corn fields in central Illinois
Today my 6 hour trip took me from Dekalb
through to Carbondale
, in the bottom of Illinois. I was able to take mostly state highways so I was able to see some of the smaller towns in the mostly rural middle of the state. I stopped in Clinton, IL, which is a tiny town with a downtown square that was totally untouched, and had a sort of post-apocalypse Mayberry feel, complete with several antique stores that I think are featured in teen horror movies as the place where the cursed item comes from. But everyone was nice, and I was directed to the local restaurant for lunch. The "Shack" restaurant (since 1920) was full, but only seats around 30 people. I also had the strange small town experience of having people look me over when I enter to figure out who I could be. I had a mediocre BLT and nice coffee at the counter, and couldn't help overhearing the guy next to me and the middle aged waitress talking about the neighborhood and using metal detectors. I could only follow about half of it, as there seems to be a middle-illinois accent, which sounds like mumbling. I made it all the way down to Carbondale, home to Southern Illinois University and a very nice Days Inn with internet access. I made a pit stop to take some photos in a mining town, where I also stepped on tar. Stepping on tar is the kind of anacronystic events that is both funny and annoying, especially when I had to put klenex on my shoes and the car floor to keep from sticking.