Monday, July 20, 2009

Hidden America

Last weekend I went on a road trip to no man's land (read: Southern Illinois). I call it no man's land because there is nothing interesting about Illinois outside of Chicago. There are corn fields, corn fields, corn fields, the occasional John Deere outlet store, and more corn fields.

Well this weekend I learned that there's actually a portion of Illinois that is kind of breath-takingly beautiful and NOT corn field. The area along the Mississippi River is absolutely stunning. It's very reminiscent of those coastal highways in California. Winding roads going through surprisingly large bluffs...(I know, I didn't know there were mountains in Illinois either).

And it's really cool because it's not the crazy busy commercial Mississippi River I'm used to. People actually take their yachts and jet ski's onto the river and have a grand ole' time. Here are the obligatory photography pictures I took on my trip:

First I went to a little park on a bluff like.....100 feet above the ground. It was high. These were the stairs to the park. And a cobblestone road! Very New England/San Francisco.

Lots of textures, and aged things. I was in black and white heaven.

Anyway, here's an unremarkable photo of the stunning view. You can see the road below. I was feeling uninspired because the sky was so ugly I guess, so I only have this photo of the view... At any rate, you can see the St. Louis skyline from this spot...though not in this picture.

AFTER THE PARK, I went to ANOTHER park...but this one is on the ground and it gives access to the water. There was this lonely little bridge thing on it. I guess people can go stand on top of it because the stairs weren't blocked off. I didn't for fear of my life.

Besides, the things under the bridge were much cooler....LIKE GRAFFITI. Here's a hoodlum caught in the act. JK, it's just my little cousin modeling for me.

And safety takes a backseat at this park. There are no barriers to the water...So I mean, false step and you roll down this hill into the Mississippi River where the butch undercurrents probably sweep you Huckelberry Finn.

And finally, I took a trip down River Road. And it was STUNNING. Does this even LOOK LIKE Illinois?!

Caught this SKETCH ferry from like....Maine or 1800 across the river. It was really weird.

Don't let the ferry sink because spiders took over the life vest containers. 4 of about 30.


Here's a little bar from this small town on the river. It is "Biker Friendly". And there were TONS of bikers on this road. Not surprising. Who wouldn't want to cruise down through this scenery on a bike?

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