2014 Cross Country 2 travel blog

Tuscola, IL honors it's high school athletes

Fairy statue in Decatur, IL

Scenes along US 36 from the windshield

Words of wisdom from Gunsavelives.com

Lunch at Illiopolis, IL

Ammunition bunkers outside Illiopolis - former Sangamon Ordinance Plant

Long freight train along US 36

Sitting on the roof having a beer

Monkey waving from a VW convertible

Windmill collection

Crossing the Mississippi River

Mark Twain on I-72 at Hannibal, MO

Winnie at Mark Twain Cave Campground

Hannibal and the Mississippi River from Lover's Leap

The story of Lovers Leap in Hannibal

Mark Twain Hotel in Hannibal

Sue talking with the ladies at the Hannibal Arts Council

Halloween in Hannibal

Dinner at Finn's

Buildings on Hill Street in Hannibal

Tom Sawyer's fence - it's too cold to paint

Hannibal Haunted House

Bats sleeping over the door of one of the stores on Main...

The Hannibal Lighthouse that has been lighted by 3 presidents.

Sunflower growing in a community garden

Giant root beer mug at Mark Twain Dinette

Seen on the tailgate of a pickup truck in Hannibal

Mark Twain at the wheel

Levee and flood gate protecting downtown Hannibal

A short note tonight as we went out to dinner and the movies (Left Behind) in Hannibal, MO tonight. Our route today was along I-70, US 36, and I-72. We drove the same section of US 36 from just west of Terre Haute to west of Decatur, IL this spring as we were returning home from the 2014 Great Circle Tour. It looks a little different this time of the year as the farmers are harvesting the corn and soy beans they were planting in May. The weather today was crappy, with rain off and overcast most of the day. After the storms last night the temperatures have dropped from the 80's to the 50's.

After stopping for lunch in Illiopolis, IL along old US 36, I noticed what looked like ammunition bunkers out in a corn filed. When I looked tonight, they are from the abandoned WWII era ammunition plant. The Sangamon Ordnance Plant was a United States Army ammunition manufacturing facility encompassing some 20,000 acres. The facility began as two separate plants, the Sangamon and the Oak Ordnance Plants, separated by Illinois Route 36 and operated by Remington Rand and surprisingly Johnson & Johnson respectively. I never knew J&J ran Army Ammunition plants, I guess I'll have to read up on company history. Prior to the end of World War II, the facility was consolidated into the Sangamon Ordnance Plant, operated by Remington. It employed thousands during the war including many Woman Ordnance Workers (WOW) and produced 20, 57, 75, 90 millimeter as well as 3 inch (76 mm) armor-piercing and high-explosive artillery shells. It also produced bomb fuses and the core of fire bombs known as "bursters." The plant was closed after the war and most building were torn down and/or repurposed.

We got to the Mark Twain Caves Campground early enough to go into Hannibal to look around. Hannibal is the boyhood home of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, aka Mark Twain, so everything is Mark Twain. It was late so none of the tourist attractions were open, but I managed to get some pictures along Hill St., the location of the Clemens' home and business. While walking down Main St., Sue discovered the Hannibal Arts Council. Tonight was the Halloween Parade Project night where the kids come in and make noise makers for the parade. The place was full of kids and parents working at tables and on the floor painting, gluing, and nailing. She thought she was back in the Orange Class.

As I mentioned above we had dinner before going to the movies. Dinner was at Finn's Food & Spirits on Main St. It's named after Huck Finn, but we selected it because it's name is the same as our grandson. The food wasn't bad and I had a nice draft beer, Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale.

It's late and time for bed. Stay tuned.

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