We seem to be running just ahead (and sometimes IN!) the weather system traveling across the midwest. We have spent the last two nights in storms with hail, wind and driving rain. Watching the weather channel has shown us we escaped the tornados and worst weather but it is fast approaching. So last night we stayed in another motel and the next two nights we will be with my brother in Indiana. That puts us two days from home and by then we should be safe to get back in the van. It has been quite an adventure!
Rather than take the interstate across Iowa we opted to travel most of the old Lincoln Highway. We found a small information center in a little town (two gas stations and an old store). It was an information center in the front and beauty shop in the rear. There was a vast collection of information and photos on the Lincoln highway and you could purchase a tour book that gave you the history and maps on how to follow it. Of course, the book went from east to west and we were going the opposite! Good thing my directional sense is backwards from teaching kindergarten all those years!
The old pharmacy, now a vistor’s center for the Lincoln highway. The only store not boarded up in town!
Inside….lots of stuff! And great information! There is a very active volunteer group of Lincoln Highway Fans!
Along the highway in 1928 the Boy Scouts placed markers. Each had a bronze medallion of Lincoln and indicated which way the highway went.
Rich in front of one of the markers. The map told us where they were along the way. Like a treasure hunt!
There was also lots of information on the old gas stations and cafes along the highway. Some where in terrible shape and falling in but others have been restored and are still functioning.
This is Niland’s started at the junction of the Lincoln Highway and Jefferson Highway (Winnipeg to New Orleans). It still had the tourist cottages and cafe along side. It functioned until 1995, run by the same family. Fully restored by a new couple, the cafe is still serving the same menu.
Being a couple who love wandering the back roads we had fun trying to find all the posts and old buildings along the Lincoln. It was the first road to go from coast to coast and we have traveled parts of it in Pa. We, as a nation, have always wanted to travel the roads. The interstates just get you there but bypass some of the best parts. Each state seems to be generating new paths called “Byways” that take us back to what was interesting and scenic in each area. (or is it because all of us are getting older and want to drive a bit slower???)
One of the TV shows we like is called “American Pickers”. Two guys travel around “picking” from old buildings and people who are collectors (or just can’t get rid of stuff!) Their original shop is in Le Clair, Iowa which is a small town right along the Mississippi. We had to stop but, of course, a tour bus pulled in just as we did. So we decided to wander the town and found some great folks to talk with at the information stop. He was a former Alcoan and she a native who told us lots about the history and river museum. Thanks goodness for volunteers like this in each town!
Rich in front of the American Pickers shop.
Over the Mississippi and east we go………..both of us agree that maybe three months on the road was a bit too much. Of course, when we get home we may decide just to turn around and go back……the country beacons and there is so much to see!
The grand Mississippi!!!!!!!!!