Nov. 27-28 2009

The final part of this great set of Midwest road photos starts on the approach to the Illinois River ferry at Kampsville, IL. And guess what, folks? This ferry (at least at the time of this photo) is free! F-R-E-E! Why waste money on gas, when the people of Illinois have provided you with this free ferry, all from the goodness of their hearts?

Now we're on the ferry, looking upstream on the riv!

West across the Illinois River drawbridge at Florence, IL. This span carries IL 100/106. The gravel path on the left is probably an old alignment of this highway.

Now we're on the drawbridge!

I'm loving these minor roads, aren't you? I'm guessing this is probably north out of Detroit, IL, heading towards Griggsville.

Probably right around Griggsville.

This eye-popping sight has to be IL 103 at Bluff Road west of Beardstown.

This beautiful bridge is the US 67 span at Beardstown over the mighty Illinois River. Humanity triumphs over astronomical odds!

Hey! Now we're crossing the great US 67 bridge!

Looking southwest from the bridge at what's actually a flooded plain along the river's west bank.

Downstream on the river itself.

Now we're leaving the bridge, as US 67 prepares to go around Beardstown.

This kicks off one of the greatest by-products of this trip: Springfield, the capital of Illinois. I got the idea for The Last Word on my 1992 Springfield trip. And now I'm back for more! This is heading southeast into Springfield on IL 97, going under an old rail span near Emporia Avenue.

A view of downtown Springfield from IL 97. Here, IL 97 splits into a one-way couplet made up of Jefferson Street and Madison Street. Eastbound traffic crosses the overpass up ahead and - strangely - ends up on the left side of the couplet.

That tall, cylindrical building is the Springfield Hilton - the tallest building in Illinois outside Chicago. The 30-story hotel was built in 1973. This is continuing on Madison Street at Lewis Street.

A good view of the Illinois State Capitol's zinc-plated dome.

Continuing through Springfield, astute Roads Scholars may notice that this is one of few cities where the signs for numbered streets use both numerals and spelled-out forms. Gee, thanks for clearing that up.

Looking south on 2nd as it crosses Jefferson - which is still part of the left-drive one-way couplet.

Peering south on 6th. On the left in the foreground is the controversial Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Its rounded features remind me of the Museum-Go-Round on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

Now we're in Indiana. This is eastbound I-74 for just a piece near Brownsburg - near the exit to...Ronald Reagan Parkway! That stretch of the Rappin' Ronnie opened in 2008, and this guy will eventually go all the way to I-70 and maybe even north to I-65.

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