Eating Chinese food the other night with students and faculty from Truman State in Kirksville, MO, my fortune read, “The beginning is always the hardest part.” I don’t know that I really believe that, but because beginnings of new artistic endeavors are notoriously difficult (the anxiety-inducing blank page, yadda yadda), I’m finally just going to jump into recording some thoughts about Life On The Road during the FiftyFifty Tour. (Just tried to come up with an acronym for that but realized that LOTR is already pretty much spoken for. So back to the drawing board with that one, ha.) So here we go:
On Wed. we drove over the mighty Mississippi into Iowa: our first official border crossing of the tour in the RV. The original plan was to pull over and take a picture of us in front of each “Welcome to ____” sign, but that option quickly flew out the window when Iowa’s sign appeared on a bridge with no real shoulder. So we continued to flow with the traffic into Dubuque, where we passed a sign for the Iowa Welcome Center, wondering aloud to each other if maybe we should stop, even though we didn’t do anything like that in our last stop, my home state of Wisconsin.
“Well, we can’t use ‘we didn’t do something somewhere’ as an excuse because before we know it, the tour will be over and we’ll have done nothing nowhere!” I said to Derek. I don’t know if I was more agitated about the possibility of doing “nothing nowhere” or by the fact that that phrase had actually come out of my mouth, but I realized in that moment that yes, I did want us to turn around.
We parked our RV (still an adventure every time: Can we park here? Will it fit? Do we have to pay? Etc.) near the Iowa Welcome Center and went in and chatted with Becky, who was only too happy to sing Iowa’s praises, and more specifically those of her hometown of Dubuque. She also pointed out that we weren’t far from Dyersville, the home of the Field of Dreams movie site, which she claimed was especially enchanting this time of year because the corn was high like in the movie. So we headed west on 20 and took a few back roads to get to our destination. Because it was a Wednesday and because the weather was iffy, we had the place basically to ourselves, which I must admit was pretty magical. It was beautiful and bucolic, and the town itself made me think of the word “Americana.” We ended up in Des Moines that night, and now I can rest easy, knowing we’ve done “something somewhere.”
And although we’re already in Missouri, at least I’ve started this blog at last, which, according to that fortune, is the hardest part. Hope you enjoy these verbal snapshots from life on the road, but if you want to see actual photos, check out our Instagram feeds (@beatboxsax and @wertandart).