Spent much of today vacillating between ‘I want to be home right now — how fast can i get there?’ and ‘the interstate is killing me — how much extra time will it take?’
Somewhere around Sergeant’s Bluff IA I had the motorists’ equivalent of a flashback freak-out and took the first north bound turn off of I‑29. That would be 75 just to the east.
Interstate’s are dangerously hypnotic in their sameness. I start to assume stupid things and pass trucks at 85 mph without being able to see all the way around them. I mean that’s why there are two lanes northbound, right? Cue doddering old fart in ’56 chevy pickup with original tires doing 45 in the left hand lane. I don’t make those assumptions on state roads. I’ll live longer on the state roads.
On with the reportage.
The corn that I saw being planted on the way through going east is now up out of the ground. There’s a lot less heavy farm equipment on the road. Here’s a shot from Kimbalton, IA
Northwest Iowa seems very prosperous. All the houses have new paint on them and all the outbuildings are standing straight. There are a lot of cows, some sheep, and a bunch of hog barns. Not the rows and rows that you saw on television a couple of months ago. Two or three barns at a time. Clearly pays well, though.
I skipped the visit to the Museum of Religious Arts. (Yes that was a plural) I was feeling kitsch challenged today. The brochure I picked up at the visitor’s center looked lovely…
A ride up I‑29 that didn’t feel comfortable. Then a rest stop and some rethinking. On to Route 75.BTW Iowa rest stops are non-smoking. (Though no one seems to take the signs seriously.)
Route 75 follows the train tracks pretty closely. All along are huge grain elevators. This is the one in Hinton, IA.
The ground changes somewhere around the Iowa/Minnesota line. There are granite slabs and boulders in some of the fields.
From Madison, MN I give you Lou. He’s been standing there proclaiming Madison’s claim to fame — lutefish — for 25 years.
There’s a hotel down the block called Lou’s Lodge. I should have stopped but was hoping for something with a couple fewer hunter’s trucks parked outside.
There were no rooms available in Ortonville. Next possibility — Wheaton.
Big road detour around construction on 75. Wheaton is in the middle. No idea which end of the detour you can get to Wheaton from. Not willing to backtrack if I was wrong. Onto Breckenridge/Wahpeton.
Found a hotel about 9:30. Grabbed some dinner — Burger King salads are awful. Tried to write, too hyper and too tired at the same time.
But I could see this out of the window. I love the sound of trains. Instant nostalgia.
Then I fell over asleep.
The red-winged black bird continued to be the dominant road-side species. Added some sort of dove near the Iowa/Minnesota line. Also saw the pheasant sacrifice of the westbound trip about then.
There is no more honeysuckle. Must be an Ohio River valley thing. I kind of miss it, so much better than ag chemicals.
The answer to the question posed at the beginning is about 18 extra hours of driving time. (The distance is within a couple hundred miles.)
View It’s a Big Dam Country — Day 21 in a larger map