This Working Man Day 23

Finally left Iowa and headed into the soybeans and corn of South Dakota. I can’t believe how much fun I have driving by myself and just taking in the landscape.

About 30 miles into SD, I pulled off the highway for gas and crossed paths with a young man driving a tractor. I explained the project to him and he invited me to a Merle Haggard concert. Not knowing who that was, I agreed. What a kick.

The next day I filmed the tractor-driving farmer-turned-roofer tearing up some wood shakes. A little bat was hiding under one of the shingles and I spent much longer with the bat than the roofers… But who could resist that little face?

During the lunch break, the roofer taught me to shoot a shotgun. The bruises on my shoulder are proof that I was a first timer.

After a hard day of laboring in the sun (that’s right, I hammered nails and laid shingles!) we headed to the Missouri River for a swim and some fireworks. There was beer and football tossing. It was pretty all-American.

From left: Ryan, Tommy, Sean, Logan and Jake

Today I head to North Dakota, parts of which I have been warned are terribly unsafe. I will take all necessary precautions, but, good people of North Dakota, I hope you can prove all these southerners wrong…

Also, my friend Michelle (who joined me early on) has posted about our adventures on the Atlas Obscura “Notes from the Field,”┬áif you want more stories and photos from the beginning of the trip…

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