Inside was this Coffee Shoppe, complete with homemade blueberry pie. My Lovely Bride tried unsuccessfully to steer me away from the nice farm lady behind the counter, but I was on a mission... the pie was wonderful!
After traveling miles and miles through vast Iowa cornfields, we crossed into Missouri, the Show-Me State. My mother was born in Joplin, and I always enjoy visiting here. Our first stop involved a slight detour to a small town on the Mississippi River to get in a run. Here is the tugboat James F. Neal slowly pushing 12 loaded barges up the river. Mark Twain lived in Hannibal, just an hour or so south, and would have piloted his sternwheeler past the town a hundred and fifty years ago.
La Grange (pop. 931) sits right on the river, with most of the town on high ground about 50-60 feet above the river. However, there is no levee here, and there were about 20 houses and businesses right down by the river. As we ran, we passed this sign on a commercial building along the highway, showing the high level mark in the flood of 1993. It was a 32 foot crest, 17 feet above flood stage. You would NOT have wanted to be in La Grange on July 11, 1993.
An encouraging sign was this one marking 26 years and one week without a lost time injury at this grain handling facility. That has to be near the best safety record for any port facility I've seen. Bunge is a leading exporter of grains, soybeans, canola oil, and other grain-based food products.