JUST ACROSS THE MISSISSIPPI FROM DAVENPORT, IA – Day 10
+ The Entire State of Nebraska (well, almost)
I should begin with a clarification: Yes, this is out of order, as I began with Sterling, CO way back when. Tough luck. Xanga still has some issues. Ok, enough about that. I had planned to visit my friend Maren from law school in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, which if you look at a map is situated in Western nebraska, closer to Wyoming than Iowa, and which is also famous for Chimney Rock, a rock shaped like a chimney naturally, which served as a marker for pioneering types that the Plains ended and the Rockies were about to begin. On this day for me, however, the plains were just beginning. Scottsbluff was two hours out of the way, and well, I just didn’t feel like driving any more than I had to. Sorry, Maren.
And the roads never seemed to end. Frankly, Nebraska is just full of cornfields lining up as if waiting to see a football game in Lincoln. It’s just farmland, and one Nebraska farm is typical of all the rest. Perhaps if I had gotten out to talk to some people along the way, or stopped in Omaha or Lincoln (nice towns they say). I think I was just tired of driving by this point. It’s a blur. It will remain a blur. And with apologies to Jim Dickmeyer, Iowa was the same blur, except that it had rolling farmlands which were so reminiscent of Pennsylvania that I began to feel at home. I’ll rework the old saying — “Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with IOWA in between.” Including the cops, but didn’t get caught –woo hoo! Maybe you just have to get through the Midwest. I can’t imagine that Kansas or Missouri would have been any more stimulating. Perhaps the Dakotas, with Mt. Rushmore and the decency to at least call the terrain the Badlands. I don’t know, and won’t be upset if I don’t find out for a while. It was about this time as well, that I thought I was getting carpel tunnel syndrome from my hands being on the steering wheel for so long. My wrists were hurting and trying to do yoga or gymnastics in a Jeep is not easy, especially if the car is in motion.
I crossed the Mississippi at night. It seemed pretty big. I didn’t think of Mark Twain or much else. maybe it’s more important at other crossing points.