Day 32: Illinois & Missouri Combo

It was a low volume day in terms of picturing taking.  High volume in terms of coffee and snack consumption.  Boredom dictated it.  Lots of miles with few stops and plenty of one-photo towns in the southern tips of IL & MO.  Tomorrow, probably more of the same – in pretty much the same type area.  Plus a tiny bit of nearby TN.  Less populated, more rural areas have far fewer of the subjects that I like to shoot.  So this and the next post may be short.  Unless I start shooting landscapes — naaaah. 

Only four days left to shoot — then Sunday will be a hellish interstate day heading home.  I’ll probably focus on southern IL & IN.  No time to be thorough about them either.  The rest of those stops and OH/KY will have to wait until next spring’s trip.

The day pretty much started in Collinsville, IL.  Here are a couple shots from there.  A colorful Independent Order of Odd Fellows sign:

I have a weakness for all things relating to coal mining.  This building detail from the Miner’s Institute:

Although I got no feedback from anybody about the guy I shot with the motorized 4-wheeled bike thing, I will not be discouraged!  In Belleville, IL, I made a big illegal U-turn for this woman and raced to catch up.  She pulled into the McDonald’s and parked which made it easier than a motion shot.  And a far better result with her pose and smile.

A couple signs from Belleville.  Those are painted holes — how strange!  Too bad about the altered text.

This sign has probably seen nine lives.  Still a neat and weird doctor figure:

Snack time!  I have never tried this classic candy.  Although it was way overpriced, I went for it.  How bad could anything with chocolate and marshmallow be?  It turned out to be defective.  I could barely open the wrapper since the contents of one of the candies had leaked out.  The other one was fairly intact but the chocolate tasted stale.  I give this one a D (also for disgusting).  Or maybe I just had a bad batch.

Perhaps equally disgusting to you — though a normal part of my life.  My eager passengers create a lot of window schmear with their noses.  It’s really not as bad-looking as this — I just caught the glare right so you can see it.  My side is perfectly clean.  This is maybe two days worth — that’s what Fantastic and paper towels are for. 

Let’s close with a little bit of a detective story.  I have long wondered if there is anything left of the Greyhound station in Flat River, MO:

Turns out there’s nothing left of Flat River really since it’s become part of Park Hills now.  But I got the scoop on where the building was from the Chamber of Commerce.  So there you go:  now a laundromat — its curved corners are the only thing left (nothing worth mentioning inside).

Here’s the same building design in Waverly, TN that I shot in 2007.   Still there but repurposed as you can see.  More photos & info about the bldg at my site here:

22 thoughts on “Day 32: Illinois & Missouri Combo

  1. Nope, I don’t think you got one from a defective batch, as every time I’ve had a Valomilk they’ve been oozy like that.
    Sparkle the Van must really, er, sparkle, after all the Fantasik washings! 🙂

    • Ya know. A few years ago, some a-hole spray-painted graffiti on the side of Sparkle — two separate incidents, about two weeks apart. Surely, the same a-hole but you couldn’t read the “tag”. The curse of having a white van. Anyhow, both times, Fantastic took the paint off perfectly and didn’t seem to damage the paint whatsoever. So I swear by the product.

      Valomilk sucks in every way.

  2. I liked the 4-wheeler pics (pink biker too), but figured plenty of others would weigh in.

    Careful with the illegal U-ies, tho’. Good thing about signs/bldgs/statuary, generally don’t have to do special maneuvers just to catch them.

    Thanks again.

    • Good! I’m glad I have a vehicles fan to shoot for. I’ll keep my eyes peeled. Oh, I do plenty of rubber-burning U-ies all day long. Most of my bloggy photos are gathered in that manner. Most of my website photos are planned but the glorious dreck of the blog is pretty much all random encounters. I do keep an eye out for cops. I think I’ve done 16,294 rolling stop signs on this trip. If I get a ticket for that offense, it will be well worth it since I’ve probably saved hours per day and gotten an extra 20 or so subjects per day that way.

  3. Glad you were able to catch up with the Barbie Pink Hog driving woman. You did tell her where to see her photo,yes? You could have had an cool photo op with the kids if she would have let you put them all on that bike too.
    Love Greyhound Bus stuff, happy one old building still looks like the old station. The laundromat: feh.

    The two miners on the Institute: Looks like they are wearing the early version of the beer drinking helmet used by sophisticates today. I guess they only had one can for safety’s sake, eh? Speaking of coal mining, you have seen the MSI Chicago exhibit, yes? That has been a constant of my visits to my favorite museum as a kid. If you aren’t familiar:

    OK, what are you messing around with defective candies if you want chocolate & marshmallow? Remember I TRIED to convince you when going to Chicago? See below.

    From “Product Description:
    Nabisco pinwheel cookies, are elegant chocolate, marshmallow and cookie treats. ”
    Need I say more?

    OK, it was 98 degrees in SF Tuedsay, hotter out of town. So the weather is almost the same for both of us. You and the beasties KEEP COOL. Hope you find some good stuff Wednesday!

    • Pinkie didn’t seem at all concerned or interested in what I might do with the photo. Maybe she’s a local celebrity and is used to being photo-ed? I didn’t think to pose dogs with her — didn’t want to hold her up. A woman with purpose. Miners — that exhibit looks like a p.r. cleaned-up version. I’m sure it’s way dirtier and dangerous-er in real life.

