Bloomington, Illinois — There is a field of root vegetables next to the Fairfield Inn where Owen and I are staying tonight. I don’t know what kind they are and it seemed less than wise to pull one and find out. I’m in a new country and a main road runs by the field.
There is a baseball tournament in town and the hotels are full up. Owen and I tried the Holiday Inn first but no luck. The desk clerk there phoned the Fairfield across the street. They had a suite and we took it. Pricey but beats sleeping in the truck.
Beyond the north edge of town there is a wind farm, the first we’ve seen since Oklahoma. The southern parts of Illinois are mile after mile of corn and soybean fields. Then comes Springfield, which is a little undulaty and treed, then more miles upon miles of corn and soybeans. And the mysterious root vegetables.
Missouri’s Ozarks were under overcast skies this morning, the clouds so low that at times they were fog and at times they were drizzle on the Penske’s windshield. The roads there and in Illinois were fine as they always have been, even the portions where work is being done and the lanes restricted. I was a little boy when the interstate highway system was being built. Though we now take it for granted, it remains a wonder of its age.
The Illinois state police were active along the interstate this afternoon. In a short space of road they had pulled several cars over. All but one looked to be routine traffic stops. The one exception was where two police cars, one from the state police and the other from some other agency, had pulled over an SUV and had the people out of it and the doors opened while the vehicle was searched. The motorists were black and the police were white. As we sped past I said, “Busted for DWB,” and Owen said, “Yep.”
Chicago tomorrow. We expect to reach the city late in the morning.