Thursday, July 7, 2011

Blog 16

Tuesday & Wednesday, 5-6 July
Today was a lesson in living with disappointment. We headed out for Cedar County, Iowa, to try to fill in the gaps in Valerie's great-great-granduncle, Isaac Pletcher (for those of you not conversant in genealogical speak, that would be the same as saying the the brother of Valerie's great-great-grandparent). We crossed the Mississippi River which was very full but apparently within its banks and in about 50 minutes were in Tipton at the Cedar County Historical Museum. Fresh in out minds was the memory of the outstanding Pickaway Historical Library in Circleville Ohio. There they had an outstanding collection of original documents, a librarian who knew which documents were the most likely to hold the answers to Valerie's questions, knew right where to find them, and had an assistant who was ready to make copies on excellent high-quality acid-free paper. At the Cedar County Historical, however, the attitude towards the collection seemed to be without focus, probably because there were insufficient funds to hire a trained curator. On the plus side they had constructed a rather nice facility to house the collection, but a collection without personal and sociological significance is little more than a collection of curiosities.
We drove on leaving what might have been known unknown. The contrast with the Windham County Historical Museum in Newfane, Vermont, and the Pickaway County Historical Museum, in Circleville, Ohio, could not have been greater. It was with little glee that we rolled into the Des Moines West KOA. The way west from this point has only a few points of points of personal interest separated by many rather uninteresting miles and no cousins to visit.
But I had forgotten what an amazing country this is! Mile after mile there is always something of interest. Unique, funny, curious, amazing, beautiful, and distaster. The way west may not have much of a plot, but it is a spectacular show. Our dampened spirits were soon lifted and our disappointments were put into their proper perspective.
Millions of acres of cultivated fields.

Agricultural art.

Fields and Flowers

Industry on a personal scale.

This farm is perhaps not so prosperous but may earn a few bucks renting space for the sign!?

Omaha and the swollen Missouri River.

Sand bags shield I-29

Flooding on the right - -

Flooding on the left.

A touch of whimsy

Driving through wind farms

Everywhere wind farms

Valerie & Henny at the the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota.

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