      OK, I’ll admit, it already did buy one batch of Pinwheels on this trip. Had to eat them fairly quickly in this heat before they become one big gooey mess. You are remembering my fondness for them from a previous post on an earlier trip? Or is it just one of your personal fave junk foods as well? Bottom of this post:

      But don’t you get those cool Pacific breezes? And doesn’t it cool off at night?

  4. I too am a fan of “vintage” candies but admit that Valomilks can quickly get out of hand, they’re always leaking and pouring out and making a mess! Great detective work about the Greyhound station, I never would’ve guessed. And I am touched by the detail of the coal miners as well, makes you think of the many people who have sacrificed their lives so we can live in the comfort that we do today.

    • Were your Valomilks leaking before you even opened the package? I got the white ick everywhere – me, the steering wheel, the driver’s seat…. Luckily, I have the world’s best cleaning agent along for the ride (Gremlin). I can’t believe we STILL have people going into mines and risking their lives in this modern age and after all the tragedies and health problems. Can’t we train robots? But I guess that would put these people out of work so that’s not a good thing either.

  5. The lady on the pink motorcycle is one of your best shots of the trip! I love her attitude and sheer happiness. She’s fantastic!

    Like you, I rarely shoot photos of people I meet on the road, but when I do, I’m always happy with the result.

    The bus station: always interesting to see what’s happened to some postcard scene from 60 years ago. Very cool that you made the quest to find it again.

    Stay safe, my friend. I’ll be sorry to see this roadtrip come to a close, but I’m sure you’ve gotten your fill of the midwestern summer road construction!

    • Ain’t she something! She’s like a superhero – superheroine. I really regret not giving her my card so that she’d email me so I could email her this photo. I bet she has a pink laptop.

      I do a lot of behind the scenes stuff like I did for the Greyhound station. I print out photos of stuff that I have cities but no address for and show them to locals who very often say things like “oh, yeah — that was torn down about five years ago”. Or even more ouch-y: “that was torn down just a few months ago”. Now, THAT will get a bug up yer ass to travel more — and shoot even in the rain.

      Five weeks is certainly long enough. But if I didn’t have this job to rush home to, I could maybe stay longer. Take some days off to recover and get back at it. But because of work, there’s always a frantic deadline.

    • I’m not a people person — so I’m not interested in shooting them. But some people are just exceptional. I think I’d always ask first — unless they were in motion like the guy on moto-quad-bike in St. Louis.

  6. RE: Pinwheels. I have been following your exploits for quite awhile, and remembered that you thought they were “the bee’s knees’ so to speak. I haven’t had any myself for years, so I wanted to check up on them, & found out that Dominick’s & Jewel had them in stock, in Chicago. SO, it also seems that Kraft/Nabisco for some reason don’t even mention them on their websites. They only mention Malomars, which I believe is about the same cookie, different shape, ut I’ve never seen them.

    Oh yeah, have you been to The Museum Of Science & Industry?

    • Pinwheels are fantastic. Hadn’t had them since that last roadtrip I think. Great when you crave chocolate. Mallomars are just not the same. I guess they are nationwide but you still have to hunt to find them.

      I’m not much for museums — unless there’s something there that merits shooting (giant heart, important dinosaur, carousel…). I get enough crowds and kids in NYC. And then there’s the parking with the dogs in the heat problem. I usually just leave the engine running and bolt in/out. Pay the $12 admission or whatever for 10 minutes.

    • You probably mean the MSI in Chicago. I’ve never been inside but circled round it many times. To shoot the Man w/Fish statue. Looking for the ice cream trash can (which I never found). But never had a good reason to venture inside. And parking w/dogs would be even more complicated there.

  7. OK, I know I won’t convince you on the merits of visiting MSI Chicago. But, I had thought that the Coal Mine exhibit would at least interest you. Plus the U-505 German submarine, Zephyr Train, huge model railway, Coleen Moore Fairy Castle, I could go on. And on.
    The museum has an underground parking garage.
    Oh, well here’s a link again just in case you want to look for a couple of minutes:

    Peace out.

  8. WOW, I have never seen so much PINK in my life.

    As far as a yummy snack goes, try Cherry mash – it’s an oldie but goodie. And they don’t run unless the chocolate gets too hot.

    Nautilus is still under the shed – haven’t found an easy way to get it out yet, but will eventually. I enjoyed your visit! Glad you were able to take the time out to stop and see me! Cheers!

    • Pink, yes. I’ll have to find more of it and keep the theme going. I’ve had cherry mash (more pink!) — deadly sweet but pretty good. Usually once is enough on these classic candies. In this heat, I tend toward ice cream / frozen custard.

      The Nautilus must be really buried. Don’t worry about it. I have maybe 100 toys here in the van and another 1,000 at home. Plus I’m always buying more. It thrills me as much as them. I’ll catch you next time I’m in KS — just don’t know when.

      • As always, I look forward to your future visit. Nautilus will be safe until next time. Although, Spook has been hunkered down real interested like she may see it under the shed – too funny.

        Cherry Mash – agreed – it is so sweet one is good for a long time. I love Ted Drewed Frozen Custard –

        Travel safe my friend – until next time…..

      • Maybe Spook is just smelling where my two dogs were digging rather than Nautilus?
        I didn’t do Ted Drewe’s this time. Very long line and I’ve exceeded my ice cream quotient on this trip.

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