Our travels have brought us all around the "lower 48" and Canada. We've tried to zip zag, circle through, and around every state we could. Florida was where this endeavor started.
Enjoy your journal.
Thank you for taking this wonderful journey with us. It has been absolutely incredible.
Please keep in mind that some museums don’t allow photography and will not be available on the Pambling Roads Blog
Pambling Roads−My Illinois Journal
Leaving Indiana, we
hit the side roads and then swung over to 90 west. We were expecting a
nightmare for a drive through Chicago. Wow, we were thrilled. Driving in
Chicago on 90 west, with heavy noontime traffic, however, kudos to the Chicago
area drivers, no one was stressing, traffic was flowing without a hitch. No one
was on the phone, texting, zigzagging in and out, etc. No one was being rude or
pushy. They were polite and courteous all the way through.
We have thoroughly
enjoyed our trips and are glad you have joined us in our adventures. We have
met so many wonderful people from the United States, Mexico, Canada, and all
over the world. We have taken hundreds of pictures and plan to share more of
our memories with you.
Our stay at the Best Western in Monticello,
Illinois was a pleasant visit. They had an indoor heated pool that was huge. We
had to use their printer and fax. No problems, no issues, they were very eager
to assist us.
Monticello Red Wheel was nearby and a blessing.
We were very happy with the speed of service, the great tasting food and
Right around the corner from the Best Western hotel is the Railway Museum. It
has train displays and a history of the operating railway system. We were
hoping to take the train tour, however, we were there mid-week. The train only
runs on Saturday and Sunday.
We could not go to Illinois without going to the Lincoln Home National Historic
Site in Springfield. It is owned by the National Park Service. The area where
the home is located has been beautifully renovated.
Lincoln’s Tomb and War Memorial State Site is
located practically around the corner from the National Historic Home Site.
The New Salem Museum located in Petersburg, Ill
was our next tour. It is a reconstructed area of the township of New Salem that
Lincoln spent his earlier years in before he became involved in politics.
Oddly enough, this is where we learned what the
expression “Where in Sam Hill did you find that?” means.
Going around the back roads we were able to see
a lot of agricultural areas. Unfortunately, we also saw how bad the drought was
affecting everyone. We did see some pretty huge wind farms. We also spent a
considerable amount of time driving in circles looking for the Little Grand
Canyon. Not sure how we kept missing the turn or what we were supposed to be
looking for but we missed it and finally gave up.
Chester, Illinois was our next stop.
Guess what Chester, Illinois’ claim to fame is? Popeye! That’s right, I can
hear the song now,
I’m Popeye the sailor man. Toot toot.
Popeye the sailor man. Toot toot.
strong to the finich
Cause I eats me spinach
I'm Popeye the sailor man. Toot toot.
E. C. Segar, the cartoonist who created Popeye
and the rest of the cast, was born and raised in Chester, Illinois. The man who
made every boy and girl want to eat spinach and be big and strong like
The next day after we arrived was Sunday. The
Popeye museum wasn’t open so we were not able to spend any time there.
However, the Chester Welcome Center on Bridge Bypass Rd. near the Chester
Bridge has a beautiful lookout over the Mississippi River and an informative
section for Illinois and Chester. The lookout was awesome. I have never seen
the Mississippi River. I could have stayed there for hours looking at it. I
still get goose bumps thinking about it. A train went by while I was mesmerized
by the Mississippi’s beauty. The driver honked and waved
Don’t forget to take a picture of Popeye at the
Chester Welcome Center. Also, if you drive around Chester, there are other
statues of other famous characters created by Mr. Segar.
Best Western Reids Inn, Chester, Ill. Our stay
was awesome. We had a nice view in the back of the hotel with a balcony, so
very relaxing after driving for so long.
Reids Harvest House
The food at the restaurant was delicious. The
employees were friendly and outgoing.
Located in Ellis Grove, Illinois, it was a
short drive to this site. We were able to get a great look at the Mississippi,
walk around where the fort originally was, and see the Garrison Hill Cemetery.
It was fascinating, literally walking around all that history.
Pierre Menard Home State Historic Site
This home belonged to a prominent businessman and
Illinois’ first lieutenant governor. It is a French Colonial Creole type
architecture overlooks the Mississippi River. It has been dubbed the “Mount
Vernon of the West”. Our guide was a little hesitant, reserved, at first, but
once we started asking our questions, she seemed to be a bit more receptive to
She was telling us about living on one of the
islands in the Mississippi when she was a child, and how the island has been
flooded so much that most of the residents on the island have moved to the
The house with the famous blue windows. (Mark
Twain) We drove around for about a half hour looking for this house and could
not find it. Hopefully, you may have better luck.
Before we left Chester to head to Arkansas, my
husband took me over the Chester Bridge. I was thrilled. I had never been on
the other side of the Mississippi River and it was my first time crossing it.
Now I can say I have been west of the Mississippi and in Missouri!
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