Southern Iowa is an area of rolling hills and tidy farms but just inside its Western border lie the unique Loess Bluffs. This woodsy section of the state told me I am making progress in my journey. The woods here are full of deciduous trees - shag bark hickory, honey locust, Eastern walnut, and others. In addition I noticed wild grape as well as sumac and pokeberries - all species one would expect to find in the woods of the Eastern United States. It was quite shady as I walked through these lovely hills and I appreciated the cool relief from a hot October sun. Unfortunately, these bluffs are rather narrow east to west and I found myself exiting them as quickly as I had entered. Then back to the familiar farms that have continued to the present.
Later that evening I made camp beside a small pond filled with cattails, frogs, and mosquitoes. Nearby were several woodlots and I fell asleep to the sounds of hooting owls - a great beginning.