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Part II

by Tena Starr

I once had an editor, at a different paper, who believed a reporter could find a good story in any random person — a mini-mart clerk, a housewife, a construction worker — that we all have something to tell.

Traveling this country often reminds me of her.  You think you know something about where you’re going, what you might encounter, but it’s probably wrong or at least embarrassingly shallow.

A bear ranch?  Five hundred-foot dunes on a lake?  Massive freighters and ingenious bridges?  Water so big it feels like ocean but oddly more intimidating?  An upscale resort in the midst of a shipyard?  Pie wars?

We ran into all that in a part of the country that isn’t generally considered a vacation destination.  We were in the Midwest, not Florida or California or Myrtle Beach…

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