Day 17: Central Illinois in the Rain

Today was a real weather challenge.  Sensible people would have just stayed in the hotel and watched movies on HBO or caught up on email.  But since I was three days behind, I had to press on.  I’ll never take the sun for granted again.  I did my best to protect the camera with my shirt and a plastic bin lid.  Then I’d rush back to the van and wipe down whatever drops got on the camera.   At times, I had to pull over because visibility was near zero.  But there were a few good sunny hours and I managed to bang through a good chunk of stops.

Adding to the stress and irritation of weather, I got my first (and hopefully last) speeding ticket of the trip.  Entering the little town of Stonington (population 960), I  must have been distracted with my maps as I never saw him til the lights were flashing behind me.  He had me at 52 in a 35 but kindly knocked it back down a bit.  So this will be a $75-er.  Not a bad price considering how my non-stop speeding for the past 17 days has gotten me umpteen or so more stops per day.  This was definitely a speed trap as when I was coming back the other direction, I saw the same guy giving some other sucker a ticket.  I figure at a minimum $75 times about 4 per hour, that’s $300 an hour, times 7 hours = $2100 day.  No wonder he had such a huge monster truck type truck instead of the usual police cruiser.  The town probably said he could have whatever he wanted.  Maybe nobody in the town even has to work since he brings in such revenue.  So anyhow, yes, I’ll slow down a bit.  Maybe.  At least in Illinois.

On with the show.  I have long been a fan of the Bear Manufacturing (aka “laughing bear”) signs.  Some examples and history at the bottom of this page:
http://www.agilitynut.com/signs/ca2.html

But this guy in Springfield seemed smaller than usual:

blog1

This Hen House restaurant in Springfield is part of what once was a chain.  I’m not sure how old this giant sign is but it might be from the 1970s.  According to an online source, the chain started in 1969 and at one time had 42 locations in five states.

blog2

One more sign for today — from Jacksonville.  This sign was massive (as was the Hen House above) but I chopped off the legs to give you more actual sign.

blog11

This one from Decatur I forgot to include in my post yesterday.  Three grown men motored up to the liquor store on these bicycles.  I’ve never seen such a thing.  Apparently, they are gasoline powered and somehow set up just like motorcyles.  Although they probably don’t go as fast. 

blog3

Something else that’s news to me — In Springfield, this clerk-less convenience store.  Well, almost.  Even wheelchair accessible.

blog4

Fixie is a female dog so it’s not what you think.  The thunder and lightening and rain had her pretty miserable and in a tail tuck all day.  If she could speak, she’d be “hounding” me with “when are we going home?”s.

blog5

Nik, however, when he’s not barking or running around, knows how to relax.  His standard sleep position, looking very leggy.  Even at rest, you can see the double suspension gait which makes him so fast.  I have been futzing around for the past hour trying (without success) to get some videos of him and Grem running around and retrieving today.  Maybe I’ll figure it out tomorrow night.

blog10

Today’s dose of Abraham Lincoln — this statue in Taylorville.  This webpage explains the pig:
http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/news/taylorville.htm

blog6

Also from Taylorville, the winner of the Ugliest Building of the Day.  And right there on the main square.

blog7

Actually, it’s not the building’s fault.  I’m sure it started out just fine, maybe even nice looking, but over the years, one modification led to another I suppose.  Until somebody got a really good deal on shingles.

This building in town also must have had a better appearance initially.  I’m guessing that Lewis was a department or clothes store?  There was already a theatre in this town square.

blog8

A couple photos shot with Flickr friends in mind.  Scottamus (aka Mr. Ohio) — this one in Farmersville is for you.  I’m not sure how old it is but I’ve never seen a combo design like this. Scott has loads of great old playground equipment here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/10707024@N04/sets/72157603684236733/

blog9

And Roadsidepictures — this one’s for you.  It may not have a nice neon sign but it sure has it makes up for it in quantity.  Allen runs the Rexall Drug Store group:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/rexalldrugstore/pool/

blog14

From Hannibal, MO (yes, I briefly snuck out of Illinois because this city was so close and won’t be as convenient during the Missouri portion of the trip — if there IS a Missouri portion that is, after now being, what, four days behind schedule?).  This is City Hall or some other big deal city building.  Okay, if you can get past the pigeon situation… I ask you:  what the heck is that thing on top?  That round thing that looks like it must light up — and, in my fantasy world, flash on and off in some way. Or are those just some sort of Xmas lights wrapped around the thing — and maybe they too are never lit.

blog12

Hannibal is all about Mark Twain — his boyhood home evidently. Coming into town on the interstate there’s this tribute.  Which looks better at 75mph than snatched and frozen in this photo.  Not sure what this “art” is composed of.

blog13

But — back to Illinois after this little diversion.  I’m figuring for about three more days.  Then, finally into Iowa.  At least that’s the plan.  Weather permitting.

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Day 17: Central Illinois in the Rain

  1. It always rains when I’m in Illinois. I rent a car for 3 weeks, and only get to use it 5 or 6 days. I’ve lived in California too long, lost all my good Chicago rain-driving skills. All that rain is what makes the Illinois corn and bean crops the best in the world.

    @#$%&*@! Illinois speedtraps. But $75: no problem! That cop was sneaky but decent. Volume discount in Stonington.

    • I can’t say you didn’t warn me about the speeding. But I was back at it today — kept reminding myself to take it easy — but… Sure got a lot of miles covered though. I’ve been to Illinois many times and I guess I’ve just gotten lucky with the sun.

  2. Thanks for perservering through the rain to get some of those shots, I know of a building in otherwise picturesque Media PA that appears to have gotten a good deal on shingles as well, It’s as if the roof is trying to touch the ground!

    If you’re ever in Ellenville or Greenwood Delaware, they too have a speed trap, where the main drag through town, and across that part of the state, goes from 40+ mph to 25 very rapidly. I bet that’s how they make their money too, as the towns themselves are pretty sleepy.

    Always love the pictures of the pups! My weimy comes home from a stay at the beach (lucky dog) tomorrow, and I can’t wait to rub his big floppy ears!

    • The entire state of Viriginia is one big speedtrap — particulary I-81 and the Cheseapeake Bridge. I don’t think I’ve ever come home from a Virginia trip without a “souvenir”.

  3. The Hannibal building is the old United States Courthouse and Post Office. Someone made a comment on my photo of it that it was turned into a night club called the “Blue Print Lounge”.

  4. The piece of playground equipment you show in Farmersville, IL is a “Mark IV” by Jamison / Miracle Equipment. I’ve seen it in an ad in a mid 1970’s issue of Parks & Recreation. I’m definitely taking a road trip in the spring.

  5. The playground equipment at the park in Farmersville looks a LOT like the awesome old (long since removed and replaced with cheesy injury-proof and lawyer approved wimpy equipment) that used to be at Campanelli Park in Schaumburg, Illinois. I grew up there and later moved to the San Diego area. Thanks for the memories!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s