2009 USA Tour : March 20th, From Equinox in TN to Urbana IL
Early Equinox Nashville Sunrise
I did not work out what time Equinox was in Tennessee but i gather it was early. We awoke to an early but beautiful warm clear sky sunny sunrise. We had to be on the road by 8:00 am to reach Urbana IL by 2:00 pm due to things to do there before the concert.
The journey was pretty and relaxing with the Sat-Nav GPS leading us along expected freeways flowing from the rolling wooded hills of north of Nashville into the rolling field and small landscapes of Indiana, but for some reason, after I handed driving over to Claire it led us onto country roads in Indiana.
Into The Prairies of Amish and Corn Growers
We were attracted by a sign for for Amish Food so we thought we would pop in for late breakfast. It was 10:30 am and breakfast service was over. This was lunch time! Also, we were naively expecting to be greeted with bearded men and ladies in 19th century style work dress outfits and signs saying Ye Biscuits and Ye Sweet Tea etc. Instead we had jolly casual waitresses and its the food and recipes that come from the local Amish.
The all you can eat lunch buffet was actually excellent including some of the best catfish I have ever tasted, at an exceptionally low cost of $10 each including beverages and desserts in a lovely dining room. The variety of food in the buffet was extraordinary and all so fresh too.
After our very early Amish lunch we were soon over the border into Illinois and a very dramatic change in landscape. Here the landscape provides big sky and lots of flat farmed land as far as the eye can see. Main crops for many miles are soya bean and corn, though at this time of year the fields are barren and not sown yet. Now none of this is for food these days but for fuel. The corn is converted into ethanol and most petrol/gasoline in the USA is around 10% ethanol. The soya is grown for bio diesel. To add to this confusion many of the fields also have nodding donkey oil drills and pumps s these fields provided both “big oil” and eco fuel from the same spot.
We arrived in Urbana bang on our scheduled time of 3:00 pm so we had time to check into our campsite outside nearby Champaign then head into Urbana to unload and set up at the beautiful Heartland Gallery of Jan Chandler. Beautiful sunny day here still but we noticed a remarkable drop in temperature to around 40 F.
And then its was concert time again in Urbana, full of lovely people, some of whom have become good friends since Claire’s performance there last March. I think about 60 or 70 people were there.
Claire performed quite an instrumental slanted set this time and she was delighted to also be able to use an Irish harp loaned by a local player.
Sitting In A Green Field
Fields of Fasseroe
Brian Boru’s March
Suil A Rhuin
the new gaelic song I still do not have the title of
Medley of O’Carolan tunes
Flower Of Maherally
Eileen A Ruin
and an encore of Bi a Iosa im Croise
After the concert was a delightful long social exchange that eventually spread over to a bar/restaurant opposite the gallery.
I am writing this a couple of days after the event with one eye at least almost asleep so there is a lot I have missed here, so I must come back to this post and expand it when I can.