Greetings from Fort Madison, Iowa! I'm officially west of the Mississippi River by about a hundred yards, having crossed over from Illinois last night. I'm on my way to Nebraska City, Nebraska, for a two-week residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts where I hope to draft more poems and finish a first draft of my novel. Rather than fly into Omaha, I decided to make the journey part of the experience and write about it.
Friday, I drove from Rochester to my father's house in Michigan (above) and yesterday, I made the drive from Michigan to Fort Madison. It's a little off the (very) beaten path of Interstate 80, but the drive here was much more scenic, if longer. I listened to two baseball games on the radio--the Cubs beat the Reds in an early afternoon game and the Tigers came back in ninth to tie the game and win in extra innings. I was chasing the game on the White Sox network and needless to say, the announcers were less than pleased that the White Sox essentially blew a chance to pick up a game on the Tigers.
I'm staying at the Kingsley Inn in Fort Madison, an old Victorian building built in the 1850s that faces the river. It's named after Alpha Kingsley, an army officer from Vermont who supervised the building of the actual Fort Madison. One of my ancestors on the Freligh side, John Henry Freligh was also from Vermont and he became a riverboat captain on the Mississippi. Not to hard to imagine that passed this way a time or two.
I'm off to find breakfast and take some pictures of the river, which I'll post tomorrow.