Posts Tagged ‘Illinois’

Day 2

Everywhere on the road there are Harley Davidson’s with license plates from across the U.S. Last night in front of the Super 8 I asked a biker if he was headed to Sturgis. He told me that bike week is NOW!!!! Mummy was really counting on going there and sporting her new leather bikini, but I told her that it’d totally mess up our schedule. She’s so upset about it, even now, like 24 hours later, that she’s sleeping on the floor, refusing to share the bed with me.

So, this morning we left Knoxville, Illinois at 9:58 am Central Time. Way later than we wanted to because we were so tired. We crossed the Mississippi River near Burlington, Iowa and traveled west on 34 across the entire state. America is full of corn.

In the first 20 minutes on the road in Iowa we saw a fire on the side of the road.

And an overturned tractor trailer. Men were cleaning up the watermelons that got spilled.

And I can’t figure out if you get gas here or see XXX movies!?

We passed the “American Gothic” house, you know, the painting by Grant Wood of the man & woman farmers with the pitchfork? Yeah, that’s in Iowa.

We stopped in Albia, Iowa to gas up and get fed. Mummy went to a garage sale across the street from the gas station and bought 5 polished river stones for $1.00. The guy who sold them to her said they were from California.

We ate at the Highway Restaurant in Albia. The guy at the garage sale and the lady at the gas station both recommended it. There was a restaurant across the street from the Highway called the White Buffalo, but we heard it was for rich attorneys. I had the BLT and a cup of soup. The food was great and I ate it fast enough to get an instant belly-ache. But all I had to take was a Tums and I was fine. There was no cure for Mycol’s belly-aching, though. He was utterly embarrassed to be seen eating with us “tourists”. We had to change tables when the 2 old ladies in booth 1 got up because I needed the outlet to recharge my laptop. We had the computer, cell phones, and the camera all plopped on the table along with our notebooks and journal. I took a picture of our waitress, Sam.

She was real sweet and I had to represent and let her know I serve, too. I told Mycol that people ask to sit near outlets at the Fish Market all the time to plug in their laptops. He was like, yeah, because they are businessmen, and I don’t have any business! I said, “You know what else they do at the Fish Market? They take pictures of their food!”

We crossed the state line into Nebraska at 5:02 pm. We’d only traveled 328.9 miles so far.

Plattsmouth, Nebraska:


We thought we’d sleep in Hastings, Nebraska tonight. It was listed in my Let’s Go Road-Tripping U.S.A travel guide. Hastings didn’t immediately endear us. So we moved on towards Kearney, which is where we are tonight. But we didn’t leave Hastings before Mummy made two new “amigos”. She asked them if she could get their picture and they asked us in their rudimentary english where we were from. We told them Pennsylvania. Then Mummy asked them where they were from. And they said “Des Moines”.


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I think this pretty much sums up driving through Ohio! We were all just so excited to be on the road. It’s hard to believe.

1:02 pm : Indiana / 290.1 miles

So, apparently Indiana is the boyhood home of Abe Lincoln. We stopped in Richmond, Indiana and had a picnic lunch that we’d packed in Pittsburgh for exactly this location. We spread a blanket on the lawn in Glen Miller Park near the base of the “Madonna of the Trail”. It is a huge statue of a pioneer woman and her two young’uns. The 9th statue of 12 erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The park and the statue are along the National Road (or Trail), and sit at the sight of the 1st tollgate to the west!

Mummy walked aroung in the grass looking for things, but she found nothing. She said, “Looks like they haven’t had rain in a lot of Sundays. It’s dry. Real, real dry.”

I smoked two cigarettes.

Mycol’s very anxious. He counts every minute and tries to keep us on our toes. He won’t let us “waste” any time enjoying a break from the road. He wants to get to San Diego, dammit!!! By TUESDAY!!!!! (He’s CRAZY!)

Another thing Mycol likes to count: the minutes until his next bite of food. He is ALWAYS hungry!!!

I said, “Indiana. The Hoosier State.” Mycol said, “Who’s YOUR state?”

What’s on the radio in Indiana? Hellfire & Brimstone or country music, take your pick.

We stopped in Centerville, Ind., which is a really neat small American town with the “Antique Alley”. OOHHHH! Mycol was very nice to oblige us while we browsed the antiques. I found a postcard from 1908 and a baby’s photograph from ???? at Wheeler’s on Main St. Mycol found Jesus. I think he’s following us.

Mummy thought we should each be someone from the Oregon Trail. She’s gonna be Merriweather Lewis, Mycol is Clark, and I am (uhoh, I don’t know how to spell this) Sacajawea – or Sacajamila.

In Jamestown, Indiana we pulled over for gas. It was kind of a scary little place. Anyway, it’d been hot as hell. Before we left Pittsburgh, Mummy put bottles of Desani water in the freezer. By the time we were in Jamestown she’d been trying to drink the few sips of water that have thawed around the ice. The ice in the bottle looked like…..well, here’s how it went:

Ma: “Look, an ice arrow!”

Me: “Too bad you can’t get that out of there. It looks like an ice rocket.”

Ma: (laughing and holding the bottle up and jiggling it so that Mycol and I can get a good look) “It looks like…..What it looks like is……”

Me: “An ice penis!”

Mycol: (shaking his head) “Dirty old grandma.”

6:34 pm : Illinois / 459 miles (crossing into Central Time Zone, reset clocks to 5:34 pm)

Pulled into Knoxville, Illinois around 8:30pm. Tired and hungry. Have been on the road for 13 1/2 hours. Get a room at the Super 8 because it’s the only thing around. The good news? Let me rephrase that. The great news? We are right across the road from the Knox County Fair and we have just enough time to catch the last hour of flat track motorbike races!!!!!! While eating ‘fair’ food!!!!

My mom was thinking of catching the shuttle back to the Super 8 (where she saved us $10 for being overaged). But she really enjoyed the motorbike races, so when she saw the sign for monster trucks, well, she forgot all about taking the shuttle.

Finally, back at the hotel room and ready for a good night’s sleep. Mummy plops herself down on her bed.

“Ouch!”, she says.

“What?”, we say.

“My bum hurts!”

“Dirty old grandma.”

At the end of day one we have spent $155.03. This is more than we’d like it to be.

$2.25 – Gatorade
$1.00 – Sunchips
$2.73 – 2 small cones from Dairy Queen
$4.37 – antique postcard and photo
$30.35 – full tank of gas
$3.58 – coffee, tea, Chexmix
$89.00 – double room at Super 8
$22.00 – food at the fair for 3

Anything else we ate or drank on the road we had brought with us in the cooler.

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