Thursday, August 04, 2016

July 12 -- the rest of the day


On I-80, just west of the Iowa/Illinois border, is the self-proclaimed "World's Largest Truckstop."  And it may well be exactly that, for all I know.  Note "Trucking Museum," middle, left.

It is large.

They have everything.  At least, we guess they do, given that some things are best not advertised to a family audience.........

They have Wendy's which we are always glad to find.  Baked potatoes and small green salads are pretty much like real food, and Wendy's has both.

Heading on east.  One last Iowa cloud.  This one looks to me like a long-legged bird, with its head at right and its tail at left........

None of these pics of the Mississippi are very artistic, alas.

It is a big river.

A very big river.

With big barges on it.

At left, center is one corner of the barge we see above.  That is one really big river.  "The Continent Divider," my better half called it.

Clouds over Illinois.  Note that series of sort of brush-shaped clouds, lower right, with long handles, the ripples in the upper left, and the more solid-looking bank in the lower left.

A better look at the ripples, and I wonder how that bit perpendicular to the long diagonal stripe came to be.

Illinois is oddly flatter than Iowa.  I wonder why.

This is that bank of clouds in the lower left above.  With a small line of little white clouds near the horizon.

There are a bunch of Illinois state parks near Starved Rock.  We stopped at Mattheissen State Park to walk around a bit.  Like Starved Rock, there are lots of stairs as part of the trails.  We went down one biggish bunch of stairs, and found a fairly level woodsy trail around a much lower area.  We walked on the level-ish bit and skipped the extra descent.

Flowers along the trail.

Looking down into the part I declined to visit.  It's pretty far down. 

See the kids down there?

How about now?

Looking down from a different vantage point.  It's really pretty far down.  (And did I mention it was a hot and humid day?)

Note little waterfall at the bottom of this pic.

Looking straight down from the same vantage point as above.  Two small falls, in a beautifully green space.

We climbed back up to the parking-lot level, and drove around the park area.

They have a remote-controlled airplane runway.  That's the runway at left, near the bottom, below.  There's a field of something in the middle distance that is not corn.

We saw more corn than any other crop.  We also saw soybeans, and a few fields of sunflowers.

Back on the road.  Nice clouds over Illinois.

Here endeth the pics for this trip.  Had we loved the Starved Rock Lodge, we would have stopped there for the night again.  We decided to keep going until we got too tired to drive.

We crossed the Illinois/Indiana border, and found an Olive Garden (unfortunately packed with screaming children.  Why do people think it's ok for their children to scream in public places?  If they can't sit still and shut up, use the drive-through window at McDonalds and go to a park, people.  No sit-down restaurants until your children know how to behave in public!!!!!!!!!!!  Sigh.).

It was still somewhat light as we got ready to leave the Olive Garden.  I got a cup of coffee, and drove for the next hour or so.

Our rented Jeep had a magic rearview mirror.  It stopped the idiots who follow too close on the highway from blinding us.  You could see in that mirror just fine, even in daylight, (though everything seemed a bit green??), but it didn't reflect "too much light from headlights" back at us after dark.  I don't know how they did that, but I approve! 

As it happened, we drove and drove, and ended up at home.  We were glad to sleep in our own bed, and I was glad to go to yoga on the 13th.

A good trip to a excellent event that most people never get to experience.  Yay.


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