I was reluctant after my hen friend Jen told me the horror story of her getting lost and stuck in the skywalks last year, and having to call the tour manager to rescue her. Dramatic and scary! But with so many people walking through the second level of Des Moines all smug and warm, I had to try it. My first walk took me an extra 20 minutes to get from A to B, but at least I was warm. With each walk, I learned more about the skywalk system and myself, and eventually figured out how to get from A to B in a somewhat sensible way.
Des Moines: Who knew? Anyone living in Des Moines probably knew, but for the rest of us, to see such an extensive skywalk system through the entire Iowa capital was impressive. I know Minneapolis has a skywalk system, being a large, progressive metropolis with extremely miserable weather. I wasn't ready for Des Moines to be as progressive or miserable, but it is right on par. Good work, Des Moines! Take note, every city in Scandinavia.
|So, where am I?
The frustration. I wasn't the only one getting lost, following signs to dead ends, and complaining out loud to no one. Once I got the hang of my route to work, I passed multiple families in despair. The scenes were out of an apocalyptic film: crying children, orphaned children, mom yelling, "No! That's not where we are! Where is the car? Where is Timmy?!" Dad yelling, "I told you this was a bad idea! Don't talk to me like that or I'm getting the divorce papers! Who the hell is Timmy?" I don't think anyone will ever know how many people enter the skywalk and never leave. Jen was a lucky one.
|Where the hell is the car?
The confusion. I've never lived in a skywalk city, or even visited one, so when it's frigid outside, I know I need to bundle up to face the elements at some point in the day. But in Des Moines, it's possible to traverse the entire downtown and never be outdoors. I walked from my hotel room to the arena without stepping outside. If it's snowing outside, I could wear a t-shirt all day while being fully functional in downtown Des Moines. It just doesn't make sense.
Now I'm spoiled. Where's the skywalk system in Rock Island, Illinois? I'm pissed and cold.
Keep reading! "Land of Something."
"The Hen's Guide to Sweden!"
"Writing About Not Writing."