Corn, corn and more corn. And that is the word for the day. We left Troy, MI at 8:25 and a very chilly 57 degrees. But we dressed for warm weather, and we gambled correctly, because when we arrived in Iowa, it was a comfortable 77.
Getting out of the Detroit area during rush hour was a bit of a challenge, but we didn't lose too much time. It had to be expected, given the time of day. I found the road very interesting. There were tall concrete walls, yellowed with age, on both sides of the road, and it was like being in a tunnel, but we could still see the blue sky above us. And that is all that we could see for quite a few miles. Steve told me that the roads are dug deep into the ground to cut down on road noise for those living nearby, and I have to assume, by the depth of the roads, that it has to be quite effective.
We had eight hours of driving to do today, but a time change made it feel like we got to Davenport early, even though we encountered two more traffic jams along the way…one because maintenance crews were painting lines in the road and a three lane highway was down to one, and the other because someone’s car had burned and fire crews were still watering it down. This car must have been an inferno, because all that was left of it was a mere blotchy grey shell. Fortunately, we saw the owners of the car and they looked fine, at lease physically. The traffic jams would not be so bad but for the tractor trailers. There were more of them than there were of us. And I wondered if they were as irritated with the presence of cars as we were with the presence of them.
Did I say corn? We first encountered large fields of corn near Battle Creek and I thought, OK, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and corn stalks definitely go together. As we drove on, we saw literally seas of corn fields, stalks planted tightly together standing straight and tall, with a yellow carpet of corn flowers sitting on top like foam floating on the ocean. And I thought, OK, we can feed America. And that’s a good thing. And we drove on. And we saw farm after farm after farm with corn fields as far as the eye can see, broken occasionally by parcels of dark green fields of soy bean plants, and I thought, OK, we can feed all of the third world, too. And that’s a good thing. Moving on across Illinois…more farms with silos and grain elevators on the horizon and then I saw it…a sign that talked about ethanol, and I thought, OK, we can even feed our gas guzzling engines, too. What a wonderful world we live in. :-)
Occasionally, the monotony of the corn fields was cut by a nicely manicured golf course. And at one point I pointed one out to Steve and he said (hmmmm), and I said gee, an errant shot will put the ball in a place where no one will ever find it…(hmmm), and I said, unless a baseball player comes out of the corn stalks and hands the ball to the golfer…(silence), and he is wearing a White Sox uniform…(silence), and the team nickname is The Black Sox…(silence), and it is 1919…(silence). Sometimes as we drive, we don’t hear everything that is said…smile. If you build it, they will come.
We arrived at our destination at 3:30 CT and checked in for the night. Tomorrow, Lincoln, Nebraska. Perhaps we will have a chance to check out Boys Town before the day is done.