Des Moines, Iowa, USA, Earth
Many people think that Des Moines is a small town in the middle of nowhere with nothing interesting to see in it. They are right. However, this does not mean that the average hitchhiker should skip stopping there. Since Des Moines sits in the dead center of Interstate 80, the road that connects New York to San Francisco, anyone making a trip from one half of the US to the other will probably be passing by anyway.
If nothing else, one could certainly pick up a great deal of novelty items with a pig motif, many of which are truly hideous.
Another place to visit is the Iowa Historical Farms. This is located just off the parkway as it traverses the western edge of the city. It consists of several farms from different eras in US history, all in full operation using only the correct period machinery. Do not visit if you are bothered by flies. Do not visit in the middle of August unless you have worn a ski jacket in Malaysia and thought it was quite cool.
One of Des Moines' biggest celebrities is Tiny Tim. No he wasn't born there; Tiny Tim was born in New York City. And he doesn't live there, he lives in Los Angeles. But apparently Tiny Tim does like the city, since he drops by all the time, usually to make a commercial, or host a talk show on the radio. Don't be surprised if all the radio personalities in the area are talking about what a great guy he is, even if he is 70 years old and still goes by the name "Tiny."
If you are interested in famous people, Harriet Nelson and Sada Thompson were born in Des Moines. Don't be upset if you have never heard of them; nobody has. Not even people who live in Des Moines.
Des Moines has a population of about 190,000 people, which is about as big as many other thriving metropolitan areas, like Ewa, Hawaii, or Spokane, Washington. However, Des Moines covers such a large area that it doesn't feel nearly as crowded. One third of Des Moines is malls, with only the remaining two thirds left for small businesses, factories, office buildings, and residential areas. Don't go to Des Moines if you have mallophobia.
What about that rich Iowan history? Well, thousands of years ago, people crossed the land bridge from Asia into the Americas. Some of them, known as the "mound builders" because their neighbors were jealous that they liked to build hills, settled in Iowa. This was so that the mounds they built would be the highest point in the state.
In 1673, two explorers named Marquette and Joliette (they were French and could get away with names like that) visited the mound builders. Only a fragment of the original discourse remains:
Marquette: "We claim this land in the name of France."
Chief Mound Builder: "Hey, we were here first you know." Joliette: "Did I mention the infantry we brought with us?"
Chief Mound Builder: "Vivre la France!"
Despite this setback, the mound builders were able to adjust to eating a lot of bread and being rude to foreigners until the United States purchased Iowa in 1803. The mound builders were then moved from Iowa and given a plot of land in southern New Jersey.