Saturday, October 3, 2015

Day 35 - Friday, Oct 2 - Junction City, KS, Hannibal, MO, Springfield, IL

Starting mileage:  9065 Starting time: 6:30 am

Ending mileage: 9511 Ending time: 6:00 pm
Travel mileage:  446 Travel time: 11:30 hours

We wanted to visit the Lincoln home and memorial in Springfield, IL, so got up and left early this morning. Driving east we were able to enjoy the sunrise but were also blinded by the light - we decided to stop and have breakfast at Dunkin Donuts at the turnpike rest area until the sun was a bit higher.

On the morning NPR news we learned about the latest shooting massacre a Umqua College in Roseburg, OR. We stayed in Roseburg the night before visiting Crater Lake.

We realized that our route was going to take us through Hannibal, MO, the childhood home of Mark Twain and decided to make a short stop there. We visited the Hannibal historical museum on the main street where we learned that Hannibal also had a number of other notable citizens, including the "Unsinkable Molly Brown" (she was never actually called "Molly" - this was just for the show). We walked up the levee over the Mississippi River. We stopped for lunch where I had the best catfish ever and also the worst beer ("pretzel beer") ever - I couldn't finish it which is pretty rare.

After lunch we got on our way and crossed the Mississippi. In the past two days we crossed the 3 longest rivers in the US, the Arkansas, Missouri and Mississippi.

The terrain was becoming more and more green, with many more trees - starting to look more like home although still with large fields growing grain sorghum, corn and oats. We passed a large ethanol plant with huge corn storage bins and tractor trailers steadily bringing in corn - this is also the harvest time and we saw corn being harvested.

We arrived at the Lincoln visitor center around 3pm and were able to get on the 3:20 tour of the Lincoln House. The park service has done a great job of restoring the neighborhood to its appearance in the 1860s. 4 blocks have been shut off from traffic with many of the original houses, board sidewalks and cobblestone streets. Where one of the original small houses had been moved and a newer house built, they tore down the newer house and moved the old house back to its original position opposite the Lincoln house. In this house there were exhibits about archeology and the restoration process.

The Lincoln house is very much as it was in 1865. The park service worked with Sherwin-Williams to provide paint that closely matched the colors at that time. The tour is limited to 15 people at a time due to the number of people who can fit in the kitchen at one time. The tour guide was very good, with a sense of humor, engaging the visitors and very well informed. It was strange to think that Lincoln had stood in the same room and shaved in the same mirror on the wall, played with his children in front of the fireplace and Mary Todd Lincoln prepared meals on the wood-fired stove in the kitchen. It was well worthwhile to visit.

Afterwards we visited the Lincoln tomb although we just missed going inside the tomb itself which has additional exhibits of his life. It was much larger than we expected but not surprising given how much he was revered.

We parked so I could be in a conference call with the IBM team that has a weekly meeting on Friday at 3:30 PDT.

We have another free night at the Comfort Inn - the best room so far, a king suite with its own balcony. We had to stop at several restaurants before finding one that didn't have a 20 minute wait to get in - it is Friday night and people are out on the town. 

Day 35 route

Lincoln House

Lincoln Tomb

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