I am currently on a (rather quick) road trip to Denver. I normally fly down to visit my brother, but I thought it would be fun to drive this time since I’ve never been through this part of the U.S. And, I have plenty time!
After a long day of driving, I’ve ended up in Davenport, Iowa. I expected to do more stops through small towns with a chance to explore and photograph them a little. However, the route I laid out for myself takes the Interstate highways and you don’t get much of a view of any small towns. It’s hard to even tell where they are!
I did manage to take a couple of detours, though. One was a must: Kalamazoo! When our dad told us that Kalamazoo and Timbuktu were real places, I didn’t believe him for the longest time. But, I can now say for sure that he wasn’t lying!
The second was through Benton Harbor. At a rest area, I saw that the side road went along the water. I thought I would take advantage and enjoy a bit of scenery during the drive. I was picturing a quaint town with cute little cafes and shops along the main street and maybe a nice park along the waterfront. Well, I was unfortunately unpleasantly surprised. Entering Benton Harbor, boarded up abandoned houses looking dilapidated and run down are all you can see. On the main street, restaurant signs have been disassembled and the streets are almost empty. There are only a few signs of life – and they look like they’re just hanging on. It seemed like a ghost town but somehow worse: people did still live there.
On a lighter side, I always find it fun to see names of familiar places but in new locations. This trip, in Illinois, I saw two cities: Ottawa (also my hometown) and Peru (where I was just last week!).
My favourite stretch of road so far has been through the western part of Illinois. The prairie homes and far-stretching fields under the setting sun made for some great mental postcards.
Here’s hoping the driving goes as smoothly tomorrow!