In Transit: part one

Yes, I’m late posting this week’s blog. Reason: I’ve been on the road, traveling from the Gulf Coast toward Canada, a transition marked by dramatic differences in the natural world.
Texas was drenched in sunshine, but deep in a three-year drought. Magnolias were in bloom, but their dry, crisp leaves crunched underfoot like crackers. In Arkansas we met torrential rain – good for the rice fields there, but no help for Texas. Nearing Memphis, Tennessee, we wondered about flooding along the Mississippi, and finally encountered it on a freeway in Missouri, sandbagged with pumps working to keep water off the highway. We drove through four inches of river water before crossing the Mississippi on the high bridge at Cairo.
Catalpa trees were blooming in southern Illinois; in southern Indiana there were locust trees adding a gauzy white contrast to the multi-greens of spring. Northern Indiana was a different story: miles and miles of wind farms dominated the landscape with their white, whirling arms high in the sky. We’d passed flatbed semis loaded with individual turbine blades, big as beached whales, which gave us some idea of their scale.
Gigantic grain silos and storage bins marched across northern Illinois, in stark relief to the absolute flatness of the fertile farmland.
Wisconsin and Minnesota brought us back to rolling hills and forests.
We’ll pause now to add supplies and repack before the next push – to Lake Superior and finally, Canada, our destination for the summer. There I’ll be working on the second book in my Women of Beowulf series, based at our island cabin on Lake of the Woods – a perfect writer’s retreat.

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