Saturday, September 26, 2009

Step Three: Bypass Chicago, Cruise through Iowa, and Bunker Down in Nebraska.

I bade farewell to Meg and JackieBoy and took off at 6:30 AM. 6:30 AM in Philadelphia meant pale blue skies and sparse traffic. 6:30 AM in Lafayette meant inky black skies cut by the stars and keeping pace with a chorus line of big-rigs. I waved in the direction of Chicago as I sailed through Illinois and then got restless in Iowa. With the help of my handy-dandy Garmin, (who knows where I am even when I don't), I pulled off a couple of those exits that only locals take, and tooled around the dusty gravel and dirt roads. Perhaps I felt a little daring putting the car in park on someone's back road and stepping out to stretch my legs and snap some pictures while The Wailin' Jennys blared from the stereo. What I found was the peace of an open sky and a field full of corn stalks, the bucolic stares of livestock and house windows, the breeding grounds of quiet people with strong souls who trust that God will send just enough rain, but not too much, every single year.
Arriving in Nebraska, I hit Omaha during rush hour. (note: Omaha during rush hour is about like Philadelphia at 9PM) I finally made it to Lincoln, a sad town where concrete modernities abut architectural leftovers of bygone decades and all the second-hand stores of the world seem to be amassed. I treated myself to a delicious steak dinner (no superfluous extras here, just hunk of meat, big 'ol potato, and a salad on the side) and slept like the dead. Until 7AM...
GOOD MORNING INDIANA!!! Racing with Apollo's chariot.
All I could think of was the theme song of the Flying Monkeys from The Wizard of Oz...
Apparently, the small bird population of Illinois is alive and well.
Object of most sight-seeing in the Middle: Corn.
Close-up of Illinois Veggies in the wind.
Little White Barn.
Big, Hollow Shell of a Barn.
We weren't in Kansas, but we could have been.
Welcome to Davenport, Iowa. Quick church-snap at a stoplight, right after crossing the Mississippi. "And the Mississippi's mighty, but it starts in Minnesota at a place where you can walk across with five steps down."
Detours in life hold the best discoveries. This picture makes me wonder about the lives of the family that dwells within the house.
This vista reminded me of Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World and I had to capture it. All it's missing is a girl in a pink dress in the foreground...
The red barn, the old pick-up, and the sheltering tree.
Iconic images abound.
The old dirt road I rambled down. What is it about roads with signs that say "road not maintained; drive at your own risk" that make you want to see what lies over the hill?
Somewhere in the distance lurks the greats of Baseball Past and the Field of Dreams...

How's this for a view of the plains? The sky had more topography than the fields themselves.
Three-armed Planet Savers wave to passers-by.
Farewell Iowa.

Photos: LCT, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, 2009.

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