Springfield, America’s Other Home Town

Springfield, IL stands in sharp contract to Hannibal, MO. Twice the size but half the kitsch (if you discount the current competition to host the upcoming Simpsons’ movie premier). With the opening of the new Lincoln Museum and Library a few years ago, the historical area of Springfield is a pleasant mix of restoration, educational displays, and good to excellent dining in the City core. Having an active State government center certainly helps. I even found two Starbucks and a Red Roof Inn with WiFi!

Yesterday, after surviving the rigors of camping and caving, I checked into the 835 Inn on Second Street. Just a few blocks south of the State Capitol Building it was a great place to recover and repack the mess in my car. The 835 Inn is a nice treat if you’re going to be in this town for a day or two. At $100 a night, it’s a little pricey for a long stay but the bedtime cookies and the Eggs Benedict for breakfast made it worth it. Did I mention the jacuzzi and the four poster bed?

My current “crash pad” is a big step down from Victorian B&B. A Red Roof Inn off of 55. A big TV set and a straight shot to the highway for my escape to Indy tomorrow make up for the no frills and slight odor of mildew. I think a Movie on Demand, a Subway, and 8 hours of sleep should close out Day 4 of Road Trip 2007.


4 Responses to Springfield, America’s Other Home Town

  1. Nicola Evans says:

    Well good afternoon Master John.

    Can I whisper the words Bill Bryson..? And that BTW is a huge compliment, I love reading Bill and your writing really reminds me of him.

    It also sounds like the completely nuts kind of trip he would attempt. Good grief! Rather you than me is all I can say…

    Really looking forward to the next instalment.

    Of course most of the time your references pass me by – my ignorance of US geography is truly shaming but I feel as though I’m being educated here!

    Happy camping!


  2. jtholste says:

    Lady Evans!

    I’m pleased that my humble blogging has reached across the Pond. I have a copy of one of Bryson’s books in my “must read” stash in the car and will move it closer to the top of the reading list on your kind recommendation.

    I shall try and flesh out the references at bit (or add a footnote section and links for further reading). I am still matering this media and am happy that I have not lost anyone’s responses (yet) to this growing travelogue.

    No further incidences of dog-napping on the estate I hope?

    Regards to the Surgeon.


  3. Nicola Evans says:

    Thus far the dog remains free…..

    Very exciting keeping up with your journey.

    I do have a map of the US because I was driving everyone bonkers with my questions about where was this place and that….so I can at least see your progress on a map and know roughly where in the country it might be.

    When I first received my map, I poured over it – who knew that Washington was in the North West?? And what is Virginia doing in the East, I thought it was in the South – and all those straight lines for States – how very organised of them! Even with the map though, the woman at immigration looked askanse at my immigration form last year which said I was staying in Philadelphia, New Jersey…..hmmm I’m a slightly wiser person now!

    Hope the travels continue to go well.

    Yes the good doctor is well and out doctoring at the moment….


  4. jtholste says:

    I am pleased that my little expedition is providing such valuable geography lessons. As I write, I am still in Indianapolis, Indiana, a fairly non-descript state of affairs. Lots of Methodists and Catholics with an interesting mixture of Unitarians and Anglicans (well, Episcopalians). The state is moderately conservative but wedged between two historical Democratic encalves of Illinois and Ohio. I’l be skirting Ohio on my way to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Multiple sites along the Ohio River have attracted my attention including a little town called Petersburg, KY.

    “The Pitt” was America’s great steel furnace for 100 years beginnng with Bessemer’s invention of the furnance that bears his name. 100 years of soot, carbon, and smoke still stain this town although you’ll be stunned by the tranformation photos to come.

    After Pittsburgh, I’ll be heading further east to Philadelphia, New Jersey for a stop in one of New Jersey’s suburbs (New York) and some yard work at a little Medford cabin.

    See today’s post on a bit of a surprise in Indiana from your noble kingdom.

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