I was on the road heading out of Chicago at 8 past 8 this morning. I managed driving around Chicago quite well during my stay but I had a bit of trouble understanding what my GPS wanted me to do on my way out. I ended up viewing a couple of residential areas which weren’t scheduled but I finally got the right highway and didn’t lose too much time. The original plan was to stop and eat in Springfield and then tour Abraham Lincoln’s home but I got hungry early and made a stop just off the highway. Again, I had a plan — to eat food I had brought with me but when I went in to buy a drink, their pizza smelled mighty fine so I succumbed and had a piece. I ate my things for dinner.
It’s really interesting “seeing the USA, in my Chevrolet”. Parts of Illinois and Missouri are pretty much like southern Ontario — corn fields, trees, with some low hills thrown in for good measure. I crossed through the Ozarks. Something I never realized when I was a kid reading Mark Twain’s tales of Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn, is where Missouri really is. I had this vision that they were on the Mississippi R. down in the south. It wasn’t until much later in life I realized the Mississippi comes all the way up to Canada and the stories took place in the mid-west. I passed the turn-off to Hannibal, Missouri today. It was tempting to drive down and take in the scenery but it might have spoiled the stories for me — it’s probably much changed from when Twain was writing.
I did get to see Lincoln’s home. It is situated in 4 blocks preserved from his time although the other homes are only restored on the outside. The sidewalks are boards and bricks as they would have been back then. Park rangers took us through the house. There is not much of the Lincolns’ furniture there as they sold much of it before moving to Washington and rented the home while they were away. But everything in the house is from that era and the ranger was very knowledgeable. The tour was only 20 min. and their historical center where they sell the tickets was interesting as well. They have a model of the town the way President Lincoln would have known it set up as well as books and souvenirs, postcards, etc. It made for a nice break in the middle of my drive.
My stopover in Columbia, Missouri has a swimming pool, so when I got checked in I headed right there to get out some of the kinks from driving. All in all, I’m getting a fair bit of exercise what with walking 5 hrs yesterday and the day before in Chicago and several hours on Saturday as well. Tomorrow is a slightly shorter drive on the road to Hays, Kansas.