Bruin takes on first day of Iowa trip [Video]

BY BRIAN COOTE

With an early 5:30 AM departure, the Wadsworth Bruin headed off to Des Moines, Iowa. Traveling with two other schools, Lordstown and Newbury, The Bruin began the first of four days with a long, 13-hour drive. 

In order to make the bus trip more entertaining, some staffers played a competitive game of Uno. Photo by Sarah Scobee

The drive across the three neighboring states allowed the schools to become well acquainted in an unconventional way. The Bruin staffers had to learn how to work in unusual circumstances by interviewing students for stories being written on the road. 

“It was difficult at times to conduct interviews on the moving bus,” said Bruin staff writer, Sarah Scobee, 12. “At times, we had to hold onto rails or other chairs just to stay upright.”

With what seemed like countless hours and a continuous road ahead, the students had to find ways to entertain themselves. Many slept, and others played games and interacted with the other schools. Students even went to the lengths to use a TV screen as a table to play Uno. 

“I was getting very restless and antsy towards the end of the ride,” said Bruin staff writer, Chris Steele, 12. “I was looking forward to using the TV we brought to play games on, but we forgot the power cord. Instead, we used the monitor as a flat table to play ‘Uno’ with a group of people. It made the time go by much faster.”

Many other students found themselves wasting away the hours by sleeping right through the ride. 

Bruin staffers took naps on the bus in order to pass the time. The staff boarded the bus at 6:30 AM and did not get to their hotel in Iowa until 7:30 PM. Photo by Sarah Scobee

“We had to wake up at 4:30 AM to meet the bus at 6:30 AM in Streetsboro,” said Bruin staff writer, Anna Wolfinger, 12. “I’m actually glad we woke up so early because I found myself sleeping through the ride up until lunchtime.”

Through Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, there was not much besides flat land and empty cornfields, but the trip was not without new sights and destinations. 

“We drove right over what seemed like a quarry,” said Bruin staff writer, Halle Shaeffer, 12. “I’ve never seen anything like it before. It was sort of eerie driving over basically a crater.”

The first stop during the trip was for lunch. Students enjoyed their choices of Wendy’s or Buffalo Wild Wings. The bus then stopped at the World’s Largest Truck Stop, located on Iowa 80. The truck stop was filled with food kiosks, multiple vintage trucks, themed shops, a local restaurant and trinkets for tourists. The staff explored throughout the store before leaving for Des Moines.     

“It was the Mall of America of Iowa,” said Bruin staff writer, Abby Wichterman, 12. “Everything you could ever need on a road trip you could find there.”

Abby Wichterman and Sarah Scobee, 12, sat on a bench that was shaped like a pig. This is only an example of the different attractions there was at the truck stop. Photo by Micah Beck

The truck stop even had a Truck Museum where you could see antique trucks and other truck memorabilia. 

“Before today, I had no idea there was a Truck Museum,” said Bruin staff writer, Axel Muller, 11. “I was really surprised when we walked into the store and witnessed the number of artifacts and collectibles available there.”

After the bus had arrived in West Des Moines, students dropped the luggage off in their respective rooms and met with representatives of their specific campaigns. The Bruin staff split into either the Biden, Sanders or the Iowa GOP campaigns. The Biden meeting was held by 24-year-old, Marcus Hoekstra, a native of Michigan, who has been working with the campaign for only a month. 

“Over the next few days, they will be helping in any way, shape or form,” said Hoekstra. “They might be answering phones or out in the community trying to get voters to go out and caucus.”

The Sanders meeting was held by Kate McGuire, an organizer in the Sanders campaign. She discussed how the staff who are campaigning for Bernie will be working to get his local supporters to show at the caucus. 

Kate Messam, 12, listens to Marcus Hoekstra talk about what the campaign has planned to prepare for the caucus. Photo by Axel Mueller.

“We have a ton of students helping the Bernie campaign we have students both in college and high school,” said McGuire. “We rely greatly on students, we are happy to have them.”

The staff looks forward to campaigning, attending rallies and reporting the caucus in the next few days. Tomorrow will include meeting campaign work and possibly face-to-face time with candidates. Make sure to keep up with the story on all of The Bruin’s social media accounts. Follow The Bruin on

Make sure to keep up with the story on all of The Bruin’s social media accounts. Follow The Bruin on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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