Road trips and roadside attractions.
Roadside attractions in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.
I didn’t sell my car before I left to travel the world. I kept it in my mom’s garage with strict orders to run it every once in a while and to have my sister drive it whenever she came by.
Of course, when I came home, 15 months later, it was completely dead.
I suppose I could have sold it before I left, but my original plan involved coming home after nine months to road trip around the US. That was before I fell in love with Asia and stayed months longer than planned.
I never took that grand US road trip.
Instead I ended up selling my car and leaving again to travel in Central America. After a dead battery, after a flat tire, after it got towed (luckily just to another block, not to a lot), I had had enough. I brought it to a CarMax and said goodbye.
It was sad selling my car, though I knew it had to be done. Keeping a car while I was out of the country was just plain silly and, really, you don’t need a car in Chicago anyways. I never drove in the city, opting for buses and els and cabs and my own two feet instead.
But I did love the freedom that came from having a car. And that freedom usually involved a lot of summer road trips. And those summer road trips usually involved a lot of roadside attractions.
This summer I took two small weekend road trips: one on the Illinois Great River Road and the other to Ohio for a friend’s wedding. There were both short, three days each, and neither covered a great distance. But it was nice to be behind the wheel again, to just be able to go.
And it was nice to veer off the road every so often, whenever I felt like it, really, to find some big icons in small towns.
Here are some of the things I saw: