Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Day 7: Corn, corn, and more corn

As we drove through the hot and humid Iowa and Illinois countryside, you could almost hear the corn growing, it was as high as an elephant’s eye. Bill was our agricultural tour director, we think we know enough now to raise corn, soy beans and alfalfa.


When everybody was finally in this afternoon, we all gathered and had dinner together and then went out in the countryside to a friend of Dave and Susan who had volunteered his garage for any needed repairs. It was a beautiful country home and came complete with fire flies, lightning bugs to you easterners. And we did need a little repair work, Jack and Don arrived with a dead generator, so we stuck on the spare alternator that Jack was carrying, problem solved and now he even has bright headlights.

TDSCF5412While we were there, we had ICE CREAM and met a gentleman (Dale) who makes and plays some unusual musical instruments, a hurdy gurdy, and a hammered dulcimer. We were all quite amazed at these unusual instruments.

Now, read more of the story from "John and Judy and a lesser band of A's" in the comments section.


Anonymous said...

Woke up to a thick fog, warm and sticky like a blanket over the whole countryside. Before we left, I cleaned ½ a pound of sediment out of the gas bowl.

We left Chariton in much the same manner as we arrived…quietly…at 6:30 AM. Rolling along Highway 34, we visited every town in lower Iowa…Georgetown, Albia, Ottumwa and Fairfield. We stopped in Mt. Pleasant for breakfast at a big diner, and had a good old country feast…$11 for two, and we were stuffed. Here we said goodbye to Bill Rose, faithful traveling buddy since the start of this trek. He was heading north to Moline for the John Deere exhibit, after which he’d head for Chicago, store the Model A, and fly home to the Ranch.

We continued on as the fog lifted, making it hotter and humid-ier. On to West Burlington and over the Mississippi into Illinois we rolled through more and more corn fields. Highway 34 gradually runs out to Interstate 74, and we were reluctant to get on that roller coaster, so we decided to drop down onto Hwy 116 into Peoria. It was another nice, quiet two-lane corridor through yet more corn and a lot of little towns like Media, Roseville (bought gas) and looked in a few antique shops with unbelievably cheap prices. (Bob M found a vintage Model A test light for a buck and John G got a cloth golf bag at firesale price, Pat M got a Model A era apron ) There was London Mills and Farmington, Hanna City, then Peoria. Another 35 miles on to Bloomington, and we have finally arrived to meet up with Dave and Susan and also Ted and Susan for an afternoon’s reunion.

Only 250 miles today, and we came in exhausted…like someone drove us hard and put us away wet. Will needs some work on the drag link…we think we can fix that wobble he’s had since California.

A woman at the service station this morning asked us if we were getting close to home…we roared with laughter. All of us are a little homesick and frazzled by the drive. After all, we’ve driven 2200 + miles at this point, waking up at five in the morning, averaging 300 miles a day, and still heading EAST, so the question was really too ironic, in a way. Another guy at this same gas station asked if we were going out or coming back, and I told him I didn’t really know if I was coming or going…

Bill just called to assure us that he’d arrived safely at the Deere place and was extremely disappointed with the Pavilion display. He caught sight of Jack once on the road, but the fifth A is out there somewhere, marching to a different drummer…north of us.

Just a note…Patti and Judy are doing a lot of driving…and doing it very well. It’s hard driving those old cars.

Bloomington, Illinois 4:30 PM, John and Judy and a lesser band of A’s

Anonymous said...

You didn't happen to run into Radar O'Riley in Ottumwa did you?


Anonymous said...

So has anyone eaten any corn? We had some for dinner and it was really sweet.It's good to see all your faces. Are you all still friends? We had a real nice cool day today, but it will start to warm up tomorrow.It will be in the 90 this weekend(YUK) anyway good to hear from you. Happy traveling tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking along the same line as Chuck (although I didn't really think Radar would be in Ottumwa.) I wondered if there is any indication that the town was frequently mentioned in MASH.

Ken Guzzetta said...

Sounds like you guys are having too much fun...

Just glad it is going smoothly, car-wise. (Again, knock on wood)

I look forward to reading the elegantly written updates from that silver-quilled Vice President. hehe

The girls miss their Papa and Grandma and are following your trip closely.

Bob & Mary B said...

In my mind, everything sort of runs together east of Nebraska. Korn is King. You're almost there!!
-Bob B.

Anonymous said...

A hurdy gurdy? Hearing that may be the highlight of the trip as far as I know. I think I'll try to throw that phrase into a sentance today and then work in a reference to the trip of a lifetime!

Anonymous said...

Well it was so good to see the group arrive safely in Bloomington. We had planned a drive around town, but found little interest. Something about 85 degrees (temp) and 95% humidity.

We (Susan and Dave Jones) had planned a gala evening for the arrival of everybody. Alas, plans didn't work as planned. Our hosts, Judy & Mike Evans, awoke to news that Judy's father did not awake Wednesday and the news was grim. We canceled the BBQ but did go to dinner and the ice cream at Judy & Mikes. At that point, my 90 year old Mother and Sister fell in the house with my Mother breaking her right wrist. A night in the Emergency Room and the "good" news that it was a clean break and nothing else but bruises. Pain pills and to bed she went. We decided to leave today with the main group, only to find that Judy Evan's dad passed away at 10 pm last evening. Not the best day of the tour.

Thursday will be better!
Susan & Dave Jones

Bob & Mary B said...

Hi All,
Sounds like Dave & Susan had a little bit of a downer day yesterday! Sorry to hear about your friend's father and hope your Mother is feeling better.
We have some great memories of eating corn and watermelon at Bob's Grandma's home in Lincoln! The corn was so good, how are the tomatoes? We remember them as being really thick skinned, but very sweet too.
Hope the rain (knock on wood) is behind you and you have great travels into Pennsylvania and beyond!

M3 said...

Sending good thoughts to Dave and Susan!

Anonymous said...