Day 2: Port Clinton OH - Davenport IA (450 mi)
9 Oct 2008 -- Zooming on I-80 from Port Clinton Ohio to Davenport Iowa — made good time, so we arrived in time to do some sightseeing here: the Mississippi Visitor Center and Army Arms Museum on Arsenal Island. The whole island is actually an arsenal and we had to get a pass from the Army guard at the gate to get in.
Fun with iPhone: When Jim announced the 600 mile mark, I remembered the phrase “rode the 600.” A quiz… what poem… what war… who wrote it? Checked Wikipedia, yay! and gave a reading of “Charge of the Light Brigade” by Tennyson. Crimean War. The road can make us a little giddy. We were also pretending we had megaphones to tell drivers to please move out of the passing lane.
So far I don’t mind driving through corn country. The sun and the fall colors helped feed our spirit. Can you imagine the first frontier farmers standing here figuring out how to start their planting, then looking out over their fields worrying about rain, pests, tornados, etc? It is hard to say that their relationship to the land was any less intense than the Native Americans before them. Maybe more intense: where the native people lived softly on the land, hunting and gathering, the farmers dove into the earth itself, became part of it. I can’t say it right… but I keep thinking about the land.
From my handwritten journal:
A full day, but I find myself feeling too edgy, irritability just below the surface, which is the last thing I want. The Illinois plains were in fact beautiful and I'm glad we packed sandwiches to eat on the road instead of in crappy/delicious fastfood joints. The drive couldn't have been more perfect, with lots of laughs and talking about everything under the sun. Didn't take any pictures.
Maybe I need to get my traveler legs -- get into the rhythm of applying different energies at different times of the day, concentrate on breathing in, hearing, seeing where I am now. Moderating -- listening to what I need in terms of nutrition, sweets, wine. Letting myself sink into a new flow. Sink? Water? Rivers? Enfolding.
The thing about traveling through farmland -- there are no oh! ah! ooo! moments -- just an infinite small variety -- a symphony of muted colors and textures without any WOW! Let's stop and take a photo moments. And why do we need those high contrast "me against the lake" photos? Most interesting are the birds and I can never capture them in a photo.
I want to encapsulate the moments (even though I'm not -- I'm summarizing and opinionating) in order to celebrate them, to make them (me) important, to make sure I don't lose them. But how do you "lose" something if you are only 1/2-living it?
The plainland makes you consider something other than the GRAND OTHER -- maybe like the endless deserts that so many people love. All the overstimulation is gone. Think. Don't think. feel -- but only good feelings.