Susan and Mike were partnered for their three-week whirlwind tour of the Mississippi Valley refuges that were flooded several months ago. Starting just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota and working all the way south to Little Rock, Arkansas, the pair hit 11 refuges in six states, never venturing too far from the legendary waterway Lewis and Clark once partially traveled many years ago. After spending a week around the Minneapolis area working at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge– and an artery-clogging day at the Minnesota State Fair – the team worked in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and western Illinois for the second week. A brief stop at Susan’s home and a driving tour of eastern Iowa and western Illinois presidential museums provided a relaxing weekend heading into the final week. The pair worked in eastern Missouri and southwest Illinois – making a brief stop at Popeye’s hometown in Chester, IL – before finishing up the hitch at White River wildlife refuge just outside of Little Rock. This particular refuge is home to Arkansas’ largest Bald Cypress tree, reaching a height of 120 feet and a width of 40 feet. Overall, the weather was warm and intermittently humid and the mosquitoes few and far between. While the heart of the country is known for its agriculture and flatter landscapes, the Mighty Mississippi, unobstructed sunsets and kind Midwestern folk proved made it a very enjoyable hitch.