We are off again on what will be a rather long trip. We are planning to go to visit our daughter, son-in-law and grandson in Seattle. Not ones to take a direct route, we are going from Indiana to Seattle by way of Las Vegas. A quick check of the Rand McNally will quickly show that this is NOT a direct route.
Anyway, we’re off now. Our first day took us through Illinois. We had to stop at Casey, home to all of these “World’s largest” things. Wind chimes, pitch forks, golf tees and of course the largest rocking chair. (See below) Kitty cornered from the chair they were working on completing the World’s Largest Teeter-Totter. I swear they were….
This chair is HUGE
If you are driving on Interstate 70 around the St. Louis, Missouri or Highland, Illinois area you will want to be sure and stop at the Blue Springs Cafe. We saw their signs advertising their famous foot high pies as we were traveling on Interstate 70 from Indianapolis to St. Louis. We couldn’t resist stopping for a middle of the afternoon treat and we are so glad we did. The pie is delicious. I had blackberry pie with a scope of ice cream and my husband had the coconut cream pie. Of course we both had to sample each others and both were worth stopping for.
Next time we travel on I-70 we are going to plan our trip so we can eat dinner at the Blue Springs Cafe. The food looked so good and is served family style.
The Blue Springs Cafe is open daily from 11:00am until 9:00pm. They are located at exit 30 in Highland, IL. For more information the website is www.foothipies.com. They get a 5 star rating from me on the pies and am looking forward to dinner on our next trip through the area.
The upper portion of the Lincoln tomb
Lincoln’s tomb is in the huge Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. This is a State historic site, not a National property. The impressive structure is on top of a hill in roughly the center of the cemetery grounds.
You enter the tomb into a small round room. There were two volunteers in the room answering questions. The tomb itself is reached via a marble lined hall way with different bronze statues of Lincon along the way.
Once you have seen the marker for Lincoln and the internment wall behind which are Lincoln’s wife and children you continue out another hallway. This was a very somber and, for me, emotional time. All of the history of Lincoln, the tragedy of the Civil War and of his untimely death seemed to come to life.
The photos do not really do justice to the magnificence of the exterior and the interior of tomb. This is a true must visit site if you are near Springfield.
You enter the tomb via the small door seen on the lower right of the structure.
In the entry room, this is a small version of the statue in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC
Not a clear photo, but this shows the hall leading to the tomb.
One of several depictions of Lincoln in varioius places in the walkway.
Lincoln’s casket is actually behind and 10 feet below this massive marker. It is encased in steel reinforced concrete.
Lincoln’s children are also here next to Mrs. Lincoln
One of four statues representing the Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and Navy that fought in the Civil War, and that Lincoln commanded.
The formal parlor in the Lincoln home
Today we enjoyed some of the sights and historic attractions in Springfield, Illinois. It seems that the only US National Park in Illinois is the four block area that includes the home of Abraham Lincoln and his family. Lincoln only owned one house during his life, and it was the one in Springfield.
Today the home is completely restored including what is touted as original Lincoln family furniture and other items. You have to go on a guided tour of the Lincoln home. Tickets are free but you do need a ticket. The tickets are available at the information center. There were not a lot of people there today but there were a couple of bus loads of kids on spring break. We did have to wait a couple of hours before our tour. On a real busy tourist day it might take a while to be able to take the tour.
The tour was quick, maybe a half hour at the most. I would have liked to really look at some of the furnishings of the house, but those NPS Rangers kept you moving, and by golly you better not even touch the walls or even the door jambs! I understand not wanting things worn out but to sort of yell at a fellow who puts his hand on a painted wood door jamb? Oh well,it was still fun to see the Lincoln house.
There are lots of displays in the info center as well as a couple of short films. And of course the gift shop was packed with just about everything Lincoln you could imagine.
Another ‘classic’ view of the home
These parlor chairs are said to be Lincoln’s in this house. The NPS guide said they went into storage after Lincoln moved to DC. and were recovered.
Lincoln’s desk in his upstairs bedroom. Legend says he wrote his debates with Douglas at this desk.
Lincoln’s dresser with wash basin and pitcher and shaving gear.
When it is too cold to go to the outhouse…
The four block historic area around the Lincoln home (that is it on the left)
Near Pere Marquette State Park north of Grafton, Illinois we saw a magnificent bald eagle in the top of a tree. What a treat to see our National Symbol in the flesh, er….in the feather. Info boards at the park said that in the year 2000 there were 43 active nests of bald eagles in Illinois.
You see some out of the ordinary things on US 40, the National Road. Casey, Illinois has some of those things. The world’s largest wind chimes broiught us to a halt a we drove through this little town. The “coming soon” foundations for the allegeded largest rocking chair was a hoot. I wondered how long the chair has been “coming soon”.
World’s largest wind chime
And it will arrive when??