Embracing the space

We slept with AC off and windows open last night, a refreshing change in more ways than one. We’re living this American Life outdoors, for the most part, and The Great Outdoors lately has been downright oppressive. It was good to wake up to needing a hoodie today.

While we’re camped here next to the plant that makes our tow bar, I thought I’d see if I could pick up a couple of spare parts. I’m a proponent of the “two is one, one is none” method, from firemaking to armed defense, and it occurred to me that it’d be wise to have backups of the tow bar’s pins and clips — absolutely essential and, I predicted, easy to lose.

I placed a quick phone call to the plant, inquiring if they had what we needed. They were cordial and helpful, took my order and had the parts waiting for me at the front desk by early this afternoon. They’re not really set up to do over-the-counter retail, so we considered that an act of commercial kindness.


After the parts run, Deb took the wheel of Mercy and we toured, in stream-of-consciousness fashion, the farmland that surrounds the tiny town of Pender. A few of the roads were paved, most were dirt and gravel. We kicked up dust and wrapped our arms around this agricultural wonderland. Just spectacular country.

Back in town, we parked on Main Street and dropped by the local hardware — I mean, it even smelled like an old-fashioned hardware store — for a pair of tools we needed. Hungry, we walked across the street to a little Mexican restaurant for enchilada plates.

Our only company in the place was a group of four older ladies, maybe farm women, who gave the appearance of having a regular weekly lunch’n’gab. This was no gossipy coffee klatsch, however — they talked (conservative) politics, railing against the Entitlement State and damning an American culture that’s gone straight to hell.

It was some of the most fascinating eavesdropping I’ve done in years.

Since arriving here yesterday we’ve been treated to a display of aerobatics, courtesy of a local squadron of cropdusters. On our way back from the restaurant today we drove past the campground entrance and up a nearby hillock for a better view. We ended up stopping in the middle of the town cemetery, from which we could see not only the show in the sky but the long dirt airstrip they used.

We could watch that stuff for hours. If you’ve never seen cropdusters at work, you’re missing out.

This has been a wonderful stay, though a short one. Tomorrow, South Dakota.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

I neglected to post this image from Sunday’s drive. Looks like someone at the Missouri DOT is having fun with signage.