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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Mississippi River Trail

The route north was pretty relaxed since I had neither plans nor timetable. I was traveling north on Rt 1 in Illinois when I passed a sign that said "Wabash Cannonball Toll Bridge".  Since the song of the same name is a classic I decided to explore. This is what I found.

WTF!? As my history with water crossings on this trip was not real solid I decided not to attempt this crossing. However, on the way back through the town of St. Francisville I stopped at the post office. I inquired if the sign out on the road was an attempt at local humor in order to trick passing motorists. The woman behind the counter nearly passed her coffee through her nose laughing at that. When she regained her composure she told me that there was a sign a couple of blocks back that pointed to the bridge. Big sign out on the main road, tiny sign in town.

The Wabash Canonball Toll Bridge is in fact an old Wabash Railroad bridge converted to auto traffic. The rails have been removed and you drive on the old planks. This was a little nerve wracking since I was bouncing around on the uneven boards and the guard rail was just high enough to make sure I would tip over into the river below. Through the ties in the middle I could look down into the river but I was concentrating on staying on the planks and not on sightseeing.

On the other side were just pleasant roads through the farmland and quiet country lanes.

That was the essence of this part of the trip. It was no big thing. There was no Summit of Everest moment. Rather there was a multitude of small things that were a joy unto themselves.

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