July 20, 2011

my adventures on the road

I'm on the road for work this week, and the miles are piling up. I left town at 7 a.m. Sunday, and as of my arrival in Minneapolis Tuesday night, I'd added more than 1,150 miles on the car's odometer.

Despite the busy schedule I'm keeping this week, I decided to make sure to take a couple of moments every day this week to do something fun and unique to the area — to make my adventures real adventures. Thanks to my dad, I had some good ideas of what to look for during my travels.

While driving through Iowa Sunday, I saw a sign for the house that inspired Grant Wood's "American Gothic." So I took the exit and the 30 minute detour to check it out.

Yesterday, I took the Chippewa Falls, Wis., exit so I could drive by the Leinenkugel Brewery. It's home of Summer Shandy, one of my favorite seasonal beers. While in La Crosse, Wis., Monday night, I ate dinner in the downtown area and took a short walk along the Mississippi River.

On my way out of Galesburg, Ill., Monday, I stopped by the birthplace of Carl Sandburg, an Pulitzer Prize winning poet and one of my dad's favorites.

In honor of that, I thought it'd be fun to post a few of Sandburg's quotes:

"A book is never a masterpiece: it becomes one. Genius is the talent of a dead man."

"Yesterday is done. Tomorrow never comes. Today is here. If you don't know what to do, sit still and listen. You may hear something. Nobody knows."

"Back of every mistaken venture and defeat is the laughter of wisdom, if you listen. Every blunder behind us is giving a cheer for us, and only for those who were willing to fail are the dangers and splendors of life. To be a good loser is to learn how to win."

"I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way."

"Nothing happens unless first a dream."

"Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during a moment."

"Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you."

"Every blunder behind us is giving a cheer for us, and only for those who were willing to fail are the dangers and splendors of life."

"Here is the difference between Dante, Milton, and me. They wrote about hell and never saw the place. I wrote about Chicago after looking the town over for years and years."

Some times it's great to take time for yourself and to find inspiration from other writers.

Today, I hope to visit an important site for one of my favorite authors, but I'm not going to say it in case I jinx myself. Hopefully, you can check back later this week to hear about my experience.

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