July 15, 2009
I74, Goal: the Mississippi River.
The state of Illinois is one huge field, 2/3 is corn and 1/3 is soybeans or something involving numbers in the millions of acres. It is not the custom to fallow any fields out here which seems very difficult for the soil which was compact in the field they recently turned from this practice.
There are many wonderful silos and farm machines and pieces of useful equipment. Also, windmills. It is really remarkably windy here. The wheels on the farm equipment are tremendous.
July 16, 2009
My favorite town we have been thru was Ipava . We’ve also been in Colcehster.
Tremendous farm machinery is all around us, sometimes folded in upon itself and carried on an equally tremendous orange truck that says “feeds and grains.”
We heard hoot owls calling back and forth around the lake and coyotes, a very large number of them, but all far away. Finally stars. The big dipper and the milky way and shooting stars. It was difficult to decide between small shooting stars and fireflys high above us. Fireflys (and mosquitoes and other wild life) were in abundance. The deep forest meadow where we camped (alone) was twinkling with fireflys.
We got very wet. Dew began to fall when we arrived and condensation continued lightly our entire night. The wood was very wet, thoroughly wet, and I had to go into the woods to take twigs and kindling from low in the pines to find dry wood. Then the fire burnt very slowly, perhaps the ?white pine is full of slow burning sap?
It was an excellent, though smokey fire and kept away most mosquitoes. I had only about 12 bites in the morning, even with bug repellent. By morning the tent and the fly were full of water, the chairs as well. The picnic table cloth was not only soaking wet but it was full of mud tracked by the raccoons who came and gnawed at the stove in the mid-night.