23. November 2017
Family , Outdoor Life
In October we traveled to Missouri, which I consider to be the heart of Americas Heartland and practically the geographic center of the continental U.S.
Although according to Wikipedia, that title actually belongs to Lebanon Kansas. But the map says it's only 387 (line of sight) miles from there to Rolla, MS - where we stayed for a week with Candy and Ken, our in-laws and hosts.
All my life I've lived within striking distance from America's shores. The bulk of the U.S. population is jammed up and down the Pacific and Atlantic. Seattle to San Diego. Portland Maine to West Palm Beach. But living in the interior is very different.
I've been through Missouri before, but not the rural farmland. This is real Missouri. Up close and personal.
The open spaces are amazing, vast, beautiful, mysterious. Rolling hills and fields with islands of woodlands & forest. Lone farmhouses and barns in the far distance. Jeep tracks peel off the country road seem to lead nowhere but go on and on.
The land itself drives the culture here: Farming & ranching from the industrial to the individual. As you drive down the county road you'll see how this is the way of life for most everyone on some level.
Our hosts live in a forested parcel of mostly old Oak. It's off a gravel road & it's very quiet. The few sounds that emanate are soothing and pleasing. Breezy rustling of brown leaves. Birds. The chickens' occasional cluck.
There are bursts of shotgun blasts from hunters. It seems every month some poor species is "in season". Yes, this is the real Missouri. But even so, the quiet, the isolation, the lack of pace - it's all a nice change for us.
A house in the woods is our home for our stay.
Sisters in the kitchen.
The cat's name is Cat. He's special.
Just you and the road.
Open space. It's everywhere.
A John Deere tractor inhales a field of soybeans.
The trees on the property are old, big, majestic.
Exploring the property in the mandatory orange uniform.
Meramac State Park is nearby. Part of the Meramac river is a designated fish farm.
October sun, hot tea and a smile.
To Candy and Ken, thank you for sharing your part of the world. We loved our visit with you!
Some of you may have been to St. Louis or Kansas City perhaps. But have you been to the real Missouri?