Day 33 – Some History and a Lot of Driving

Leaving Arrowhead Trails in Kentucky called for an early wake-up, quick breakfast and final packing before gassing up the Prius and pulling out on the road. It was overcast and 76 degrees with high humidity at 8:30 a.m.

We traveled back East for a ways before turning North to find Lincoln’s Boyhood home near Lincoln City and close to Santa Claus, Indiana. Abraham Lincoln lived on this farm from the time he was seven until he was 18 years old. His mother, Nancy, died here when Abe was only eight. But, it was here that Abraham grew into manhood. It’s well known that he loved to learn, but he had very little formal schooling because he was working to help the family survive. The Visitor Center has two memorial halls, one dedicated to Lincoln and one to his mother. They are used for community gatherings, weddings and special occasions. The exterior of the center is covered with relief depicting the stages of Lincoln’s boyhood and career – writ larger than life.  Only a few stones mark the area where the cabin where he lived once stood.

Traveling on to our next point of interest we went back South and then West to find the Memorial for George Rogers Clark, who was instrumental in defeating the British in skirmishes over the Western Territory.  This fighting occurred during the war for independence and was significant in that these new lands almost doubled the size of our young country. I had never heard of George Rogers Clark and was surprised to learn that he accomplished these victories at the age of 26. I also learned he is the older brother of William Clark, of “Lewis and Clark” fame. The brothers were two of ten children . . . George was one of the oldest and William the youngest. Why had I never heard of George before?

The monument erected to him is a massive circular colonnade that reminded me of the Jefferson Memorial in D.C.  It is situated along the banks of the Wabash River in Vincennes, Indiana.

The skies were gathering clouds and gloom as we left Vincennes for St. Louis. We managed to outrun the rain for almost an hour and a half. Finally, at a rest stop along the Interstate the cloudburst happened and we not only had a comfort stop, we had a shower as well. I had to find my jacket as we got back in the car as the temperature had dropped by 12 degrees and we were soaked.

We entertained ourselves for the long drive with more of Steven West’s “Philosophize This.” Today’s topics included “truth” and “tolerance.” Both worthy topics of discussion and we enjoyed unpacking the thoughts after each episode.

As we drove out of the rain shadow I saw a brilliant rainbow among the corn fields. The sun came out again and we rolled into our motel in St. Louis as the sun hit the horizon. First order or business – nourishment. We asked the motel clerk where she might recommend and she asked us if we liked BBQ. My Dad used to respond to a question like that with, “Is the Pope Catholic?”

We got directions to “The Sawmill,” which was only two miles away. By the time we had arrived at 6:45 many of the menu items were already sold out. We made some selections from what was available and . . .  it was over-the-top-fantastic! St. Louis wins the BBQ competition as of today.

This marks the beginning of another “leg” of our wanderings. We have turned West and are now slowing making our way North. And, after the next two days in St. Louis, this will be the another “family” portion of the trip.

Delighted to be close to civilization again (although we loved our KY retreat) we find joy and grace in the speed of the internet here! No more waiting hours to see if maybe the connection will work. Small thing to be grateful for, but we are grateful, nonetheless.