Sunday, August 31, 2014

Traveling East: Illinois

This is the post for Saturday August 30th

More fields of corn and soybeans with signs next to the fields. Just figure all are GMO. Farmers become dealers for a seed company and get a deal on seeds and chemicals. They put out the signs and encourage others to use these seeds.
We pass a field of sorghum. These are non GMO. I like the syrup. Used to watch my Grandpa Whitlock pour it all over his plate at breakfast. I only used to have it in Illinois, but now you can find it in the occasional farm stand in California.
Field of Sorghum
The big yellow flowers at the roads edge are wild sunflower relatives. Sunflowers are a big family. You see these along the farm roads in the central valley also. Same plant.
Wild Sunflowers
I start to see small homemade signs along the edge of the road. (1.) Born 1974. Then 5 miles later there's another. (2.) Hornets Cheerleader. Just when you think there are no more.  (3.) CHS Flag Corps. (4.) Track Star? (5.) You are 40 years old. No Way! (6.) Happy Birthday. Shelley (in a heart)
Shelley's husband went to a lot of trouble to let his Chillicothe High School sweetheart know he still loves her.

We pass a pickup hauling a long trailer with about 6 of those big rolls of hay stacked end to end.

We pass 2 ethanol plants out here close to the supply of corn.

Hannibal, Missouri, the boyhood home of Mark Twain. Then we cross over the mighty Mississippi River into Illinois.
The Mighty Mississippi
I72 looks deserted. This is part of the Eisenhower Interstate system the same as I80, but it is not a well traveled truck route to Springfield, Illinois.
The verge and divider are not mowed in most places and the edges are filled with grass growing out toward the roadway. No rest stops, no picnic spots and little traffic.

A sudden rain storm hits reminding us that's why its green, green, green here. When we pass houses they all have big lawns. Here all you need is a mower.
The trucks are on I55 from Springfield to St Louis.
At Litchfield we decide to visit Aunt Ruth first.

She looks very healthy for 100 years old. Her color is good. Not a wrinkle on her forehead or cheeks. She is on Oxygen now. She looks quite spry, up in a wheelchair. She is a bit forgetful. Kept wondering who Bill and I were. I am glad I made the picture book for her. She kept referring to it and liked it very much. Cousin Jim, Ruth's eldest, and his wife Nancy were there visiting also. I can't remember when I last saw Nancy. They are planning a visit to their daughter Anne in Seattle and may also visit us.

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