Rumbling along in a campaign bus is not all that romantic until you take a moment to look outside at the Iowa farm fields buried in an uninterrupted cover of snow.
As the sun rises the snow takes on a pink hue and the entire landscape is brought into sharp resolution. So much of iowa is iced-over, glistening. Beautiful.
I've been riding campaign buses since 1972, and I've always thought of them as a great way to see the country, to ride those backroads most Americans never take.
This time of year, with the temperature in the teens, the senses seem more acute perhaps because the air is so bracing.
But look at the farms! The barns seem redder, the cows browner set off against the whiter-than-white backdrop. Someone painstakingly built that frozen fence over there. Somebody will ford that icy stream over there to gather his livestock.
Someone bailed that hay lying in frozen circular bundles. Someone set out the stream of decorations that are a feature of most little towns in this state, the holiday lights binding people together as one.
Turning right on Iowa highway 38 north, we pass an occasional car or pickup truck. The reporters aboard the bus are deep in their Blackberries or newspapers getting ready for the next event. It will be a long day.
Only a few have time to pause. To take in the view. To see America.