An Iowa thrill for a Star Trek fan (because it’s tough to visit Vulcan)

The claim to fame for Riverside, Iowa, will come to pass in 2228, which means residents have a long horizon of sunshine to make hay in it.

Or harvest corn. This is Iowa, after all. To-may-to, to-mah-to.

This cause celebre? Riverside, Iowa, is said to be the future birthplace of Capt. James Tiberius Kirk. No idea who that is? Move along, you noob, only a Trekker will appreciate the rest of this post.

I visited Riverside last week, and it was Awesome with a capital A! (Or maybe my modifier should be out of this world. Whatever. You get the point.)

Riverside Street Signs

Capt. Kirk is known among original Star Trek fans as Starfleet’s greatest captain (cue visage of a young William Shatner looking heavenward). Somewhere along the history of the future, Riverside claimed him (though the 2009 Star Trek movie with Chris Pine depicts Kirk’s birth aboard a USS Kelvin shuttlecraft). A small town in the middle of Iowa about 15 miles south of Iowa City, Riverside might barely be a gas stop off Highway 22 except it’s now home to Trek Fest and The Voyage Home Riverside History Center, filled with all kinds of Star Trek tchotchkes.

Riverside history museum

You can’t miss it because a replica of the USS Enterprise and the shuttlecraft USS Riverside sits out front:

Down the street behind a beauty parlor, some clever fan erected this birth marker with a handy bench for far-out contemplation:

Riverside Birth Marker

But the best part of Riverside, Iowa, might be Murphy’s Bar & Grill, where I found this conception plaque:

Riverside Conception Plaque

Plaque reads: “Capt. James T. Kirk conceived at the point on June 22, 2227.” Which would be exactly nine months prior to his birth in March of the following year.

Because apparently, alcoholic beverages have the same effect in the future on one’s moral fortitude.

Refreshing. But you only need one.

Refreshing. But you only need one.

As I pondered the future captain’s role in saving Earth several times over, I enjoyed a delicious Romulan Ale at the bar. I can’t tell you the thrill it was for a Star Trek fan to waltz into a bar and order an Romulan Ale and actually get one.

Bartenders like that are a rare commodity in this universe. She got a good tip.

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