Day 4: May 28, 2007
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Luna Cafe, Mitchell, IL Bel-Air Drive-In, Mitchell, IL From Fort Osage, I headed directly to I-70 and turned left. I intended to get as far east as I could so that Monday's drive wasn't unreasonable. I had originally thought that might be around St Charles but as I approached that city, I remembered that I had not been overly impressed with the area's motel choices. Knowing that every mile driven today is one less tomorrow, another plan started to form. St Charles isn't all that far from Mitchell, IL, and a familiar watering hole on Route 66. I drove on to Exit 6, got a room at the Best Western, and headed to the Luna Cafe for a cheeseburger and a couple of Stags. Darkness delayed getting photographic evidence until this morning but here it is. The Bel-Air sign is still standing across the street from the Best Western and the Luna's neon still marks one of the best little roadhouses on Sixty-Six.

Vandalia, IL Vandalia, IL I still have a long way to go but I felt I could afford a little US-40/National Road on the way home. When the National Road headed for downtown Vandalia, I stayed with US-40 and discovered this fine creature just down the road from Jay's Inn. I've slept within a mile of it but had always gone through downtown or on to the interstate. That windmill's kind of cool, too.

National Road, IL National Road, IL This was another surprise although I know I've driven by it at least once. But that was heading west and going the other way often reveals different things. Of course, driving the same way often does that, too.

Effingham, IL Effingham, IL Effingham, IL I sometimes call an uncle of mine on a Saturday morning when I'm heading toward his home in Troy, OH, and he occasionally calls me when it seems possible that I might be going that way. If it works out, we'll meet for breakfast. If it doesn't, we'll just wait for the next call. The last time I called him, he was in Florida. This week he called me in St Charles. Although a breakfast date wasn't possible, he mentioned an Effingham restaurant called Niemerg's where he often stops to eat when traveling to or from a brother's home in Missouri. I tried it, liked it, and, since it's just across the expressway from the giant cross, I decided to visit that, too. The big one in Groom, Texas, has statues of the Stations of the Cross around it. This one has the Ten Commandments. Pressing a button at one of them lowers the volume on the music that is steadily playing, and plays a commandment appropriate message through a speaker that looks like a rock or one mounted under the bench. I personally think the rock speakers sound best.

Greenup, IL Greenup, IL I didn't religiously follow the National Road but did make sure I went through Greenup to see the balconies. As I passed the historical society, I saw it was open and pulled in to say hi. I'm really sorry that I've forgotten the name of the friendly lady I spoke with first but I spent several minutes chatting with her and Belinda Nickles of the Illinois National Road Association. I stayed with the old road through Casey and Marshall then entered the expressway and set out for home.

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