the people.

The best part about life, in general, is the people – but that’s a topic for another day, another blog.

After spending an entire summer working fairs just like the one in Monticello… “The Great Jones County Fair”… (Yes, we were glorified carnies)… G and I arrived feeling a bit jaded.

Tired of eating corn dogs and funnel cakes *GASP*, we made friends with one of the many food carts and arranged a deal for pizza slices to tide us over throughout the week.

We never tire of pizza. 

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G and I left the fair late and were set up to stay in a small town outside of Monticello – the name escapes me – maybe Anamosa?

Anyway, feeling the need to wind down a little after LONG days in the sun, we scoped out the bar scene.

There were 3. 

OUR NEW GOAL: Hit all 3.

We were going to bar crawl that town. The entire town.

We started at a large bar that was filled to about 1% of its capacity.

Sitting at the bar, the conversations with patrons, and our great adventure, began.

“What do you girls do for a living?”¬†

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Rather than stating that we were working a traveling trailer for a large agriculture company – we started spinning our own reality –¬†G and I both feeding into the story with flawless fluidity. (Is fluidity a word?)¬†Anyway, we both fed off of what the other said to give more and more detail to our story until I think maybe we even believed that it was true…

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G and I said we were a traveling radio show for NPR –¬†Interviewing locals of small towns across the U.S. to get their stories and share them with our listeners.

The stories came rolling in. Everyone wanted to tell their stories of scandal, suspicion, ghost stories, and local heroes.

It was amazing¬†to hear people talk to complete strangers about their lives and their towns, and their friends and family. Although G and I felt a little guilty for fibbing and hearing everyone’s secrets – our night had begun.¬†

Mirror selfie

Approximately 1/5 of the bar population.

From bar to bar we went, pretending to work for NPR and hearing the BEST stories. Everyone wanted to talk to us. ¬†Everyone wanted to be featured on our “show.”

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Sometimes, you just need to create your own adventure. 

Jones County Iowa

Keeping up with the Jones’.

(Traveling with one of your most favorite people doesn’t hurt either. :D)

Thanks for reading! Until next time Jones County, adios, ciao, sayonara, good-bye!

Footnote: Although we were reprehended later for dancing on the bar, the locals loved us and we had a better time than we could ever have imagined in small-town Iowa. 

Published July 2014.

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