2011 NY to California, Cross Country Drive, Drives

NY to California 2011 via Lincoln Highway – Day 5 – St. Charles IL to Grinnell Iowa

Total Distance: 449.22 km (279.1 mi)
Total Time: 14:30:00  Moving Time: 8:34:58
Average Speed: 30.98 km/h (19.3 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 52.34 km/h (32.5 mi/h)
Max Speed: 127.44 km/h (79.2 mi/h)

Weather reports all week have been warning of an impending heat-wave to move across middle America. Thankfully the weather reports were wrong as usual. We woke in St. Charles to upper 60s and throughout the day the temps never went above the mid 70s. Perfect weather for driving a vintage car without AC.

We headed a little south of St. Charles to the fantastic town of Geneva.  With it’s mixture of a classic main street with historical architecture and great shops, cafes and excellent brewpubs, and a newer formally residential drive now with converted mansions to eclectic shops and coffee bars. This is one of the cleanest and most beautifully towns I’ve ever seen.  Geneva has also embraced it’s past with many informational markers inlaid on the sidewalks telling of the towns past. The Lincoln Highway which runs directly through the town is also highlighted with several monuments and information stands set up.

The sights along the LHW in western Illinois  fluctuate between small towns then sky and the earth. Above as was amazing array of cloud formations, along side were many farms with endless miles of GMO corn and soybean plants.  Dekalb was another nice but very small vintage town. The freight trains were anything but small as they chugged past us for what seemed like an hour.  Franklin Grove IL is the home of the Lincoln Highway historical society. They’re housed a restored building formally owned by Abe Lincoln. Across the street is the Lincoln Way Cafe.  Fulton IL was settled by a large group of Dutch emigrants. In honer of this (and to bring some tourists to the town) an actual Dutch windmill was shipped over from Holland and assembled here on the banks of the Mississippi river and is used to grind flower. Across the street is a windmill museum including many dutch items for sale.  As the sun set we headed for a B&B located in the college town of Grinnell IA.  Tomorrow another time-zone perhaps.

Some additional information about the Dutch windmill in Fulton: http://www.hippowebdesign.com/fulton/index.html

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