Last weekend, after our four days in St. Paul, Minnesota, my sister, her friend, her daughter and I made the long drive home back to the northwestern suburbs of Chicago. It’s about a 5 1/2 hour drive if you drive straight through, with no stops. Of course, that would be nearly impossible for most people, and we needed several breaks.
Most of the drive is through Wisconsin, which has a network of waysides along all major highways. Trucks park on one side and cars on the other, with the facilities in between them. These waysides are quite nice – most have picnic tables, some kind of historical information, and some greenery. I decided to take a little walk while the others were using the facilities at this wayside north of Janesville, Wisconsin. It was after 8 pm and the sun was setting.
Getting away from the mowed lawn and picnic tables, there is a bit of prairie and trees.
I thought of monarchs when I saw this milkweed plant. Monarchs have become increasingly scarce with the decreasing number of milkweed plants, which are necessary for their survival, due to development and controlled landscaping. More people have become aware lately and milkweed is being deliberately planted and cultivated again. I didn’t see a monarch butterfly, but this little bug is about the same color as a monarch!
I took a picture of this long chassis on the back of a truck, carrying some kind of pipe or coil, I think. I’d never seen one so long.
I watched as the sun went down behind the trees behind the trucks, casting a golden hue which tinges the side of the one cloud in the sky.
As I was heading back toward our car, I noticed a couple of trees that seemed to have some kind of memorial at the base of their trunks. I went over to take a look.
There was a plaque that had been placed by the local union.
I wondered about these workers who had lost their lives, and found it amazing that people were visiting the wayside and leaving flowers and stuffed animals for them. Were these donors relatives who made the trek to the wayside to leave tokens of their love, or were they given by random passersby who happened to stop at this wayside?
I’d never seen anything quite like this before, not at a wayside. It just goes to show that any place is worth exploring, even if you have only a few minutes. You never know what you might find!