10 June 2008

A view from Vermillion

Vermillion is a college-town (University of South Dakota) in the SE corner of the state situated on a bluff overlooking the Vermillion River. The river is only slightly visible in this SE-facing photograph; in the distance is Nebraska and the Missouri River which forms the state line. Also visible here in the foreground is the grass we began seeing everywhere today, its undulations simply fascinating to watch.

We ended up in Vermillion not by chance. I read some months ago about the town and the proximity of and access to the rivers and, despite the distance of some 6 miles from I-29 into town, we decided to take a look. A good decision. The USD campus is luscious this time of year; the historic district is charming; the rivers are, indeed, a pride and a draw.

We visited Cotton Park, named for the huge cottonwood trees along the Vermillion, and walked a couple miles on the several-mile-long walking/biking trail. After a delicious supper at the Mona Lisi (not Lisa), an Italian restaurant in the historic district, we drove to and across the Missouri (and into Nebraska) to take in the view at the Mulberry Bend overlook, seen here.

Actually, all the rivers of this trip are fascinating -- and out of their banks: the Cumberland at Nashville, the Tennessee and the Ohio in the vicinity of Paducah, the Mississippi in St Louis, the Missouri at St Charles (and repeatedly thereafter). As we travel along I try to will myself to remember the bodies of water we cross and the bridges that transport us. But, at the end of the day it's pretty much a blur.

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