Last night we stayed in Oxford Junction (city hall in pics); no cell and no internet connection. After 95 miles we stayed in a senior center; the director was 89, and gave us a history of the town, which was basically one of slow decline. He had been mayor, owned a large movie theater, a restaurant, and 2 businesses, now all gone. The senior center attracted 40-50 seniors for dinner every night, now down to 2. This has been the same pattern in all the small towns we have passed through; thriving at one time, dying now. Not sure what the lesion is, but part of it is the industrialization of American farms, which now require far fewer people to do the work of many previously.
Yesterday we crossed the Mississippi into Iowa, which in the Northeast corner is hilly and beautiful. Today we road 94 miles through windy and hilly terrain, and passed through the area where Field of Dreams was filmed. I tried to walk off into the cornfields and disappear a la James Earl Jones, but the corn was only ankle high. Still great fun. For those who have not seen it, Field of Dreams was made in 1989 and is basically a redemption story about a disaffected son and aloof father. It is incredibly sappy, but made an impression on me, partly because my relationship with my father was tenuous at that point. Relating to Kevin Costner is always a positive experience in any event.
Tomorrow is another long and hilly day into Minnesota on our way to Minneapolis Friday night.