Thursday, August 10, 2017

Still going west-in a straight line then north in squiggles

August 4
We left Remington in a cloud of dust and continued on 24 with the destination of Peoria, IL. I saw a BBQ restaurant there and our route effectively kept us away from the madness of Chicago. While I love the lakefront downtown of that beautiful city, I had no desire to pay tolls and hassle with the traffic.
 Farming the land and the wind
 We would see a five hundred thousand more grain elevators before the day was done.
 Blue Duck BBQ is in an old railroad station along the Illinois River. 

Off the lobby to enter the Blue Duck is a grand old bar with wonderful high ceilings and giant windows. It reminds me of a bar in a movie or where fat cats would meet to discuss business deals.
 An apartment along the waterfront.
 A few scenes along Peoria waterfront which is actually Peoria Lake made by a dam downstream in the Illinois.

 From Peoria we turned North heading for a friend's house near Dakota.

 Four things that summarized Illinois: 1. Corn fields 2. Grain silos 3.Wind generators 4:Rough roads

On the way through Dixon, we stopped at Ronald Reagan's boyhood home and B snapped some photos. It was closed.

In downtown Dixon is the "Wings of Peace and Freedom Park." The statue is of a dove and a Bulgarian artist made a fake piece of the Berlin wall complete with graffiti and three pictures depicting Reagan's life.  

 I planned to stop at Sugar Shores Camping Resort. It was closed do to heavy flooding in the area. I had not called ahead and so was disappointed that I had to make other plans. We could have stayed in a small county park close by but decided not to and found Emerald Acres Campground. It was forty minutes away from where our friend lives. Not so much fun driving to and from on the rough IL roads. I forgot to take a pic of our site at Emerald Acres.

August 5
I dropped Becky and Patrick off in Freeport to get a ride with their friends. I went back to Grand Detour to see the John Deere Historic Site. The place where John Deere made his first plow. The Deere corporation owns the site and in 1986 had the University of Illinois excavate the place where they believe Deere had his original blacksmith shop. They found the site and a building was constructed over the area to preserve it.
First stop was in Dixon to grab a bite to eat at Flynnies Cafe. They gave me a free cinnamon roll for being a first time customer. It was excellent! so was the meatloaf, mash potatos, stuffing and gravy and green beans.

 The original site of the blacksmith shop. In the center are bricks were the chimney was. The white thing on the ceiling is a movie screen that folds down.
 A copy of the original plow made from an old stainless steel saw blade and polished smooth. Folks say it sang as it cut through the heavy clay pulled by only one horse. Deere made one plow in 1837, to the next year. One was sold to the neighbors who still had it after Deere passed away and his son bought it back and it now resides in the Smithsonian. A few years later he made 400 plows and nine years later he was manufacturing over 2000 plows a year.

 A one foot by one foot replica of Deere's blacksmith shop.
Interior of the shop with an entertaining smith.

 Deere's house he build when he moved his family from Vermont.
 They had a special event going on so not everyday are there tractors on the grounds.

August 6th Becky went with her friends again and P and I explored Freeport. Well I got out and looked while he played video games in the truck.  

 We drove into Wisconsin and checked out a Gravity Hill. It is a place where you put your vehicle in neutral and will roll backward up a hill. Well, it worked and he was impressed. What really happens in that the hill is an optical illusion of going up but is actually going down. It appears you are going up.

 We ended up taking a different way home and found dirt roads!
 Supper was Italian. Veal Parmesan. The sauce wasn't very good. Not my favorite place to eat. 

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