Thursday, April 29, 2010
N 39 degrees 42.772 minutes W 91 degrees 21.48 minutes
When the Plums woke up in the morning and turned on the news they found that the area was celebrating Samuel Langhorne Clemens anniversaries. The year 2010 marks the 175th anniversary of his birth, the 125th anniversary of his pinnacle work and the 100th anniversary of his death. His stories were centered around the town and the mighty river. The Plums declined to pay anyone to allow them to white wash a fence and didn’t own a frog to enter a frog jumping contest. They did not float the minivan on a raft down the river, mainly because America had it far heavy (read too full of antique furniture) to be of the correct weight limits. Last but not least the Plums did not drive across the famous Mark Twain Memorial Bridge because it had been dismantled after the flood damage in the year 2000.
The Colonel and America also found out from the morning’s news broadcast that they stayed the night in a town 10 miles from where President Obama gave a speech a few hours before. As they left town the next morning, in a space of 50 miles, until 30 miles east of Turkey Creek the Plums counted at least 20 of all types of law enforcement vehicles heading east and 1 naval helicopter heading west. About 100 miles out of St. Joseph, this time they found a gathering of law enforcement vehicles at an interchange with an over abundance of police personnel. America pulled off the side of the road guessing that this was another Presidential stop (she was right). The Colonel, being a Republican, didn’t want to wait and told America that a Democrat probably wouldn’t do a photo shoot with Marley anyhow. Mrs. Plum did not find out if that statement was correct but her husband had been correct in not waiting, it was 3 hours until the President would show.
Rolling hills, corn fields and buzzards took the Plums into Iowa. At that moment the land flattened out, the humidity dropped and trees started to disappear. America was thinking, at least in this type of landscape you could see those menacing tractors coming. They had signs warning you they were crossing the road (and you needed to stay out of their way). The mean machines hugged the side of the road waiting to swipe you as you went by. They drove over bridges waiting to pounce down on you and a big red one as tricky as can be caught a ride on a tractor trailer trying to get ahead and ambush the Colonel and America. Mr. Plum’s devious driving skill soon out smarted them however and they found themselves following the Bluffs into Council Bluffs.
In the CD player the Plums were listening to Terry Pratchett’s audio book “Johnny and the Bomb”. It was hilarious, but suddenly they both got quiet at the same time. It must be a coincidence that they were passing what used to be named Strategic Air Command (SAC), thermo nuclear war headquarters!
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Greatful Dead "Truckin"
You're sick of hanging around and you'd like to travel
Tired of travel, you want to settle down
I guess they can't revoke your soul for trying
Get out of the door - light out and look all around
Sometimes the light's all shining on me
Other times I can barely see
Lately it occurs to me
what a long strange trip it's been.......