Etta and I went for a sunday drive to a rented cabin called hickory hideaway. The cabin was in the middle of nowhere, by the bluffs separating Illinois and the Mississippi river from Iowa. We drove in on rolling hills with the sunset blazing to the west and the almost full moon rising to the east and a cop car behind us. We brought awful chinese food- the white rice was brown. We had a small bonfire and played volleyball in the moonlight and a midnight walk to the edge of a field.
On monday we drove in to galena, il, ulysses grant’s hometown, a city that used to be the customs port for those inbound on the Mississippi river. In the mid 19th century galena had fifteen thousand residents and chicago had a fraction of that. The roles have since reversed- there are only three thousand year round residents but the architectural time capsule attracts millions of visitors, including the new york times 36 hours series. We ate more bad food and candy and took photos of jewelry and drove to a scenic outdoor grill for dinner with the sun setting over the river valley.