Summer 2009 tour - day 2 - 826 km

With great intentions, we were up and breakfasted early. Just finishing our coffee, and a fella also at breakfast notices the Pioneer logo on Don's t-shirt. The next hour or so was learning about South Dakota farming - sounds like a pretty big family farm they're running.

Also spotted at breakfast - t-shirt with John Deere logo, reading 'friends don't let friends drive red tractors'.

My baby turned 20 today ... how could that have happened so fast?

Spent the day on I80. I have learned that the speed limit is actually the road number. So I don't think I want to take I94 on the way home. I75, maybe.

And we found where the crew went to (or originated?) that did the work on Hwy 401 on the east end of Chatham-Kent - they also did work on I80 just east of Kearney NE!

Iowa has lots of the glorious rolling landscape, patchy farming in all directions to follow the slopes. Saw the Kinzie location with their tractor and implement planted vertically - quite a sight! Nice stack of grain buggies from huge to teeny tiny.

Getting closer to Nebraska, the landscape changes to terraced fields. Enquiring minds want to know how they shore up the edges of the terraces? It's such a pretty sight. A little more west, and it gets very flat again, and there's now irrigation - mostly corn but also soys. And irrigated seed corn.

The seed corn fields are so big, I could see a crew of detasslers getting set loose in the morning, not getting done for a week!

And a few fields with $12 corn. Now, some ambitious souls did burn them down with chemicals, to let the soys grow through, but there are also quite a lot of fields with quite a bit of volunteer corn.

Elevation went from 900 in Iowa to just over 2100 in Kearney NE where we landed. Gaining elevation did nothing to cool things down. Temps reading 35 and 36 (up to 98 on Don's bike, which is not set to metric!). Still at 9:00 at night, it's 32.

Sign spotted on a little overpass - "Watch for wind on bridge". Hmmm - now that could be a difficult task. Lucky for us, they have installed a wind sock so you can actually see the state of the wind.

Spooky lyrics of the day - listening to Styx "Pieces of Eight" when I spy a road sign advising you not to pick up hitchhikers. Usually that's posted near prisons!

Best serendipitious moment in song - listening to the "Canadian Tenors" when we come upon fields of wind farms. Glorious gigantic voices matching the beauty and grace of quiet giant towers.

Find of the day - how to scout for good locations for wind turbines - find trees that are all bent in one direction. Great examples in western Iowa, a really nice collection of wind farms. Hmmm - they don't seem to have the same issues with the turbines being close to human habitation as some Chatham-Kent residents do.

And right where we turned to our motel for the night - "Firstier Bank" - much better than "First Bank", for sure!

Total km today - 826. Resting spot for the night - Kearney NE.
Tomorrow, Colorado!