This season marks the last time Husker football fans will visit Big 12 destinations or get visitors from those cities. So through the rest of the football season, we're looking at the things we'll miss about these Midwestern towns.
This week, Husker football fans are making a final trek to Ames, Iowa. So here's ...
What We'll Miss About Ames:
-- The short drive: Ames is about 225 miles from Lincoln and it's interstate all the way - just hop on I-80 here and take a north turn on I-35 at Des Moines. It's about a three-hour drive, making for there-and-back trips to Ames. Starting next fall with our move to the Big Ten, the closest destination will be Iowa City. That's about 300 miles, adding more than another hour to the drive.
-- Hickory Park Restaurant: In a conference anchored by Texas, it's a surprise that one of the Big 12's top barbecue eateries is in the middle of Iowa. But Hickory Park is just that. In business for 40 years and now at its third location, Hickory Park offers more than 100 menu items. But the centerpieces are the meats, smoked with hickory, of course. The pork sandwich is delicious.
-- Veenker Memorial Golf Course: Established in 1938 by former Iowa State football coach and athletic director George F. Veenker, this challenging course sits on the Iowa State campus and is open to public play. It's usually a bit past the end of golf season when Nebraska travels to Ames. But this course is worth playing anytime, and it's affordable: $25 for 18 during the week, $30 on the weekend.
What We Won't Miss About Ames:
-- It's the coldest place in the universe: It feels like Ames is always 15 or 20 degrees colder than the surrounding area, especially in Jack Trice Stadium, where the wind comes blowing in unabated from the north and reduces things to a chill even in September. By November, it's downright cold in the stands and on the sideline, even on a sunny day. And making the trip for basketball is invariably a frigid adventure.