Recently, I made a quick trip down to Tennessee for my father’s birthday. It’s not a very scenic drive, as much of it passes through Illinois farm fields, but there are a few interesting sights along the way. For example, for the last eleven years, I have driven past an enormous cross which stands right at the side of Interstate 57. The cross was built in 2001. It rises 198 feet. I’m not particularly religious, but the cross is an impressive sight when the sun is shining on the surface, especially for drivers heading north on I-57, as the cross suddenly appears to drivers after they round a curve.
|in Effingham, Illinois|
On Illinois’ southern border, in Metropolis, there is another tall monument, right in the center of town. This is one super statue – a fifteen-foot tall painted bronze replica of the man of steel. I hadn't been to see the statue for a long time. He doesn't look as tall when there are no little kids standing next to him! According to the Metropolis tourism website, this statue replaces a seven-foot statue that used to stand at the site. They held a “funeral” at the old statue when Superman died in the comic book series in 1992. The following year, 1993, the new statue was erected for a cost of around $100,000! Super!
|It's a bird, it's a plane . . .|
The I-24 bridge spans the river between Metropolis and Paducah, Kentucky. The bridge is 5,623 feet long. That’s well over a mile (5,280 feet). Completed in 1973, it’s a lovely bridge, with a delicate double arch.
|I-24 bridge over the Ohio River taken from Fort Massac State Park|
It's always fun to take the trip from northern Illinois to Tennessee in the springtime. It was cold with snow on the ground until I was two-thirds of the way south in Illinois. Then in Kentucky I saw my first daffodil. In Tennessee, the Bradford pears were in glorious, full bloom and trees were beginning to bud. Now that I'm home again, I'll get to see the beginning of spring all over again.