2010 Illinois Suburban trip

This past winter we planned our motorcycle trip for 2010...a trip to Michigan. Back in the spring John & Debby put forth the idea of a couple long weekend trips. More trips? You don't have to twist my arm!

The first weekend trip was set for the July 4th weekend and the destination was Springfield, Illinois. John had been there for work and thought it would be a great place to explore. It is also the state capitol and we like visiting the capitol buildings. At only 233 miles it wouldn't be a killer drive. Trip coordinator Debby got some information on the area and found some interesting things to do.

If you read the Michigan trip you know that a Memorial Day bike wreck changed it to a Suburban trip, and we'll be taking the luxury Suburban on this trip too. I am happy to report that Debby's ankle is healing well and she can now bear some weight on it. No wheelchair or scooter, just crutches.

A last minute personnel change...Mike was unable to attend this trip so John & Debby's son Kyle will go with us.

July 2

I went to work on my Friday off (dedicated). John said he'd be out around noon so I left accordingly. I was taking my helmet off when they pulled in the driveway. Perfect timing! I had my luggage ready to go so I tossed it in the Suburban and we were off. This will be my seating position for most of the trip. I'm keeping a wary eye on Kyle to my right. He he...

For the most part our planned route is 2-lane highways. For the first 77 miles we'll be retracing the fateful Memorial Day ride...Bloomington to Spencer then north on US231. The weather is sunny and a little warm, but not bad for Indiana.

I left my GPS at home for this trip, so I had to take plenty of mental and paper notes. The Flipnotes thingy I bought on our Michigan trip will get a lot of use. Around 13:30 we pulled into the KFC in Cloverdale for lunch. We filled up on the buffet.

We turned west on US36. It was nice setting in the comfortable back seat, full stomach, watching the towns, train tracks, and buildings pass by.

It didn't seem to take long to reach Illinois. For the most part US36 is arrow straight with lots of farmland for scenery. I like looking at the big farmhouses. This would be a great bike route.

On John's hat is a Venture pin he bought on our South Dakota trip. He said if he met someone with a Yamaha Venture he would pass the pin along.

Newman, IL. 14:25 - Crossing over into Illinois we gained an hour, and while we are in Illinois I'll use Illinois time. We stopped in Newman for a stretch break. Off in the distance a cropduster was hard at work. We watched him swoop and dive for awhile. Then a Harley Tri-glide pulled in. John is wanting to trike his Goldwing so we checked it out. It was even his color.

Cruising down the highway we came upon a Cadillac with big wheels...the ghetto cruiser setup. We would see a lot of these on our trip. A little surprising. Kyle watched movies on the rear overhead DVD. The rest of us just took in the view and watched for more cropdusters. We saw several. On the outskirts of Springfield a girl was advertising corn. Kyle was lusting.

Pictures from the road

Springfield, IL. 16:39 - We arrived at the Candlewood Suites, our home for this weekend. John travels a lot for his job and has accumulated a billion hotel points, so he bought the rooms. Thanks! We parked at the far end of the lot so Kyle fetched a luggage cart for us. The rooms were nice with a full complement of appliances. I called down and got a rollaway bed. I like Kyle, but I'm not gonna sleep with him.

We unpacked some. I set up my laptop. I laid on the bed and fell asleep for a bit. John & Debby came in and we discussed where to go. We decided to go to Lincoln's Tomb and then visit the Camp Butler National Cemetery. John & Debby went downstairs to the hotel's business center to print driving directions and I got my shoes on and met them there. Their room was non-smoking so they smoked outside the doors, then we headed out.

We wound our way through Springfield. Debby read the driving directions and soon we were at the Oak Ridge Cemetery...home of Lincoln's tomb. The tomb is impressive. The inside of the tomb was closed for the day so we just looked around outside. We read the historical signs and markers around the tomb.

When we finished at the tomb we drove through the large cemetery. They had several military sections ranging from the Civil War until the present. We also visited their war memorials. Kyle saw another girl he liked.

Oak Ridge Cemetery pictures

The route to Camp Butler National Cemetery led us down some of historic Route 66. The camp served as a location for Union soldiers and also as a prison camp for captured Confederate troops. The cemetery was very respectful. The headstones were nice and meticulously aligned. As at the Lincoln's tomb cemetery, the dead ranged from the Civil War to the present. We drove through the entire place...leaving a few minutes before closing time.

Butler cemetery pictures

From here we wanted to find a Walmart and a place to eat. I got the address for Walmart doing a Google search on my phone. John & Debby manually entered the address in their navigation system. John & Debby both have Iphones so between us and the Suburban we have enough electronics to rival some third world countries. When we found Walmart we also found a place to eat at the International Buffet. It was mainly chinese food but they had a large variety of other things, too.

After pigging out on the buffet we went to Walmart and picked up some supplies...some pop and some food for a cookout tomorrow. We even talked Debby into using one of their scooters.

When we got back to the hotel we got into pajama pants and slippers mode (Hefner mode). John said he was gonna go smoke so I went outside with him. On the way back to the room he asked the cute desk girl for a couple extra pillows so Debby could prop her foot up. On the counter were some baseball tickets. The girl asked us if we wanted them. Sure! They were for the Springfield Sliders AAA game the next afternoon. Sweet!

296 miles.

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Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4

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