Monday, January 7, 2013

Stream of Conscious Traveling

We were able to take a break from the farm over the New Year's.  We get to do this more often than some and less often than others.  But, regardless of that, we recognize how valuable it is to just leave for a while.

And, you might ask - "Why is it so valuable?"

Go ahead.... ask.

Well, I'll tell you anyway.  It's because we can come up with all kinds of neat things to put in the blog for you!  Now - that wasn't the answer you were thinking we'd give you, was it?

Illiniwek Village
As you drive from here to there, signs you will see.  Ask us of them, you might.

The Missouri parks site has more information here.

While we did not take the side detour to visit this site, we wrote it down so we could learn a bit about it.  The Illiniwek numbered approximately a dozen tribes in the upper Mississippi River region and were an Algonquin speaking people.  Currently, remnants of these people reside in Oklahoma.  Of interest to us is the fact that they were among the peoples who used the "Three Sisters" horticultural companions (squash, beans and corn).

Hawk Eyed
Each time we take this trip, we enjoy keeping tabs on the raptors we observe.  This year, we did not see much on the trip down, but we hit the jackpot at about 3pm in Illinois, near the Kaskaskia River (Kaskaskia would be the name of an Illiniwek tribe).  Many, many Red Tailed Hawks on poles for us to see during a nice patch of sunny weather. 

You Name It
We also always enjoy names of towns, rivers, etc as we drive.  For example - just say "Kaskaskia" out loud.  It's just fun.  Now, try to say "Kaskaskia" three times quickly.  Try typing it three times quickly.  I think that may be harder.  Another fine name is from the same area:  "Mascoutah"   If you know "The Lion King"  you know how much fun they hyenas have saying "Mufasa."  Well, say "Mascoutah" the same way.  ooooo!  Say it again!  But, maybe "Mascoutah" is part of the "Hut" language?  Could you hear Jabba saying "Mascoutah?"

Stop that Fighting!  I really mean it!
We ran across signs for another Missouri park in the same area as the Illiniwek Village.  In this case, it referred to the Battle of Athens, which I presumed correctly to be a Civil War historical site.  And, of course, we found Civil War history in Georgia when we drove by the site for the Battle of Resaca, which was part of the "Sherman's March to Atlanta."  This last was in the middle of a detour, so we might not have seen it otherwise.  At a guess, most people who know a little about the US Civil War will not recognize this event, despite there being approximately 150,000 troops involved over 3+ days.  One two hour skirmish resulted in 1200 casualties.

Whenever I wonder if I'm wasting my time learning the arts of negotiation and compromise, I look at the results of a battlefield.

Drive By Observations
  • Whenever I see signs such as the following: "Howard's Furniture and Mattress" or "Elliott's Carpet" I have to wonder.  What happens if Howard sells the mattress or Elliot sells the carpet?  Will they still have a business, or will they take the sign down?
  • Would you buy a house from a real estate agent who puts his face on a billboard and proclaims his name to be "Hoodie" (he placed his nickname between his first and last names)?  His last name was Hood - we'll talk about creativity and nicknames some other day.
  • Two signs right next to each other.  One for county road B and the other for county road E.  You could turn left for B and right for E.  If you went without turning, you could just BE.  
  • A front porch clearly removed from an old house sitting at the corner of a parcel of property also had a prominent "No Trespassing" sign on it.  So, much for the old myth that people sitting on their front porches were welcoming.
  • We wondered what the news was in Olds, Iowa.
  • The dump truck for M VanWinkle Construction looked like it hadn't moved in quite a while. 
  • If you've driven to St Louis from Iowa you might notice that they have a welcome center in Hannibal, which is by the Mississippi River bordering with Illinios.  But, there is no welcome center on the road (Keokuk area) between Iowa and Missouri.  Instead, you can stop at any number of fireworks retailers.  Hmmmm.
  • The Injun Joe batting cages.  That's all I should have to say about that.

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