Earlier this year, I took a road trip to Centralia, Illinois, to visit one of our hospitals. The trip was on the other side of a decent snow fall, so the scenery was bleak and somewhat surreal. I’ve been wanting to go back and see how things look during a different season — and today I got my wish.
I had especially wanted to drive back through the conservation area to check out the lake and see if the field of sunflowers was in bloom.
It’s a beautiful place. I was so sad to see that it was almost entirely without people. No one on the water, no cars in the numerous picnic areas. Seems like such a waste.
To get to the conservation area, you have to take the highway through an odd little town. I stopped counting how many times the local businesses prompted a “Seriously??” from me. There was the AoK BBQ, some Moose Family lodge thing, the single most politically incorrect eating establishment I have ever seen (below left) and a place whose latest menu addition made my arteries flinch a bit (below right). In spite of its seeming indifference to cholesterol and lack of ethnic sensitivity, it was a cute little town. Free concerts on the courthouse lawn on Fridays! Bring your own lawn chairs!
Thanks to roadsideamerica.com, I figured out that the weird little building by the interstate from my last trip is called the Travelers’ Chapel. Hmph. So it was a chapel and not an outhouse. Good to know.