Only eight hours of driving today - Independence, MO to Urbana, IL. Today was a later start but I am getting the hang of being on the road. The humidity is obvious. The expanses of blue skies have given way to permanent blue haze. The flora and fauna are those of my childhood. Endless soaring hawks - more numerous here because of the abundance of small animals and thus the smaller territory per hawk. Tall cottonwoods and oaks as I approach the Mississippi.
Clumps of orange day lilies, finally the queen anne's lace appeared outside of Columbia, MO.
Fiona - the GPS lady has me headed for St. Louis. I wanted to avoid major highways so frustrated her completely by turning north and heading for Hannibal, MO. I got glimpses of the old road - narrow and twisting, following the gullies and contours of the land. Gladish HS (Pullman, WA) appeared in Hannibal. Three stories of brick, tall windows and, I am sure, wooden floors. Had a great walk by the Mississippi inspecting river boats and flowers. On the Illinois side were more limestone cliffs, CORN, and soy beans. Not much traffic. Not much construction - amazing. Much bigger farms on this side of the river. Missouri had many little farms all with a traditional white 2-story house, pillars and covered veranda.
My cousin Pam has just arrived from Chicago - looks great - very thin. Tomorrow she and I head for the U of I library archives to explore boxes of paper and photos from GG Davenport (former head of the Dept. of Agriculture and university VP). Here was here from 1900 - 1922 before returning home to Michigan. The family exploring begins!