Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mississippi Two

Today we crossed the Mississippi for the second time this summer, the Upper Mississippi. Like the lower, it is a huge traffic lane, but the prevalence of islands makes it look like Huck Finn and Jim might be alive out there. It seems bloated, based on the submerged trees on islands, some of them toppling over into the river.

On the Iowa side of the big river, we met some fellow geezers from Minnesota on a Model T tour. Their group name was the T Totalers. We talked to them while overlooking the confluence of the Mississippi and the Wisconsin (I noticed they did talk a little funny, like maybe they were from Lake Woebegone). Like us, they had chosen Pikes Peak State Park overlook on the Iowa side (no admission) vs. the state park on the Wisconsin side ($10).

They had been touring together for a week in Iowa, and I asked if they had a plan. "Well, Peggy does," the fella said, pointing to Peggy, "but she pretty much keeps it to herself. We just follow her."

I’ve been struggling with a moral dilemma. How much of a state do I have to traverse before I can color in the map on my window? Today we crossed into Iowa to have a look at the Mighty Mississippi but found no roads to travel north beside it. So we had a look from the State Park and came right back into Wisconsin.

Last summer, I declined to take a quick flying u-turn through Delaware so that I could color the state in. I’ve regretted it ever since. Who knows if I will ever get that close again?

Thus I’ve decided to color in Iowa. You never know if you will wake up tomorrow, and I’d hate to have that detail lost forever.

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