Sunday, January 2, 2011

The end of the Great River Road

I am back from my week long road trip along the Great River Road.  Sadie and I had a great time walking the path of Lincoln, Dred Scot, the Cahokia nation, and Civil War soliders.  I saw some amazing sites and plan on heading back once the weather warms up and snow melts.  As I said earlier, most businesses were closed for the holiday season.  Here is a recap of some of my highlights. 
The site of the seventh & last Lincoln-Douglas debate, Alton, IL 
 Infamous Superman statue in Metropolis, IL. He's ready for the Christmas season with his Santa hat.  I couldn't find why Metropolis decided to be the home of Superman, but they have embraced Superman, Superwoman, Supergirl and Lois Lane
This is the pod that takes you to the top of the St. Louis Arch, it sits 5 people and is very small.  Since I'm not a fan of tight spaces or heights I decided not to go to the top of the arch.  This capsule reminded me too much of a Ferris wheel car, and the last time I was on a Ferris wheel I had a panic attack while we were stuck at the top.  A memory I do not want to relive.  
The historical St. Louis courthouse, made famous by the Dred Scott case.  If your US History is a little fuzzy, Dred Scott was a slave who sued his owner  for his freedom.  After about 15 years the case was appealed to the US Supreme Court who decided African-Americans, free or slave, did not have rights and Dred Scott should not have even been allowed to sue.  He finally received his freedom, when he was sold and his new owner  decided to emancipate Dred Scott and his wife. 
Monks Mound is the larges mound found among the Cahokia Mounds outside Collinsville, IL.  Cahokia is the largest prehistorical site north of Mexico consisting of about 120 mounds.  At it's height around 1100 AD there were about 20,000 people living on the site.  Less than a century area the civilization declined for unknown reasons.  Walking around the mounds was exhilarating, thinking about how strategically placed each mound is and the specific purchase each had.  I hung out at the top of Monks Mound taking in the beauty and felt a sense of peace.  Even Sadie, my dog who is normally very hyper chilled out once we reached the top.  
I love taking road trips and finding fun retro signs like this.  I wish more businesses would bring these signs back, I think they had more character than many of the signs you see now.  Maybe I am just nostalgic for an era before my time. 
He's Popeye, the Sailorman! You'll find this statue in Chester, IL, hometown of Elzie C. Segar, the creator of the Popeye characters.  The town has plans to build more bronze statues like this of all the characters over the next decade or so.  There are already 6 around town and the Popeye musuem has a map of where you can find each one. 
Sadie hanging out on the covered bridge in Chester. The bridge isn't functional anymore, but sits on the outskirts of town.  She's such a curious little dog. 
Our last  stop was at Belmont Columbus State Park in Kentucky, a Civil War battlefield.  The site is home to a stretch of trenches built by the Confederate soldiers, you can walk along the  trenches seen in the picture.  The trail among the trenches look like a maze and they were so high they almost blocked out the sounds of the forest.

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