Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tour Day 9

We have spent the last few days traveling around the Midwestern states of Wisconsin, Indiana, and Illinois. We made some new friends but we also got to spend a good amount time with some dear old friends. People who live in this part of the US and the way people live out here feels much different than back home in Massachusetts. Our friend John commented that he frequently misses turns because many intersections lack any sort of character to distinguish them from other because they all look the same. Which is true. Corporate chains have invaded much of this landscape but in contrast to where we are from it is not in replacement of small town main streets, the chain stores are everywhere because there was not anything at all around before they came in. It is a strange concept for us to grasp because Massachusetts has such an old and rich heritage but much of the land in the Midwest was not settled until much later. There are not many houses or buildings older than 100 years at the most. It is also strange (compared to New England) to see a landscape so flat and expansive where you can see for miles and miles but this land is all cultivated. It is all being used to feed America. The other day we drove through a section of Indiana where hundreds of acres of farm land also hosted hundreds of wind turbines all turning away slowly. A doubly industrious use of the same land. I feel a strange sort of energy here. Part of me is proud and awestruck by the immense expanse of cultivated land but another part of me wonders how necessary all this corn is. Not to mention all this land that has been altered to serve that purpose. Was this all trees before?? Where are all the animals?? What was this land like before the farms??

1 comment:

  1. Prairie... lots of it was prairie. There are some great educational places out here who do some "Prairie Reclamation" and it's pretty awesome. Imagine just letting your lawn grow until it got taller than you. It becomes an amazing environment and ecosystem.

    Me, I just like the idea of not cutting the grass... cutting it always messes with my allergies. But if I can do that and call it "Prairie Reclamation," I sound cool.