Kai Ryssdal and The Atlantic's James Fallows land in Sioux Falls in Fallows' four-seat plane.
Kai Ryssdal and The Atlantic's James Fallows land in Sioux Falls in Fallows' four-seat plane. - 

Marketplace American Futures Eastport, ME Approach from Brendan Willard on Vimeo.

So here's what I want you to do. Take a look a the video we embedded at the top of this post. It's a little old – last December or thereabouts, I think. But it'll do.

That's Jim Fallows in the left seat doing the flying, me in the right, along for the ride. We're in Jim's Cirrus SR-22, out of Portland, Maine, headed waaaaay down east to Eastport, Maine, which is, for the record, the eastern-most point in the continental United States.

I mention it because by the time this post is up I'll be back in Jim's plane, flying from Birmingham, Alabama, over to Columbus, Mississippi, for another installment of the project we've been working on with Jim, his wife Deb, and the Atlantic Magazine for the past 6 or 8 months, called 'American Futures.'

It's a pretty simple concept: Jim and Deb fly around the country, seeing what they can see from the air, landing at one of the thousands of small airports that're out there, with us tagging along from time to time. We hope that by the end of it we'll have a pretty good picture of what the American economy looks like right now.

Dispatches from Columbus coming soon to a radio show near you – ten days or so. Oh, and be sure to stick with the video 'til about 1:55 or so.

Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal