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Chicago was beautiful.  The weather was cool, and the wind off the lake did not disappoint.  I checked out the Shedd Aquarium and the beluga whales and dolphins put on a show.  I saw the lake, and the city, and hung out with my nieces and nephew and older brother and his wife, and generally had a really good time.

The view of Chicago skyline from Shedd Aquarium

Then I was off towards Saint Joseph, MO to see my other brother and my newest nephew.  I followed the Illinois River and stopped a couple of times to take in the scenery, then crossed over to the Mississippi and into Missouri, and camped at Wakonda State Park among the cotton wood trees.

That morning, I took the back roads across the rolling hills of Missouri, passing red barns with silver roofs, farms and ranches, fields of golden wheat and perfectly groomed rows of young corn glowing a vibrant green.  I passed through dozens of identical small towns each with a town square built around the court house.  Old farm houses dotted the country side, grain silos, cattle pens, and rolls of hay fresh cut scattered across fields.

It has been fun seeing the way the country has changed, from the mountains of West Virginia and the woods of east Ohio to the flat lands of Ohio and Indiana and Illinois to the gently rolling hills of Missouri.  In some ways, very little is different.  Small town america in the mid-west has a very distinct character.  Old men hang out in McDonalds talking about this and that, drinking coffee.  Body shops, car dealers, farm equipment, mechanics, and all the things you associate with the business of growing things, all privately owned.  Old and new looking buildings, many having seen more wear and tear than not, quietly standing their ground, serving the purpose for which they were made.

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Day 4: Chicago, Chicago, Part 1

I’m sitting in a coffee shop downtown, listening to the music playing in the background, and the pleasant murmur of conversation.  Chicago is a cool 69, and not so windy today.  Yesterday’s riding was harder…

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Books, Books, What I’ve Read So Far This Year

So here’s what I’ve read so far:

 

By Terry Pratchet: Wyrd Sisters, Witches Abroad

What can you say about Pratchet?  He’s amazing, hysterical, wise, funny and insightful. I haven’t read anything by him…

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Meditations on the Doctrine of God: Part 2

To know God.  That is the full measure and purpose of the Christian life.  We know God in many ways, both by searching out and listening to what He has revealed to us about Himself,…

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Meditations on the Doctrine of God: Part 2

To know God.  That is the full measure and purpose of the Christian life.  We know God in many ways, both by searching out and listening to what He has revealed to us about Himself,…

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Day 4: Chicago, Chicago, Part 1

I’m sitting in a coffee shop downtown, listening to the music playing in the background, and the pleasant murmur of conversation.  Chicago is a cool 69, and not so windy today.  Yesterday’s riding was harder…


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Nature meets Technology, Otubet, Uganda

One of the things that struck me while in Africa, and continues to strike me, is the odd gap between technology and primitive conditions seen everywhere. Modern SUV’s next to mud huts, cell phones carried…


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California Hills

the rolling mountains
are green with grass and flowers
in California
— 4/3/10 – 134

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New York, New York

new york, new york, oh city teaming
with life and lands and cultures dreaming
of new horizons opened wide
like lady liberty and the morning tide
— 2003 (possibly march)

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Anticipation

anticipation
building slowly until it
comes full fruition
— 3/24/10 – 123