>Day 2

>    We snapped pictures of the tall skinny Abe in Springfield at the fairgrounds before heading west out of town.  We made a brief stop for food and gas at Sonic and Thornton’s respectively before actually leaving Springfield city limits.  Then westward to Livingston for a photo op with some crazy giant memorabilia at the Pink Elephant Antique Shop.  A giant man with an ice cream cone, a space ship, and the pink elephant itself are the biggest.  After just a few minutes we were on our way again to Collinsville and Cahokia Mounds.  I can’t believe how much time I spent there.  There are so many great artifacts and exhibits.  It makes it so easy to imagine the complex culture that constructed the mounds..  Anyone interested in ancient history should go.  If it hadn’t been raining, I would have seen more of the mounds themselves but it was really a good thing because we would have reached Iowa even later than we did.

We saw another of the great wind turbines, oil derricks in a farm field, crossed the Mississippi, and made it to Missouri.  Getting around the perimeter of St. Louis took longer and was more nerve wracking than expected.  The highways around the city rise high into the air and it was not at all fun to drive them.  But eventually we were on firm earth again and headed to Iowa on the Missouri side of the river.  I love the natural stone cutaways on the sides of the highway when it runs nearer to the river.  The striations are so interesting to see and much more pleasing than field after empty field.  We got a drive-by picture of the giant Mark Twain, saw many cows and herds of cattle, fireworks stores, creeks and rivers, and finally arrived in Keokuk, IA.  We didn’t have a reservation so our stay tonight is more expensive than I would have liked…  We have a room book now for Lincoln, NE for tomorrow night through Hotels.com.  Time for bed.  It has been a long day.

(This was written on the night of 04/25/10.)