Leaves and sun...

As per usual this time of year the vistas along Highway 61 are radiant with the colors of fall. (Yes, that's really a picture) From the sky I imagine it looks like blotches of paint have been dropped to Earth by angels transforming the trees and the whole world with shades of red and orange and yellow.

It's a good time to drive, listen to the radio, and let the tires roll the miles away. I suspect that if I had to drive to some other place these journeys would have long ago grown tiresome. It wouldn't be the same to live, for example, in Phoenix and drive two hours over the open desert. Along my particular road there are hills and valleys with small towns as the highway winds along the Mississippi River. At places you drive through a tunnel of trees and in others the road clings to a high point on a bluff and you can see the fire and light on the Wisconsin side.

It's Monday, the time for tired, the time for trying to catch a breather, the time when for a minute or two you realize that you've been at this for over two years, every Saturday south on Highway 61. Just this year a 30,000 mile car has become a 50,000 mile car and the people at Microtel know my voice on the phone. I know just where it's hard to get cell phone service and just how far north you can drive before WKTY and the Packer's game fades out. Lake City has a Dairy Queen that serves twist cones and the gas is always cheapest in Red Wing. And when Dresbach emerges on the way I know I'm almost there.

Some day there'll be no more need to make this run and I sometimes wonder what I'll do when I can make to church in a few minutes and sleep in my own bed on Saturday. We'll see. Until then the colors are vivid, the road is open, and there's work to do; White bear Avenue to Interstate 94, left on Highway 61 and two and a half hours south to St. Elias.

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