Monday, October 20, 2008

Day 49, Mon, Oct 20, Keokuk, IA to Maryville, MO

We don't know much about the city of Maryville, Missouri where we have stopped for the night, but as we drove through the old downtown area we stopped to take this picture of the County Court House.

We found suitable lodging at a Comfort Inn on the south end of town, not in the direction we need to go, but not that far out of our way. It is remarkable, really, how we have been blessed to find clean and comfortable places to stay, day after day, at reasonable rates, when we have no reservations ahead of time or any real assurance of exactly where we will be. Most people wouldn't be conducting themselves this way but it has worked remarkably well for us now, in our 49th day of travel.

What a truly unforgetable experience!

On the eastern outskirts of Maryville, MO we found these wind machines scattered along the hillsides, close to our highway. So, we turned onto a farm road and drove up quite close to one of them and took this rather poor picture. Because of the wind they were all in operation. It was rather awsome to stand just beneath one of these machines as its huge blades are turning. While they seem to turn slowly they stir the air with a most unusual sound! I can't quite describe it, but it is a very powerful and strange feeling to be this close to one of them. We need more of these alternatives to our dependence upon fossil fuels for our energy. Harnessing the wind! It is exciting!

US 136 has been our friend for so many miles across Indiana and Illinois that we continued to use it as our highway toward the Missouri River as we resumed our journey this morning from the west banks of the Mississippi at Keokuk, Iowa.

If you look at the map you see that Keokuk is at the extreme southeast border of Iowa, just above Missouri and just across the river from Illinois. US. 136 traverses Missouri from east to west, just below the Iowa border.

This picture, taken as we proceeded west on US 136, is typical of much of the terrain we passed through today in northern Missouri. We were surprised to find it to be quite hilly, with lots of trees, broken by small farms and pasture lands; not the broad, flat expanses of farms and fields we had expected.

This is the Keokuk (Iowa) Branch meeting house where we attended Sacrament meeting yesterday.

We took this picture before departing from Keokuk this morning on our way toward Omaha and Council Bluffs (Winters Quarters).