CORNWALL, WISCONSIN. Perhaps with a bit of lingering travel fatigue and a cold, a road trip wasn't the smartest thing to do, but the travelling conditions were conducive. Here, near the settlement of Lead Mine, Wisconsin, is a historical marker summarizing the mining industry of the early nineteenth century. There was a great deal of digging for relatively little metal, if I understand what the guides at a mining museum in nearby Shullsburg told me. The ethanol fields are somewhat more productive. Our benchmark for the corn is "knee high by the fourth of July." The corn wall in the background would obstruct the view of an elephant, that is, if the Ringling Brothers would take them on a road trip from Baraboo or Delavan.

Behold the flatlands of Illinois. There is some topography in the North West Frontier, but this view, looking southeast from just south of the State Line, is on the south slope of Charles Mound, claimed to be the highest elevation in Illinois. It's really quite underwhelming. Somebody has built an aerie on a hill immediately north of the Cheddar Curtain that looks down onto Charles Mound.

There are a few book reviews and posts of greater intellectual content to come, sometime this week. Thanks for your continued interest.

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