I headed north with the moonroof and both windows open. I was in no particular hurry. We had been away for more than a week, and I was savoring this drive with the succulence of midsummer assaulting all of my senses. My mission was to retrieve our retriever from a friend who lives several miles up Minnesota's North Shore. It might have been quicker to take Highway 61 expressway, but I didn't want linear efficiency. I wanted the back way, sprinkled with hobby farms, river crossings and pastures full of wildflowers. I wanted open country and lots of it.