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Saturday at last, and, as usual, I am sitting on the living room floor with maps of Missouri and Illinois and looking for a good place to visit with my camera. Those and Google Maps on the computer. To set a mood I am listening to excerpts from the soundtrack from 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly'. It's inspired me to seek out a covered bridge – perhaps a tangental reference to the wooden bridge blown up in the film!

Google Maps is always invaluable, but, so far, I have felt no desire whatsoever to install a global positioning system in the car or even take a wireless laptop with me. Paper maps are what I love, and have done so ever since I learned orienteering as a boy scout. But I do need to get a better Missouri map.

Before all this, I wandered out onto the front steps and took this photograph. It emphasizes how forested our little dwelling seems to be, right here in suburban University City.

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