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Do you recall my speculation and wish earlier this summer when we were on our shakedown trip through Ontario? If you remember, I was impressed with the civility of the Canadians we encountered. I wondered if we’d have the same sort of experience with Americans across the United States, even though we Americans don’t have the common tie of a national health care system to unite us.

So far, our experience with Americans has ranged from mostly positive to extraordinarily considerate, helpful, and generous.

We’re in the heartland. We’re driving a foreign car with an Obama bumper sticker. I’ve developed fairly long hair in the last year or so, and I’m not wearing blue jeans or boots. I guess people know that we’re not from around here; but it’s still easy going and comfortable in the small towns and roadside cafes and all of the parks and campgrounds that we’ve pulled into.

People are mostly considerate on the roads and highways; they wave at you on the smaller roads and slow down if you want to pass on the larger ones. I suppose the maniacs are all on the Interstates?

I don’t know quite how to convey my thinking on this next point, but it feels like the consideration we’ve been shown here in the US is of a more personal nature than the consideration we were shown in Ontario. It’s almost as if the Canadians are considerate because that’s just how they are with everyone. The Americans are mostly oblivious to those around them, but when you get their attention they’re considerate too. Maybe because that’s who they are individually–and they’ll let you see that, if they once see you, too.

Anyway, we’re now deep in the mid-west and are looking to spend a few more days in Kansas before dropping into Southern Colorado and making a circuitous journey back and up to Denver to spend a few days with Denise’s family.

Saturday was an unexpected small-town parade with barbecue on Main Street and Sunday was Bluegrass and Sunday was the State Fiddling and Picking Championships with barbecue in the park. Whooee!

Tuesday we descend into the salt mine. Really.

We had to go to Kansas to find one that would still take us underground.

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