MO to WI Epic Road Trip - Part 2: Illinois, the Land of Lincoln

What adventures lay ahead as I crossed the land of Lincoln in Illinois? Tombs, Railsplitters and State Parks draw me in to visit before bidding me farewell as I headed into southern Wisconsin.   
Some pre-planning and some spontaneity guided my day driving from Springfield up to Madison on day two of my epic #roadtrip!

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First Stop, To  Pay Homage

As he remains such an icon in our nation's history, I had to visit Lincoln's Tomb State Historic Site and learn more about him in the process.

This area is very large and contains several different cemeteries including those of Revolutionary War patriots in addition to the National Historic Landmark I was there to take in.   I opted to park outside of the main parking area and just below the monument itself so that I could begin at the original vault that held President Abraham Lincoln's remains there.  You will also see educational signs and other markers

The temporary vault held the bodies of President Lincoln and his sons Edward and William from December 1865 until September of 1871, when they were moved to the partially completed tomb.  

It was sad to encounter yet another tax-payer-funded site closed by the government to taxpayers.  When they closed it, did they lower the amount of taxes required to be paid? But I digress...  Let's head under the monument on the tour.

Inside on the self-guided tour, photos are allowed and you can take advantage of grabbing a park stamp if you are a nerd like me!

You can even take a virtual tour of this memorial, check it out here.  

If you've visited, did you rub the Great Emancipator's nose for good luck (before it was closed down to visitors)?

What is a Railsplitter?

It's a covered wagon!  Yes, cheer and reflect on your favorite childhood memories of the Oregon Trail game living out your dreams out on the trail.  I hit the road heading north up I-55 only to encounter the World's Largest Railsplitter Covered Wagon just 30 miles up the road. Who knew?!  

The Railsplitter Covered Wagon, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest covered wagon in the world, is located on the front lawn of the Best Western Lincoln Inn, near historic Route 66. A statue of Abe Lincoln reading a law book sits in the huge wooden wagon, which stands 24 feet tall."  Source:
In case this chance encounter with 24 foot tall President Lincoln wasn't great enough, it happened to be the weekend of the National Railsplitting Festival in that very town!  #SayYesToAdventure 

The festival was on the grounds of the 
Postville Court House Site and was a lovely event complete with period piece costumes, demonstrations of wood carving, ax throwing, and much more!

Do you love small town and community festivals as I do?  They are the best!

Time to Hike 

Another 90 minutes up the road and it was time to stretch my legs and explore the vast Starved Rock State Park, a National Historic Landmark, and voted the #1 Attraction in the State of Illinois!

You can grab maps of the hiking trails in advance of your visit to make sure you find the best ones for your adventure here.  I enjoyed the walk up to the sandstone butte that is Starved Rock, then the Starved Rock to French Canyon Trail.  

I am sure that the French Canyon is beautiful when the waters are running, but I found it so breathtaking to walk in the empty streambed and stand below where seasonal waters would have been falling.

God's creation always takes my breath away, especially when I discover little gems like this.
#GodIsGood #AllTheTime

So much adventure in the land of Lincoln in just one day!  Now, time to end my adventure day as a foodie of course.

Welcome to Wisconsin

Y'all know I wasn't heading into Madison, Wisconsin without dreaming of Old Fashioneds and cheese curds!  Such a tough call when you only have one night to dine!  The Old Fashioned or Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co.?  

I caught the Fitchburg location of the Great Dane since I was on the south side of town heading to Verona.  The last time I was in Madison, I was at the Capitol Square visiting 
The Old Fashioned on our 2020 Nebraska, S. Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois road trip with my friend Jeanmarie!

Cheese curds to end the day... the yummiest!

We have such fun together my friend!  I can't wait for you to check out Part 3 of this adventure coming soon.

Did you catch Part 1 of this epic travel series?
Jump over there now and see what all the Springfields were about...

Information courtesy of Echo Alexzander


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