Returned from a trip

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Posted by w0ep on August 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm

[Today’s run: about 3/4 of a mile]

We returned yesterday from a 10 day trip to Iowa.  While there we spent two days at the Iowa State Fair.  that was a lot of fun.

Our driving to Iowa and back took us through the southern tip of Illinois, the western tip of Kentucky and the western part of Tennessee.  I had not realized before that Abe Lincoln, being from Kentucky, could have been born west of his later home in Springfield, IL.  I don’t think he was, but he could have been.  I guess that is just a long way of saying that parts of Kentucky are more westerly than parts of Illinois.

We drove through Cairo, IL twice, on the way up and on the way back.  What a depressing place.  You’d think that any reasonably business-minded town could come up with a way to cash in on being at the confluence of the two biggest barge-traffic rivers in the USA.  But they don’t even have an overlook to see the  place (and the two big bridges that span the two rivers just north of the confluence).

We really enjoyed driving through Iowa.  The farms are neat and tidy (mostly).  We had cheese curds fresh from the cheese dairy at Kalona, IA and a dutch letter in Pella, IA.  I liked the looks of western TN also, except for Memphis (we’ve been through Memphis before, but dodged around  it this time.)

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  • On August 21, 2012 at 10:19 am Jonathan Howard said

    Not far from Cairo is a town that had last operating freight steam locomotive, the Crab Orchard and Egyptian (the area is called “little Egypt”). That same steam locomotive was eventually sold to the museum at Boone, IA, and shipped there only to find on arrival it was too expensive to repair.

    Cairo’s population has dropped like a stone:

    http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/2011/05/population_trends_shows_cairo_disappearing_flood.ph

    “In 1950 the city of Cairo, Illinois, located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, had 12,123 inhabitants. By 2010, just 2,831 called the city home. That’s a decline of more than 76 percent in 60 years or a 12.6 percent loss per decade. More recently — in the 1990s and 2000s — Cairo’s population declined by more than 20 percent between censuses.”

    Fascinating old photo here:

    http://www.lib.niu.edu/2001/ihy010448.html

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