Thursday, July 31, 2008


Another night with good internet so a couple more pics. Chicago is full of amazing architecture and wonderful sculptures. Apparently "The Bean" was off limits for photos for a while (which I found out later).About 5 minutes after commenting how great our weather had been the big black cloud behind me opened up and we did the rest of our Hop-on-Hop-off tour with big plastic ponchos over our heads.You know how when you see a shooting star out of the corner of your eye and then you wonder if you really saw anything? Last night, camped a bit south of Chicago in a heavily wooded area, I looked around and started seeing little flashes of light in the air, just as it was getting darker. After about 4 or 5 I realized I must be seeing my very first fireflies. It was really cool - just looked like wayward embers from a fire, drifting up then quickly extinguished. The air was full of them. Even though we were out in the middle of nowhere, some birds or insects (cicadas?) up in the trees made an incredibly loud noise all night until just before dawn. Between that and the humidity - not much sleep!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

3 provinces, 3 states and counting

(BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa)
Landed tonight in Iowa in search of ancestors. Apparently Ross's great grandmother on his father's mother's side and his great grandparents on his father's father's side. The first one is easy to find - right in a cemetery in a small town south of the Twin Cities. The cemetery even had a chart so we knew where to look.

To find the second cemetery we went down several miles of dirt road with intersections precisely 1 mile apart and this warning sign among the cornfield:Eventually our GPS indicated we had 'reached our destination' but no sign showed us that we were in Brownville, Iowa. There are about 3 farmhouses there. We eventually found the cemetery tucked way behind some trees with no signage. You probably can't tell but from the road we could just barely see the tops of a few memorials poking up. It's a miracle we ever saw it. I got some pics of the headstones for our family archivist John.

Mostly this is the view we've had since we left the Rockies:
Needless to say I'm making my way through a series of books.

Mind you we did pass the geographical centre of North America a few days back:Does anyone have any idea how you'd actually determine something like that! Okay I just googled it myself. One more note - Ross refused to stop at the 16,000 sq ft SPAM museum in Austin, Minn.

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