Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday, October 14th, Beaune


This past week has been a literal and figurative mountains and valleys for me. You all have seen the literal views. The figurative view concerned my varying degrees of control over my computer, IPod (mine and Pat's), and internet access. Scandinavia, Turkey, and South America were a piece of cake compared to this trip. But I can only partly blame the problems on location. We have been staying in some pretty small hotels, in isolated valleys and mountain locations. The problem has been that, when the problem wasn't the lack of Internet access, it was problems with our equipment. The top three rows on the laptop keyboard have been dead for two weeks. Do you know how hard it is, and how long it takes, to type in the text of a paragraph by cutting and pasting from the word documents you have on your computer? We're not talking cutting and pasting words, we're talking finding and pasting letters!!!

So then just when I discover the trick of using a note-writing application on my IPod, it's email function and browser functions go haywire, and I spend four days wondering if resetting the IPod will either fix it, or lose all my notes.

Today, arriving in Beaune, Bergundy, at an Ibis Hotel (good, fast, ubiquitous, wifi), I decide to reset the IPod and see what happens. It's 5pm, the photos are posted, two hours before dinner (across the street), there's lots of time to re-write it all if I lose it.

Ta da. The reset fixes the IPod, and keeps the notes. For the first time in two weeks, I have all but the laptop keyboard at my command. I can finally use my communication tools to express more completely how our French adventure is going.

Fall colors. We're catching up to the full spectrum of brown, red, yellow, and green. Not just in the leaves, but in the earth in the fields. Pat thinks that France must have the highest percentage of agricultural land. Everywhere we are, even on the edges of the cities, big and small. We think we have an answer to our question of corn field stalks. We would see so many corn folds, and then fields of weathered corn stalks, and then fields of tilled, clean soil. What did they do with all the corn stalk material?

Today, we saw some large combine-like tractors turning over short stalk rows into rich soil. We think that it must all be turned into the soil. These farmers do have plenty of equipment. We see it on the roads, and standing in the fields, and near barns. Cooperatives began in France earlier than in the U.S., and the government does support them. And those yellow and green colors on them add to the fall beauty around here.

More to come.


To see the photos we took today, click on:

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