Thursday, August 5, 2010

Observations from a Cheap Yellow Bicycle

3 Most Scenic States East of The Missouri River (on our route)

1. Iowa
A man from the eastern half of the country will believe that Iowa is a flat desert of cornfields, and having only made it to Iowa City on the Greyhound previously, I believed it as well. Nonetheless, outside of Guthrie Center (where we started one day) to Minden (where we finally arrived, 85 miles later, in the dark and tired) there wasn't a level piece of pavement. Iowa is impressive for its pure homogeneity of corn and soybeans, which roll endlessly among the occasional grain silo or wooden farmhouse whose paint is chipping away. There is a distinct "Iowa-ness" that it holds true to, and that can be appreciated.

2. Massachusetts
Other the laid back nature and old brick aura of Boston, if you find yourself on the right highways going through the stateland you'll be able to appreciate the dense forests on either side of you and the twisting swamps in the bottoms of valleys. It can feel like you're cycling through a national park for a few days. The Berkshire Hills offer grand vistas as a reward for making it up them.

3. New York
The state of New York gets tagged with an urban perception that is unfair to the 400 or more miles above the city, which is rural and largely occupied by dairy farms. New York is a pleasant transition from the uniformly wooded states in the Northeast to the sea of corn of soybeans in the Midwest, marked by sloping hayfields surrounding dairy cattle and deciduous forests around the edges of each valley.

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