Tuesday, December 16, 2014


On the second Sunday of every month, I make the trek to Virginia IL, for my 3-hour gig at Dr Ug's. It's about 25 miles west , which would barely break a sweat on the Interstate. 

Unfortunately, that's not an option here. A grueling 2 lanes, all the way. Depending on all those variables like weather and traffic(and tractors!), it's at least a half hour. A bit of a haul. 

As it is with those tasks which have the potential of tedium, you try and make them interesting. One thing that always grabs me  is the overpass as you're leaving town. It's right there past Veterans Parkway as Jefferson St becomes I-97. It's at the bottom of a slight incline, so you can't really see past it. You don't know what's there until you've passed through it. And then you feel as if you've entered a different zone. Like you're Elvis and you've just left the building. It always signifies to me that I'm on my way. 

From there you have a long stretch of nothing, as if you're entering the void: 

And oftentimes you feel more like this, driving through the endless flat patches of west central Illinois:
So your mind, out of necessity, breaks it down into digestible bites, insuring that you don't choke on the void.

There's the overpass, then a brief stretch with a few businesses and such, then Bradforton, then another stretch, then the road forks(even though you don't), followed by a lo-o-ong flat stretch of pavement, then Pleasant Plains, another patch of void, a slight turn in the road when you enter Cass County, more void, then Philadelphia, a slight bit of more nothin', then the road bends a bit and you've got that sharp left to make- that last turn that takes you right into the heart of town. 

And of course you note these landmarks in reverse order on your way out. They actually go faster when you're heading home, maybe because the job is finished and all that. And again, that overpass comes into play. It seems to come up suddenly, being at the bottom of the hill and all, but once you pass through it, you're home. There's the Springfield sign on your right, marking the city limits(well, okay, the picture is actually Illiopolis, but the overpass is very similar to the one I'm talking about. 
 I've always had a fascination for overpasses, especially the ones where you can't see where you're going until you've passed through. The whole idea of passing through a door, a portal, to another zone or area(yes, I've seen Time Bandits). And at the very least, they can help alleviate some of the tedium of a road trip in central Illinois. 

  Here are a few more of my favorite overpasses. I have not visited these personally, so I can't tell you what lies on the other side, but that's part of the intrigue: