When my eyes flutter open, it's 5am, and a foggy, billowing mist has enveloped our tent. We haven't begun the day like this since Romania! With some pestering, Tyler eventually joins me in wakefulness, and with a bit more prodding, I convince him to come take pictures of the morning with me. Still clad in pajamas, we drive out of our campsite, into the rolling Ohio countryside.
Tyler is behind the wheel, dutifully piloting our car in a sleepy haze. The dawn has a magical air to it. Once we're parked off the road, I scurry out to capture various scenes of the morning mist. I've never been to this part of Ohio, and I find myself moved by the sight of its graceful hills, all dotted with sheep and livestock. The undulating landscape reminds me a little of England, with white picket fences instead of hedgerows.
Behind the fences, brown, statuesque horses graze peacefully in their pastures. I'm walking barefoot through the dewy grass to pet one on the nose, but before I can get close enough, he backs away, shaking his head. A bit of mane flips across his brow as he whinnies, soft breath becoming clouds, joining the mist which hangs around us both.
The sun is now emerging from its slumber, a red titan that spreads its fiery glow across the fields. Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning, I think, and wonder if our drive back to Illinois today will be a rainy one. I hope so. The heat of midwestern summer is a fiercely brutal companion on road-trips in our little air-conditioning-less car.
At the moment, I am thankful for the cool morning, which is making pearls of sparkling dew appear on everything from grass to flowers to spiderwebs. Tyler, who has been groggy and uninterested up to this point, forgetting how much he loves to be behind the camera, finally wakes up and joins me in a romping photographic pursuit just like we used to on our trip.
He gets absorbed in the world of macro dew shots, while I stick to my beloved flowers and grasses:
By six-thirty, the sun is well on its way up, beginning to assert the power of its heat upon the land. Meanwhile, Amish folk are about, beginning their mornings, quietly clip-clopping down the lane in their horse-drawn buggies. For a moment I forget about how much work it must be, and fantasize about having one of my own.
The day has begun in earnest, and it's time to re-join Ingrid and Yves at the campsite before they think we've disappeared completely. Back at the RV, we greet our friends and share a breakfast of bread and yogurt. After some final socializing around the picnic table, grateful for the random, serendipitous time we were able to spend together, we say goodbye, hugging them tightly and wishing them well.
It's time to head west once more, towards Illinois and Minnesota.