Raising a Blended Family

Roadtrip 2011

on October 9, 2011

Hi there. Shorty here.  =)  So as my beautiful amazing wonderful wife mentioned in our last post we went on a mini-roadtrip this weekend.  Though I didn’t know the itinerary ahead of time, we started out heading west to Illinois, where we ended up at the Cahokia Mounds World Heritage Site, near Collinsville, Il.  Cahokia Mounds is the largest prehistoric Indian site north of Mexico.  It contains mounds made of earth dug from “borrow pits” made entirely by the force of human labor (by the Native Americans carrying 60-lb loads on their backs)!!!! The mounds were used to build structures on, bury people in, etc.  We climbed the largest one, named Monk’s Mound- it was over 100′ high… and holy crap our legs hurt afterwards.  LOL.

Next was on to St. Louis to see the Gateway Arch.  I had seen it while driving through the city but have never actually stopped there and walked around. We went down to the museum underneath the arch and it was really neat, seeing all the old photo’s and artifacts.

The next stop on Amazon’s itinerary was a trip up the Great Scenic River Byway.  It was a goooooorgeous drive, right along the Mississippi river banks with the bluffs full of autumn colors hanging overhead.  We took this road up to a little town called Alton, Il, which apparently has a lot of connections to the civil war.  Amazon took me to visit the Lincoln & Civil War Legacy Trail, which was kind of like a scavenger hunt (map included) all over the city to find these historic monuments. This included the sites of the:

Lincoln-Douglas Debate: Heated debate over slavery.

Simeon Ryder House: used as a courthouse when Lincoln was a lawyer, he served many clients there.

Small Pox Island: where many Civil war soldiers who died of small pox were buried. (the Island is actually submerged now but there was a monument directly across from where it once stood)

Lincoln-Shields Duel: The Duel that never happened.

Elijah Parrish Lovejoy and Alton Cemetery: An outspoken abolitionist who was the first martyr for the freedom of speech and press.(Edited to add that this was Amazon’s favorite stop of the trip, as she loves old cemeteries and seeing really old gravestones.  We saw grave markers from the early 1800’s! We also saw this weird old creepy crypt that was partially hidden and broken open (?!?!)  and Shorty went inside it.  Nothing but trash and two spots where it looked like bodies and/or coffins should be (again, ?!?!?!?).  Amazon also says Shorty is much much braver than she is for going inside (and also less superstitious!)).

National Cemetery: Where the union soldiers were buried.

Lyman Trumbull: Illinois senate, good friend of Lincoln.

Confederate Cemetery: Where the Confederate soldiers who died in the Alton Prison were buried.

Alton Prison: Prison used during the Civil War for Confederate soldiers, southern sympathizers, and Court Martialed Union soldiers.

The Franklin House: the largest hotel in Alton in 1840’s, where Lincoln stayed while visiting.

We also visited the Robert Wadlow memorial.  He is the tallest man to ever live to date.  By the time he was 8yrs old he was 6′ tall, and he died in 1940 at age 22 he was over 8′ tall and weighing 439lbs.

Anyways, so after our scavenger hunt, we camped out at Pere Marquette State Park near the Mississippi River, we pitched up a 2 man tent, threw in some sleeping bags and crashed out for the night, woke up early and continued on with our adventure home.

I am a HUGE HUGE HUGE history buff, love anything about history, and now this trip is officially added to the top of my favorite trips list. It was an amazing two days, of driving, singing Indigo Girls, visiting historic sites, and holding hands with the most amazing, loving woman ever!!!

and now some pictures of the weekend: enjoy, and hope you had a good one too!

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Amazon, I love you so much, and thank you so much for this weekend!!!!!


3 responses to “Roadtrip 2011

  1. Looks like it was a great time!

  2. prettyisa says:

    Did you go up the arch? I loved the little 60s pod cars that go up–until I had to get into one. Eek! Sounds like a great vacation–and you had the perfect weekend for it! I’m going to start looking now and see if I can plan a similar one for next fall. My poor wife doesn’t believe me that downstate can be just gorgeous.

  3. Sounds like a great trip!

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