We’re settled in for the night just north of Kansas City. It’s been a long day, and we made less progress than we’d hoped. We left Jenny and Steve around 8:30 this morning—really glad the snow had given us a second full day with them, talking politics, writing, family—and eating very well, including a lovely piece of venison Jenny pulled out of her freezer for our unexpected third supper with them.
Yesterday afternoon, we visited the National Eagle Center. Here I am, posing with one of the Center’s five resident eagles — four bald, one golden.
Wabasha is located on the Mississippi just south of the point where the Chipppewa River empties into it, creating enough current to keep the river from freezing at that point, so it’s a good wintering spot for the eagles. The bluffs along the river bank give them a good vantage point for spotting prey—with their “eagle eyes” that can spot a mouse from three miles away.
From the Eagle Centre’s lookout, no eagles but a great view of ice floating downriver.
We left this morning confident that we’d make good time on freshly cleared roads, and at first it seemed that way. But as we travelled south into Iowa, the highway was worse and the traffic pretty heavy. Christmas travellers, I suppose. There was lots of evidence of yesterday’s high winds and drifting snow, both in the snow banks along the roadside and in the cars abandoned in the ditches.
Two years ago we travelled through Iowa in a snowstorm — that time, heading west. Then, too, we saw tens – maybe a hundred – abandoned vehicles in the ditches. What is this? We’re not talking monster storms here. And this is hardly a part of the country unaccustomed to snow. Why so many cars (and transports) out of control? Anyway, Iowa obviously doesn’t agree with us.
By the time we reached Missouri, it was warmer and the snow cover was just a skim.
Places we chose not to stop: The birthplace of John Wayne; The Spam Museum (“Meat Historians Rejoice!” said the sign).
Tomorrow, we’ll keep heading south and west – maybe as far as New Mexico. And tomorrow — maybe even later tonight — I will try to figure out how to post a google map showing our progress.