Everywhere I went in America's Mid-West, there were flags.. This bunch were some kind of memorial to fallen soldiers, on the road to Lake City
These lovely drapes appeared almost everywhere, inside and out
On the Wisconsin River ferry
And the border with Iowa
And on lamp-posts in Lake City..
Almost every house has one.. They are completely unselfconscious and express a sense of place that is most interesting to me - I find (particularly this year) that the sense of place here is both defensive and rather small-minded in so many ways..
This is where I've been staying... http://thefrogandbear.com/
and I'm in Mr Frog's House, a small room with a very big bath.. Exceedingly comfortable
And the four-course breakfasts are an Art Form in themselves..
Lake Pepin is a sort of wider place in an exceeding wide river, the Mississippi.. After sundry sewing-machine mends, shuttle-finds, and little walks for lunch
Past this nice bit of carved stone
We had a trip out on the lake on the rear-paddle steamer Pearl Of The Lake
A couple of hours of delightful warm sunsetting-and-chatting,
Slightly sinister silhouetted men
and lots of sailboats in the marina
To say almost nothing of gulls, mainly above us...
By gum, I have done a lot of miles this year, most of them yesterday...
Off to America, to attend the River Rat TOGA (Treadleon Gathering and Academy) in Lake City, Minnesota... My bag is laden with samples and shuttles.
Norwich to Schipol, by little plane. Norwich airport is a very unphotogenic place, so I didn't.. Photo, that is.. And at Schipol, I was faced with the interesting task of explaining to a Dutch customs official that I was going to the USA to talk about, and play with, old sewing machines.. While he patently thought I was cracked, I did get the requisite blue sticker on my passport, and they let me on the big plane to Detroit.
Which was fantastically boring, for the most part (the plane, that is). Almost everyone sat with the window shades down, reading their magazines and watching little films.. Like vampires..
At 20 minute intervals, we were fed, watered, and coffeed, until I was utterly stuffed.. the lunch was surprisingly good, though, and I did get to do a deal of work on various webpages..
And Detroit was a great airport.. Coffee, free power-sockets, wifi, and chess
You could drop Beccles into the airport anywhere and not discommode the planes.. They sure do things big over here.. I walked miles around the barriers, got fingerprinted, photographed, inspected, selected, and definitely not rejected.. The airport is so big you have to take a tram to your section for the gates, and the alphabetical list of flights ran over 5 big screens. And I pulled visitor rank a little, got a window seat, and we flew, in glorious sunshine to Milwaukee
Over the edge of Lake Michigan
And more Edge of Michigan
Milwaukee airport is full of art
I think the truck was art..
A good night, supper on the road to Madison, WI;
(I didn't eat the pie...)
and my hosts, Bill and Marcia Holman, were (and are) charming.. We sat over breakfast this morning in the sun-deck-room of their lovely house, watching birds.. I saw a hummingbird, blue jay, woodpeckers, much more.. I think this is a tree creeper
and on the road today I saw eagles, sand hill cranes, amazing barns, scenery in plenty, and much more
More tomorrow, with pictures
from the Festival of Quilts, which was fun-but-tiring, and still sorting paperwork.. Aaaargh! I detest little bits of paper, which means that I am cruel to them, throwing them roughly into the bottom of my big bag and getting them all sweaty and crumpled
Just a couple of images, more later
Above, my Modern Sampler.. Apparently this was "Unsuitable for category" (Modern)
And below, Mel (co-ordinator) and Bridget (newsletter) from Region 9 leave the NEC with the last few Purses
We went to Germany, to Dance and Moon-mother
Watched over by wolves in Belgium (and well-fed)
Then built the Arbour
Ate lunch with frogs
Admired the tenacity of weeds
Sheltered from the rain
and parked by the School of Magic (Dunkerque Branch)
All to honour the Work, the Buffaloes, and the World
1326 miles, on two tanks of diesel and rather a lot of chocolate...