Relax, East Coast, the Midwest is coming


Driving across Indiana has always been the most boring part of our drives to and from the East Coast. But not today.

Every few minutes, from the Ohio line to South Bend, convoys of utility trucks and tree crews — two people to a truck — were heading toward hurricane country. The various news agencies said there were 50 such crews on their way to help the East Coast recover from Hurricane Irene, but I counted about 100 such vehicles this morning, and more are supposed to head to the area tomorrow (I realize this isn’t a great picture, but it’s Indiana).

Some of these people are heading to Virginia; others are going up to New England.

The view out the window gave me a chance to think about the nature of disasters — even apparently overblown ones like this hurricane (it’s a Category 2; I walked to work once in Boston in a category 2). Yes, these people are being paid, but they’re going into a potentially dangerous situation, and someone was smart enough to send them there because there’s a fair chance nameless people in another part of the country will need electricity and a quick recovery.

Where hurricanes are concerned, that’s not exactly been our forte in recent years. But as a Midwesterner, I felt pretty proud that we’re still a people who pitch in when someone needs a hand.

  • “Driving across Indiana has always been the most boring part of our drives”

    I concur! Can’t get through Indiana fast enough!

  • Bob Collins

    When I’m by myself, I get off the tollway and go on US6 which is pretty nice, especially down through Amish farming country.

    Somewhere there I stumbled across the sign at the entrance to a small town, “Birthplace of professional baseball player Denny Naegle.” Naegle was a U of M pitcher who had a halfway decent major league career. But he was actually born in Maryland.

    Indiana is like that, I think.

  • Jim Shapiro

    “Indiana wants me, lord I can’t go back there” kinda sums up the place.

  • Audrey F.

    I don’t know, I was kind of pleasantly surprised by Indiana, having – until my first visit – as a hotter dryer North Dakota. Now THERE’S boring. Thought Indianapolis was quite decent…

    Actually this great country of ours is full of places I’m perfectly happy NOT being in. Hey I’m from Minnesota. I’m spoiled.

  • Sarah H.

    Heeey! I’m an ex-Hoosier and I would like to point out that southern Indiana is beautiful. I’m from Shoals, IN which has the Jug Rock – the largest free standing table rock formation east of the Mississippi. French Lick has a spooky old hotel that was frequented by gangsters back in the day. Also, we get all the credit for Kurt Vonnegut. So there.

  • Suzannne

    The only silver lining about driving through Indiana is that it’s only four hours across. Try west Texas – that is awful and twice as long.

  • Lily

    I am glad that you and Mrs. News Cut are safely back in Minnesota!! We missed you.