John & Anne Wiley

2013/05/15

Change of Season

Today we woke to a frosty Winter morning, and as we got Tripp ready for heading home I heard an unusual sound. Since childhood I notice airplane sounds, and this one was odd. Turned out to be mid-air refueling practice involving a jet and a turboprop so the sound was a little like a B-36 I once saw in flight as a kid. They were relatively low, yet uncomfortably dim in the heavy haze that made me wonder how far we’d get today.

5495 Fog Formation

5495 Fog Formation

Due to strong headwinds forecast aloft, my plan was to fly at less than half that altitude so I was glad to see them several miles away and higher. Still, we were happy to see weather improving as we went and by the time we reached Mansfield, Ohio greeted us with patches of blue between high clouds. Moderating our relief was the increasingly bumpy ride, and somber scenes like this factory being demolished to make way for the changing season of new information and service industries.

5547 Falling Leaves

5547 Falling Leaves

By now the air was comfortably warm, and unlike wintry PA the few remaining trees were sporting summery leaves. I pondered the season when this whole region was covered in forest, as I admired this scattered stand some farmer had left amid the countless miles of cultivation.

5563 Last Stand

5563 Last Stand

Some day we need to spend some time in Indiana. Every time we’ve flown there, it’s seemed hazy and uninviting so we’ve mostly just flown across it without more than a brief stop. Ohio and Illinois seem clearer, so maybe it’s something to do with state laws about air pollution? I’m glad the rest of the country doesn’t look like this anymore.

5573 Hazy ID

5573 Hazy ID

To celebrate our progress from PA to OH and ID, we treated ourselves to Champaign tonight. The one joined to Urbana by the sprawling University of Illinois campus. As we approached to land at Frasca close to town, the wind favored the grass runway so it was with some delight that I lined up for landing.

7644 Frasca Grass

7644 Frasca Grass

After a ride from Sean who happened to be at the airport after hours, we checked into the very cozy and affordable Hawthorne where Cassandra and Norman were exceptionally helpful. Soon we were strolling the campus on a warm Summer night, commenting on how different the season was this morning.

1018 Math Bells

1018 Math Bells

Listening to the bells in the math building, you could feel yourself in the previous millennium. Turning 180 degrees you’re greeted by the town within a town that is the commercial part of the campus.

1019 Campus Commerce

1019 Campus Commerce

We love the way this city integrates a diverse population and a diverse environment, overflowing with life, art, culture, fun, and food. Our light dinner just around the corner above at Mia Za cost four dollars, and was among the best meals on this trip. If weather should decide to keep us here, we’ll be renting a car and exploring this fascinating and affordable area.

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