Spread a map of the United States in front of you. Close your eyes. Jab a finger toward the middle.
Where did you end up? A dozen states are possible but today we’re going to talk about crossing one portion of the heart of the heartland – Illinois.
Pioneers found prairie stretching across a flat horizon with native grasses imitating the sea in the wind.
On my recent trip from St. Louis to Chicago the expansive flat geography was impossible to ignore. Mile after mile the sight from the highway is a distant and level horizon. Trees break the straight line where they follow rivers on their inching descent or mark a farmstead where a forward thinking person planted shade and a windbreak.
Are you looking for a small town? Scan for a grain elevator. Tall, cement and metal they stand next to the railroad track as a reflection of the rich nature of the land. This is the home of abundant crops of soybeans and corn. Late April and tiny plants emerge only far enough to sight rows at the southern end of the journey. Further north the fields lay dark and level waiting for seed.
And there’s a new crop…..perhaps not so new….but gaining in prominence. To be explored soon.