The end of one day
begins another. I leave Mora, Minnesota, and find cornfields on both sides of the road just out of town. I am out of the northwoods now.
It rained last night. It is still grey and dripping this morning.
It is still a very green world here.
A doe stands with her two fawns at the far edge of a wet field, close along a tree line.
I stop for breakfast in St. Cloud on my way through town and come out of the restaurant to heavy rain. I am following Highway 23 southwest through Minnesota, from Mora to Clara City. Everything here is wet and green or grey. Where the suburbs diminish and fields begin, this is definitely farm country.
Not far from a gravel pit, but not actually in the gravel pit, boulders are lying about like bathing beauties. We cannot forget that glaciers came through here.
Ah, road construction. The season we have other than winter. Road construction all around Cold Spring, Minnesota.
Southwest of Richmond, you'd call it open country. Plains here, not lake, not woods.
It is not particularly a good day for thinking big thoughts. And I've written nearly a hundred pages in the past week - I'm pretty much writ out at the moment. What I have to say, I've said. In terms of seeing, I'm saturated. I've got not much wonder left right now. I will want to re-gain my sense of wonder by the time I arrive in Redfield, however. I may not be "fresh" when I get there, but I should be open to whatever experiences present themselves.
Willmar. 11:15 a.m. I just notice that the rain has stopped and the day has brightened a bit, then it is raining again, heavily. Two miles farther, no rain again. I see more of it in the distance, however. It will be an On Again/Off Again kind of day, eh?
The difference between woods and prairie is sky. All this sky. Today it is grey and wet, but it is sky.
At Clara City, the mile-long train sits still on the track. I do not see an engineer in the engine at the front of it. What is it waiting for?
I reach Highway 212 which runs right through Redfield. It is noon.
Just over the border into South Dakota, a herd of young buffalo at pasture.
They must grow a lot of fireworks in South Dakota - all these roadside stands set up to sell them like blueberries or tomatoes.
These little smoothed hills at the eastern edge of South Dakota - I would not mistake them for Wisconsin hills. The slow, sensuous curve of them is not like the more defined lines of those in Wisconsin. I'm not sure this could even be Iowa. The fields are green enough that it could be the western edge of Minnesota.
(For those of you who didn't notice, you just went past a little bit of middle western understatement there. Kinda like a cow kicking you up against the far wall of the barn: all you say is, "That smarted a little bit....")
It is 1:10 p.m. The rain still falls hard.
Sign as you come into Clark, South Dakota, from the east: "Pheasants and Fur Country. Activists Unwelcome."
East of Doland, water stands in a cornfield, in the ditch. Everything is plenty-some green.