It was Cracker Barrel parking lots all the way to Urbana, Illinois.
There I had dinner with nephew Reed, his wife Sharon, and their daughter Miriam. (I am so very sorry that I missed getting pictures of all of us that evening)
The following morning Sharon and I had breakfast at the Urbana farmer's market and I stocked up on a wealth of fresh produce. The endless outdoor markets, vegetable stands and egg farms along the way are the great advantage of living in an RV. I once did a rapid U-turn on a narrow country road when I spied a hand-lettered sign saying, "Ruth's Homemade Breads". (I bought two loaves of bread, a dozen cookies, and spent an hour but never got a picture--Ruth was Amish and wouldn't let me photograph her)
I met a mutual acquaintance in Illinois--Lynne and her two daughters, Grace and Emi.
And finally I found a "sorta lost friend", Jayne, in Naperville, Il. She holds a special place in my heart and it was well worth the trip to track her down.
Let this be a warning out there--I am a good tracker and I consider friendships to be forever.
I dashed through Madison, Wi...
...then spent the night in an RV park on this lovely lake...
...and finally arrived in Minnesota with a mere hour to spare before accompanying my sister-in-law, Donna Mae, to a song and video presentation on "Our Mighty Mississippi."
And if I sound out of breath it is because I absolutely was. It was time to slow down and this presentation was the perfect way to do it.
Steven Marking does his traveling along the river and his photos exuded peace and tranquillity.
He also has a lovely voice and accompanied the photos with many of the best known river songs.
I had done the full trip, backwards, up the Mississippi from its mouth in New Orleans...
to its origin in Minnesota.
And all in a weeks time! I would like to do it again--but much slower.
The first 'Larson Reunion" took place here.
Donna Mae (sister-in-law), me, Mary (niece)
Donna Mae, Jan (cousin), Jeanie (niece)
Mary, Donna Mae, Mark (nephew)
Jeanie is an artist and poet, runs an AirBNB, and has a job placing children for adoption. No wonder she is always smiling.
This restaurant is right on the Mighty Mississippi, full of 70's Island-Kitsch, and sports a great view. But I don't remember what or even if I ate -- we spent so much time laughing and talking.
Stay tuned, more festivities to come.
(River photos are from Steven Marking's presentation)