I think I could have surfed from Crawfordsville to South Dakota on orange cones.

It would have taken some creativity and prevailing winds, but there is a possibility.

Sure, it is (finally) summer and yes, thousands of miles of roads are in pretty tough shape after the winter just (never) ended.

Doesn’t make it any easier.

They are resurfacing or building roads, rebuilding, reconditioning or just painting bridges. There is even a missing bridge here in South Dakota that is being replaced by a new one.

Needless to say, it made the 11 hours out last Thursday more about watching the roads than looking at the farms and fields.

Just to note, the incredibly wet spring extended this far west and north.

There are corn fields from Indiana through Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota all in the same shape. Not very many “knee-high by the 4th of July.”

All the bean fields are ankle-high, just like around C’ville.

And an awful lot of fields that never got planted.

But that hasn’t slowed the construction guys down, as they rip up and fix roadways.

I did have a unique diversion for about half the trip.

My Minnesota Twins baseball team was playing an afternoon game, so as I was just getting to Waterloo, Iowa, I stopped for fuel. It was the first inning, and I was looking forward to listening to the game as I drove. They have been playing well, and are in first place.

The game, and I,  went on and on and on.

They ended up playing 18 innings, and as I got into South Dakota, I had to stop for fuel again, and the game still wasn’t done!

It was the first time a single game has lasted longer than my gas gauge.

I’m settled into the week of catching up with family and friends. It has been about as warm, muggy and sometimes rainy as western Indiana.

I got some golf in (not playing all spring was quite evident), but a cookout featuring a back yard full of friends overcame that obstacle. The mosquitoes at sunset overcame all of us though...

My dad’s cousin who owns and runs the nature camp for disadvantaged youth that I have written about several times has been caught in the bad weather cycle as well. A local river runs right through the middle of the land, and there has been flood damage. Plus, the water has been so high that they can’t get in or safely operate equipment. They have missed many days of operating, which is certainly sad for the youth that can’t go, and I know it is sad for the many people who volunteer time and energy. They hope to get things going in the next week or two.

Speaking of Dad, I made a couple trips up to the cemetery to check in on him. It was a lot warmer than the last trip...

My Mom and sisters have some pretty flowers growing, my brother did a great job in getting a good stand of grass growing, and there are even a couple stalks of corn growing. Always a farmer.

There are plenty more folks to see over the next few days. A friend is arranging for a handful of my high school classmates to meet Friday. It was 45 years ago that we graduated from St. Mary’s. I’m sure none of us have aged at all...

I hope everyone has a wonderful July 4 holiday. I’m guessing cookouts, coolers and fireworks will be the order of most everyone’s day.

I’ll be back early next week. I get to see the backside of those orange cones.

Safe travels.

Jeff Nelson works in national television. His column appears each Thursday in the Journal Review.

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