Samstag, 4. Juni 2011

Forgotten bits of IL and some more of MO

I feat that not blogging after day 1 on the road left bits of Illinois forgotten. So, quickly: There was a giant holding a rocket, yummy milkshakes and escarole soup, rivers, flat green gorgeous landscapes, big neon signs, giddy laughter in Normal, singing of Ben Folds in Effingten and new understanding of John Hughes in Sherman.

The other day, Landon said "I see a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches in your future." Oh, my cocky ignorance of Wednesday.
Yesterday's lunch was grilled cheese in a last minute - discovered GREASY spoon that stank of rancid grease and cigar smoke. It was in one of our guide books and there was nothing else around. So, if you're headed to St. Clair, pack a sack lunch.
Yesterday was another gorgeous day and it had an amazing start. We had breakfast in a cafe that is part of a green house. Enjoying berries in the company of greenery will be saved in my brain, to be called forth in the desert. Moments that are more challenging (ie hungry, cranky and without option in St Clair) can now be soothed with memories of the City Museum in St. Louis, MO.
I'm a bit of a wimp or a worrier, so the first sight of the museum, fenced by cement fangs and boasting a maze of chicken-wire tunnels outside the building that lead to school-buses positioned on roof-edges and an old gutted airplane, suspended, who knows how.
Inside the museum are chaotic, wet things, smooth things, rough things sounds. Children run, crawl and stare in awe. We walk through a room of sea creature sculptures and turtle tanks and up to stalagtited and stalagmited cave-like rooms. We climb stairs to a sudden smooth, still, empty room and walk past a soda bottle wall through two massive vault doors.
A man struggled on a wooden wheel, so I jumped in to help. Unfortunately, two other men jumped in at the same time and the wheel's momentum knocked me down. It had to happen. This place screams danger. (The paper wrist bands warn you of your own responsibility for your personal safety.) We wandered through an indoor carnival of sorts, slid down a long slide to find another cave and then ascended 10 stories of spiral steps next to "shoe chutes" left from the old factory, accompanied by an unusual organ. At the top, we slid down a twisted slide and I don't know when the dizzying, joyful laughter that followed left me in love with the City Museum.

On the road yesterday, lessons were learned about driving and navigating and less silos were seen as on previous days. There were many beautiful bridges and a crazy beautiful stretch of road called "Devil's elbow."
One of my favorite parts of the road was when Ivo nervously said "is that the car?". He turned down the radio and lowered his window to listen. "No." I said "those are the Cicadas!" We'd just been discussing the Cicadas and I thought that he knew that the increasing and decreasing rain-stick sound was those very insects. A number of them wound up on our windshield yesterday and their music was our soundtrack the whole way across Missouri.

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