Saturday, May 16, 2015

Heading South - Day One

Tranquilizers were purchased and on standby for the cat, four corners of her carrier pretreated with Feliway (cat-calming pheromones), and Rosie loaded in the carrier under much protest Wednesday. We were set to listen to a very vocal cat all the way to South Carolina but apparently cat pheromones are a new magic potion: she pretty much never said another word for the next 1336 miles and we were five miles from our South Carolina home!





The trillium were reaching the end of their exuberant bloom as we passed through southern Minnesota.










Though they start out as a bright white flower, as they age they turn more and more pink until they are often a quite dark rose.











The next state after Minnesota was Iowa where the scenery on the blue highways was mostly farms, farmers on enormous tractors plowing mile after mile of cornfields, and an occasional small town whose heyday was long gone by.


We stopped in Branden to stretch our legs and take a photo of "Iowa's Largest Frying Pan".








Most of Iowa's rural towns look like this today: boarded up store fronts, wide empty streets with few cars, a car repair shop, maybe a run down bar, and the grain elevator the only businesses still going strong. It was easy to walk along the deserted main street of Riverside, Iowa, and imagine it when stores and banks were busy and parking places hard to find.




Still, folks try their best to find something to celebrate their town and draw folks in to the few businesses that are left.

This was behind a small hair salon in an old house.

Captain Kirk is a fictitious character in an old American tv show called Star Trek. There are many "Trekkies" of our generation who still remember and love the show.








We spent the night in Warrenville, Missouri. Our search for a local place to eat took us to Two Dudes Barbecue, the smell of the smoker leading us in by the nose from a good distance away. You could walk up to the window through the smoke and order or you could go inside and sit down to eat. It was a meal of smoky ribs and pulled pork to remember!



  1. Thx for taking us along. Gotta love small town USA!

  2. Good to know that the cat, Rosie, didn't serenade you for the trip - 1336 miles plus the last 5 would have
    been really difficult to take, eh?
    Yeh - small towns being deserted - well I guess either the old highways go through the town with vehicles roaring
    down Main Street or that by-past road, we can't have both. Same here - so sad really and only those with plenty of time ever
    get off Highway "Whatever" to visit and hopefully do some shopping - food for example.
    Small towns - worldwide - do really need help to survive these days.

    I am pleased to report that the two most expensive "pooches" in the World are now back in California!
    Mr. Depp is still here for filming his "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie which is becoming one of the
    most behind schedule and expensive movies ever to be made. Maybe the movie should be renamed,
    "The Uninvited Pooches of the Gold Coast"???
    Mr.Depp still could be facing a very hefty fine! Tut Tut. He should learn to read rules and not movie
    lines only.
    Pulled Pork???????????? What is that?
    Cheers on your new adventure.
    Colin (Brisbane. Australia)

  3. I guess you're continuing to travel... and now to your new home. I'm glad you're getting to see so many new places. I love the tombstone! Yes, I used to be a Star Trek fan.

  4. It's sad to see once vibrant communities that are ready to disappear. In my home province many of the towns and villages have disappeared. They use the term ghost towns.

  5. Yes it is sad to see entire communities going the way of the do do bird. I'm glad to see that your cat was calm for much of your trip and that you are enjoying taking photos and breaks along the journey :-)

  6. Cynthia I like your journey. In my country we don't have deserted rural towns but only the retired live there. Young people decided to leave them and live in different countries of European Union. Have a nice journey to Your destination..

  7. Congratulations on the start of your new life. How sad to see deserted towns these days, such a shame. Glad the cat was OK.

  8. A nice roadtrip, glad your cat kept quiet after a while, it is a long way for everyone I think.

  9. It's good the cat was quiet, would have been a bit annoying if not and frightening for the cat....shame about some of the towns but that happens here too.

  10. Best wishes for your new adventures Cynthia, glad the cat had a good journey.

  11. Good to hear that the cat is tranquil. Nice views along the way and interesting stopovers-the biggest frying pan and best of all the BBQ.

  12. Such a lovely trip that you are making and reading the past posts you get a real sense of mixed emotions, the goodbyes and the excitement of what's ahead. It's all coming together for you, you'd mentioned seeing the big frying pan along the way. I love the way the cat is with you 1336kms in her own little cat 'high' - you made it! Hope you all enjoy. Those courses seem a great idea :)
    Here's to a wonderful summer!
    Wren x

  13. Loved this post! The info about making it easier for your cat to travel was fascinating...and it certainly sounds like it worked! It was great seeing some more of your country via your photos. Loved the quirky things you found too. I suppose Trekkies would visit the town so that would be good for businesses there. A big frypan is such a novel in Australia we have a number of 'big things', but not a frypan! Lol

  14. That little town in Iowa reminds me of the town of Robbins here in NC where I grew up. Looking forward to your posts. Have fun!

  15. I sense a mixture of sadness and excitement in your post. What an adventure to embark upon - a whole new life, plus the added bonus of lots of new blogging material. Will be thinking of you as you start your new life. Wishing you every happiness. x

  16. Glad the cat behaved. It is sad that the country towns are dying. Hope you have settled in. Looking forward to more posts about this exciting move.

  17. What a great place to stop after a day of traveling!

  18. Sad about the boarded up towns. Good barbecue is always great to find.

  19. The ribs and pulled pork sound really really good I can imagine them! Sound like Rosie is going to survive the car ride, I wonder how long til she forgives you:)