After leaving Iowa and heading west, I wrote notes to project backers on a few custom postcards that I had made during the last leg of my trip. Here they are:
Dear Kimberlie — I didn’t make my own coolant-recovery system, but I did replace my transmission, and when I was done I felt just like the smiling miner on the front of this postcard — except instead of having a pickaxe that advertises underground tours, I have a van that advertises nothing. The Lake Superior shoreline was one of the highlights of my time in the Midwest, although with the fall colors on this postcard it’s rocking a serious New England vibe here. When I visited it felt more like the Pacific Northwest. “Minnesota, you chameleon,” Walt Whitman probably should have said.
Dear Emily — Greetings from South Dakota! I know, this postcard is from Minnesota; I was there last month. But the postcard is actually like three years old; I bought it in the Minneapolis airport in 2009. Why am I telling you this? And why have I used so many semicolons here? Sorry. Anyway, the point is that I foresaw a very special future need for Minnesota postcards when I purchased it, or so I choose to tell myself now. I made the collage at a friend’s house in Duluth, where everyone sings and gestures like this all the time.
Hello Zarah! Greetings from Badlands National Park. I was in Sleeping Bear Dunes about a month ago, and decided that this postcard would look better with a buffalo on it. Mission accomplished! I might have seen some buffalo yesterday, but they were a long way off and I was near the park border, so they might have been cows. I’ll leave it for the courts to decide, and until that happens I’ll compromise by choosing to believe that I saw a herd of beefalo. The badlands are nice. Sleeping Bear Dunes had the edge on lakeshore property, but South Dakota has the edge on prairie.