PIA to ORD

Greater Peoria Regional Airport to Chicago O'Hare International Airport

Starting off, the plane climbs fast enough and my internal orinetation is off enough that the Illinois River looks more like Kickapoo Creek. The illusion is not scuttled until a river barge appears, its known bulk belied by its toylike appearance from altitude.

The presence of small creeks is piercingly obvious. Gleaming ribbons of relfected sunlight course through plots of sectional farmland. The farms and fields are not regular here, but are portioned into unusual shapes by amoebic woodlands. Fingers and hands and arms of these small forests alert you to the presence of hills and gullies and the inevitable prairie plain.

As the course turns onward, northward, irregularity ceases. Rectangles become the rule and the tree stands diminish, soon becoming only the occasional windbreak for the Illinois farmhouses.

Eventually, all is gone to cloud (20 minutes to Chicago anyway). Give me mountains and valleys. But give me also the remnant of glacier toil, the patterned and patched land of home.

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