Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Vacation to Minnesota

Cut River Bridge

We left home early Saturday morning after I got out of work. I slept in the car, but woke in time to see the Mackinac bridge. It turns 50 years old this year, like me. Anna was worried about crossing the bridge, after seeing news footage of the 35W bridge collapse, but I reminded her that it is a toll bridge, so we know how much traffic it has seen, and the tolls pay for the upkeep. Further into the Upper Peninsula, we crossed the Cut River Bridge, now identified as the same design as the 35W bridge. It doesn't seem like much when you cross it, maybe because you've just come over the Mighty Mac.

It was dry all across the Upper Peninsula. It was dry coming into Wisconsin as well, with cornfields that were taller than those in Leelanau, but also drying out from the ground up. When we get halfway across Wisconsin, we enter the Driftless region, so named because it was not covered with drumlins while the glaciers retreated. The area is good farmland, covered with dairy farms ten years ago. Now the pastures seem to be mostly abandoned, going towards horse estates and housing developments, but rain had fallen there anyway.

Crossing over to Minnesota, it was raining, but we could see that there had been much drought. It rained for the first three days we were here, hanging out in the camper by the lake. The camper gets on TV station, so we tuned in to the news in time to see the flooding just a few counties to the south and east. The flooding was just more trouble for the state already trying to figure out the bridge collapse. When I listened to NPR news on Monday night, all three lead stories were about events in Minnesota, the last one being the decision on the Twins' new stadium.

By this morning, they had found the last person missing from the bridge collapse and the guy who washed away in the flood. The sun came out, but the corn still is standing with sharp leaves sticking straight up as if signalling surrender. More rain is forecast for tonight and the flash flood warning for the southeast counties is back on. Anna was going fishing with her uncle this afternoon, and I am off to the farmers market to find fresh salsa ingredients.

No comments: