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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thoughts Backwards and Forwards

Well, February 18 was my friend Norm's birthday, so as usual one of my first thoughts of the day was of him. I wish he were here to follow this trip--I know he'd get a kick out of it. He would especially enjoy the description I'm about to give of the lady in McCorkles back in Cameron, Mo. She had shoulder length wavy white hair but her face was very young and as I sat on the stool next to her she turned with a wide, welcoming if shy smile and said hello. We got chatting and I found she was a local and she asked where we were from and when I said Vermont her eyes opened wide. We continued talking and then with a really shy smile she quietly said " Where is Vermont?" I showed no surprise and using Boston and Maine the locations of which she knew, I was able to get her to Vt! When she heard we bordered Canada her eyes REALLY got big. LOL

It may be that some of you wonder why we sit at the bar to eat in these places. It is not that we are drinking a lot--with my Weight Watchers I have only one beer and Bill has maybe two--but sitting at a table you just don't get the chance to talk to the locals. We try to go to non-chain restaurants, pubs and diners,too. Meeting the people that live in these areas and talking to them is just one of the best parts of these trips. And if I had to vote I think I would say the people of the MidWest are the friendliest and most open of all the parts of this country--right from the get go--no warming up period just flat out welcoming and curious.

As we crossed the Platte in Missouri we started to play around again--a copy cat Platte, a wannabe Platte, a pseudo Platte--NOT the Nebraska Platte of great renown in tales of wagon trains West. For some reason this got us talking about Paul again. He told us how in the cold weather he takes a couple of Bud lights and takes his truck up on the hill and sits watching the sunset and the animals as they come out into the fields to feed and listens to NPR. Bill told him he bundles up and goes out onto the porch and does the same thing with Soot. Paul said oh, in the nice weather, he goes out on the porch,too and has some male bonding--two male dogs, two male cats , two Bud lights and him --just watching the sunset and the birds. Guess these guys are more alike than I thought!

Pretty soon we entered Kansas at St Joe crossing the Missouri River yet again. That brought to mind the Ike Skeleton bridge Paul and Jean told us we'd cross getting to Rte 13 north. We laughed and said oh, yes, Congressional pork. Jean grinned and said we don't like that term--seeing as how they raise hogs! Bill said he wasn't going to be happy until our Congressman gets us a submarine base on the Connecticut.

West of Marysville the road has been widened to four lanes--sort of makes no sense since there doesn't appear to be a need for it and it cuts out some of the little towns Barb and I enjoyed visiting in 2000. But there were still some left to see and rivers to cross such as the Big Blue and the Little Blue which is really bigger than the Big--at least at the points where we crossed them. We came to a town in which the world's oldest Buick resides but no time to stop or I'd have gotten a shot for Glen. As we continued across this incredible farm land I got humming Disney's Colors of the Wind and thinking I just love the colors of the earth!

Along around Alton we took rte 8 north to Nebraska. It seems this is always the area where I either enter Kansas from Nebraska or leave Kansas for Nebraska which explains why I still haven't hit Colorado--the only one of the 48 that I STILL haven't gotten to! Before joining I 80 west we crossed the Platte River for the first of many times we will cross it--North and South Plattes all the way to Casper Wyoming. Around Lexington Nebraska we certainly entered into a major flyway. The sky and the ponds were covered with migrating birds. So on we continued to North Platte and an early dinner at Whiskey Creek where the company wasn't anything special. The place started filling up as we left for the motel.

So, the answer to where the plane went down on 9/11--Shanksville, Pa. Thank you, Ruth! Have to see if we were close or not and will need to stop on another trip. There is an effort to raise money for a memorial at the site.

Today's mysteries--In what Kansas town did In Cold Blood take place? You'd think I'd know --I read the book, saw the movie and saw both movies about Capote a few years back. Also --who is Robert Henri from Cozad? Google here I come!

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