There's something about driving through miles and miles of these glorious rolling fields, occasionally punctuated by bright red barns and tall white silos, that is just amazingly soothing. The sky seems bigger here, and the variety of cloud formations is so beautiful...
The sky where we live comes mostly in two varieties: gray, and blue. We don't tend to get the sprinklings of tiny cumulus clouds, or the streaks of cirrhus clouds -- and here we get both, a constantly changing slideshow, all day long; it's glorious!
We also don't get these long views, northwesterners being such tree-huggers and all: the trees -- and their extraordinary height -- turn the roads on our little island into tunnels, especially in winter, and our only long views are across the water.
As my husband drives, I keep my camera on and shoot out the window. The results are mixed, but the glory of a digital camera is that you can collect so many shots and then discard the ones that don't work with no real penalty -- no cost to develop, no cost to shoot except possible wear and tear on the camera; even the batteries are rechargeable.
...and we're driving with a GPS system, so it's easy to detour down a side road whenever we're tempted, as we can always find our way back. Unless, of course, the GPS dies, which it was doing frequently yesterday. Apparently there's some problem with the firmware, so we went to the website and downloaded new firmware last night; don't know if it will work today or not. The Garmin people have an apology on their website, but I keep thinking of all of the Americans who, like us, challenged by the economy, decided to do driving vacations this summer to save money, and are wandering around back roads without maps until they suddenly discover their GPS has gone black on them...
Modern technology is an amazing thing, and incredibly useful when it works. But it's not so easy on the eyes; I usually put my camera away when the cell towers start looming and the infrequent barns give way to shopping malls, rows of suburban houses, and huge parking lots full of farm machinery. I'm sure there's beauty there somewhere, but I confess I find it difficult to see.
But today we'll be heading up to Door County, and leave even the possibility of those malls and rows and lots behind: it's deliciously rural up there, and I can't wait to see it again.