I had to drive today from Illinois to KC. I decided that I would drive without a map. I needed to drive West and that was easy enough to figure out. I remember the days when I use to take multi-week road trips with just an atlas. I loved those days. I could find little roadside stops a long the way.
So today I set out. I drove along the Mississippi River enjoying the river towns. I saw a sign for Fort Madison and figured there must be a fort there to see. I caught a glimpse of what I think was the fort. When I got closer I realized it was a penitentuary. I think it was built in the old fort. I ended up seeing an old bridge and turned left onto it. At first I wasn’t sure it was a bridge I was allowed to go across. It was thin and there were lots of NO TRUCK signs and NO U-TURN signs. Halfway across the bridge, there was a toll. I frantically started digging for change. I had to dig through the truck to find my money packed in my suitcase (they didn’t take credit card). The lesson I learned was that if you’re going to take unexpected roads you better have enough change for tolls.
I ended up driving down an old back highway and turning off at a sign that said Nauvoo Historic Site. I’ve never heard of this place before. Once I got into the historic part of town I stopped at the Visitor Center. It turns out that this was a pilgrimage for Mormons in the 1800’s who were seeking refuge for religious freedom. There is a giant temple built up on the hill. I was told wonderful things about it’s beauty, but when I asked if I could tour it, I was told that I could not because you had to be Mormon and referred by a higher up religious place. This is where I tell you I am not Mormon and I do not associate with an organized religion. This is a perfect summary of why. A “house of God”, yet man says you can’t go in until you make “commitments, promises, and covenants with God”. Then another man has to determine whether you have made enough commitments and covenants to enter. I am paraphrasing of course, but this was pretty close to the actual words. I was happy to leave.
I drove 5 hours today, saw lots of roadside scenery, and arrived in my hotel exhausted. I drove through dark and rain. I decided to top might night with a cold beer and a pound of crab. Today was a good adventure.
I hope the adventures are inspiring you to DO something; anything!