Sunday, July 17, 2011

Boring and Mundane, Punctuated By The Mighty

IMG_3519July 16 – A day of driving. Though cornfields. And more cornfields. Who knew there were so many cornfields in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and South Dakota? Congress, I guess. ADM, I guess. It’s a lot of corn out there. And wind farms, plenty of wind farms. Which at least answered a question from earlier in the trip as we passed several trucks hauling massive wing-like things that clearly were not airplane parts. Now we know what they are, at least. Despite the picturesque Andrew Wyeth-like farmhouses on hills, there’s really not much IMG_3524between Chicago and Sioux Falls. Jordan mostly slept; Ellery mostly read, and we managed to get through it no worse for wear.

DSCN0951There was one truly amazing site that we passed, though, and that’s the Mississippi River. It is really awe-inspiring coming upon it – it is huge, and I did not expect it go be so vast, and so populated with lush, green islands, Huck Finn’s story notwithstanding. It is definitely a mighty river.

Unfortunately, Jordan was the only one able to get a shot of it, which doesn’t do it any justice. You see, we expected to be able to take photos at the Tourist Info Center just over the Minnesota Border but … thanks to the budget impass and MN government shut-down, all the rest areas in MN were closed.IMG_3520

Oh, one other unexpected adventure – the bottom of the car fell off! Well, almost off. Fortunately, we made it to Sioux Falls with a bit of assistance from some duct tape (the wonder invention), where a wonderful hotel clerk, seeing our bedraggled faces, gave us a beautiful room and directions to the Hertz car rental location where, after a few hours of exasperation while the girls went swimming at the hotel, I finally got a replacement vehicle.

Red Rock-20110716-00037 IMG_3529