Saturday, July 13, 2013

Headed to the Windy City, Chicago, Illinois

We left Iowa and headed east on Hwy 20 towards Chicago.  Hwy 20 is a well defined and smooth roadway and provides an alternative to driving on the Interstates and/or toll roads in the east. The only drawback for some is the small towns you have to pass through, with their reduced speed limits and occasional traffic signal. We embrace these forgotten nuggets in our travels and have found many of them with unique features, homes, barns and churches. If you're retired, get off the interstate and enjoy these beautiful towns and hamlets. Today's post will take you along Hwy 20 in Iowa and Illinois....enjoy!

Iowa has gentle rolling hills covered with miles and miles of fertile farmland. Many of these fields are now covered in corn with a few wheat and soy beans thrown in.

We didn't have much traffic to contend with either....

My kind of picture. Serene, yet standing as a silent tribute to a lot of hard work that once surrounded this barn and silo.

As we approached the City of Dubuque, Iowa, which sits on the Mississippi River, the gentle rolling hills gave way to more flatlands covered with crops.

The farm houses and outbuildings were spotless and the grounds showed they received the same hard work and loving care these folks gave their crops.

Arriving in Dubuque, Highway 20 turns east and crosses the Mississippi River into the State of Illinois.

Once across the river, we passed the Illinois welcome sign. Here, Hwy 20 continues to follow the railroad alongside the Mississippi river, before heading east again.

We arrived in the town of Elizabeth and found our road blocked by the Elizabethan Hotel and Banking Center.

Actually it's a 15mph turn in the road.

The sign on the hotel greeted us with the time and the temperature. It spun, showing time on one side and temperature on the other.

While many of the farms in Iowa consist of corn, this one boasted acres of barley and wheat.

We arrived in the town of Stockton, Illinois, population 1862. Founded in 1886, it was a thriving railroad town until the Minnesota Railway merged with the Chicago Great Western Railway who then moved the tracks several miles away. In 1914 a large cheese factory opened here by the Kraft brothers.  It was the first cheese plant opened by JL Kraft and is now known as the Kraft Corporation.

Above is Hwy 20 through the town of Stockton. To the right is one of the beautiful farms bordering the highway.

Below is one just east of town. Each is similar in design yet unique in it's own way.

As we closed in on the Chicago area, the farm houses became more elegant in their appearance. I prefer what I call the up and down houses over the style depicted here, but this one is certainly beautiful in it's own rite.

 Downtown Chicago Skyline--- subject of tomorrow's post

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had your strength to tackle these off the beaten path roads! I always worry about the quality of the roads, all the small towns and traffic lights, etc. The hard part too for us is that if we stop, for whatever reason, (to take a picture, traffic light, etc.) Monster thinks we are there and pees. He is so old. So, we go hot and heavy to get to our destination before he pees!