Monday, August 15th 2011

I was up at my usual time - 5AM. There was a nice sunrise and it was clear and cool - in the mid/low 50s. After coffee and my B bread I started in on my trip report. After a coupla hours I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood to get some air and exercise.

Click on the photos below for a larger image.

  Click for larger image

I walked down to Plum street. As you can see this brick street is nice and shady and there are some mature trees.

  Click for larger image

Havana certainly has it's share of well kept old homes.

  Click for larger image   Click for larger image

My plan was to continue on down to the river but and unexpected and urgent call of nature sent me double-timing it back to the hotel. Whew! That was a close one...


After finishing my web work and packing the car I said "Good-bye" to Havana and started West on US 136.

Illinois River Bridge and grain loading terminal

As I crossed the Illinois River Bridge I could now clearly see the extent of the grain loading terminal. All those square miles of beans and corn gotta go somewhere...

  Click for larger image

So, out into the countryside I went. This blue sky and sun was a preview of what I would see for the next 8hrs/400miles.

View the route from Havana, Il to Carroll, IA in a larger map.

  Click for larger image

Being there and witnessing the sweeping panorama of the mid-west farm country made my snaphots look pretty dull. As they say "You had to be there".

  Click for larger image

My route would take me through Carthage, Il where Betsy and I stopped to look around in 1997. We visited the jail where Joseph Smith was killed by and angry mob.

The death of Joseph Smith, Jr. on June 27, 1844 marked a turning point for the Latter Day Saint movement, of which Smith was the founder and leader. When he was attacked and killed by a mob, Smith was the mayor of Nauvoo, Illinois, and running for President of the United States. He was killed while jailed in Carthage, Illinois on charges relating to his ordering the destruction of facilities producing the Nauvoo Expositor, a newspaper whose first and only edition claimed Smith was practicing polygamy and that he intended to set himself up as a theocratic king. Smith had voluntarily surrendered to the authorities at the county seat at Carthage to face the charges that he was accused of. While he was in jail awaiting trial an armed mob of men with painted faces stormed the jail and shot him and his brother Hyrum to death. The Latter Day Saints view Joseph and Hyrum as martyrs.

Source: WikiPedia

On that trip in 1997 we went north along the the Great River Road, which is a National Scenic Byway, and runs most of the length of the Mississippi and passes directly through Nauvoo.

Below is and excerpt from Betsy's 1997 Journal.

We hit the road about 7:30, and were soon on Rt. 10 driving across Illinois. We missed our turn and ended up on a different route which took up to Carthage where we stopped to see the historic Carthage jail. We didn't realize the town, etc. was run by the Mormons & that Joseph Smith & his brother had been murdered there. The brochure we picked up made us decide to drive over to Nauvoo, the 1800's Mormon settlement. The Mormons were a bit pushy there & we were short of time, so we didn't do the movie & tour, but we drove through the old town & stopped at the bakery for some Nauvoo blue cheese ($3.39 a lb.)

Here is a bit more about the Mormons of Nauvoo.

About fifteen thousand Missouri Mormons fled to the free state of Illinois where they were welcomed. A few months later. Smith escaped prison and joined his people in Illinois. There they established the city of Nauvoo. Joseph Smith thought this swampy land in the bend of the Mississippi River would be a perfect place for the Mormons to settle. The non-Mormon residents watched in awe and with a little jealousy as the hard-working Mormons began to prosper. They dug canals to drain the swampy land, and they built brick houses and structures while most other residents of this area lived in simple log cabins.

Source: Northern Illinois University Libraries

  Click for larger image

Although Betsy and I had been through some of this county back in 1997 I did not remember how beautiful western Iowas was.
And, it was much more rolling/hilly than I expected or remembered. This would be a great place to go on a cycling tour.


At almost 5:00 on the dot I arrived in Carroll, IA. My first impression was thinking somehow I had ended up in New York City! After 2 days of tiny little Havana, Carroll felt like the Big City.

First order of business was to get settled in. I had no clue where to look for a hotel so I just turned east onto US 30 off of US 71. I drove for several miles before seeing any lodging.
I stopped first at a Super 8. The rates were $80/single! I went next door to the Burke Inn and got a room for $50. Still more than I wanted to pay but after 8 hours behind the wheel and nothing but veggies, fruits and nuts to eat all day I decided not to run all over creation looking for some place cheaper.

I asked for a ground floor room and was given a handicapped accessible room with both outside and inside access. Handy. I unloaded and then went down the raod to Taco John's which I had seen on the way in. I got a couple of hot, greasy and sloppy ones and washed them down with some Nattie Light. Ahhh... now all is well with the world.

Good night!