Experiencing America > Road Trip 2002 > Day 1

Day ONE...
Sunday, August 4th, 2002

Starting in the morning from Diamond, IL, we headed to Kankakee to catch Interstate 57. Our destination for the day...make Nashville, TN by nightfall. Being that much of Illinois is all farmland, the first several hours were spent in the Blazer till just north of Effingham, where we stopped for a bite to eat at a nice rest area.

The picnic area at the Rest Area north of Effingham, IL on SB I-57.
After a sandwich, drink, and brief stroll to stretch out, we continued on our way south. As we went through Effingham, IL on I-57/70, we came upon a giant cross.

Giant cross at Effingham, IL on SB I-57/WB I-70.
As the trip down I-57 progressed, the Blazer needed a re-fill on the unleaded motor-fuel. Thus, being we stopped at a Huck's Gas Station on Illinois State Route 15 at Mt. Vernon, IL. Now all gasses up and ready to go, we head out again down I-57. We veered off on to Interstate 24.

Overhead sign on SB I-57 at I-24

Although, I-24 is very scenic, we only stayed on for about 14 miles. Exiting I-24 at Exit 14 (U.S. Rt. 45), and heading south to pass through the vast countryside of Johnson and Massac County. The first town we came upon is Vienna. At the junction of U.S. Rt. 45 and Illinois State Route 146, we came across an old Standard Fuel Station.

A old, abandon Standard station in Vienna, IL.
Then next stop on down U.S. Rt. 45 is in Metropolis. Metropolis...is a very...different town. Strange to "outsiders". This is the only Metropolis in the world. Thus being, they clam to be the home of "Superman".

A water tower in Metropolis, IL. Notice the Superman Logo on the tower.

In the center of town, just a few blocks west of U.S. Rt. 45, there is a Superman Museum and Statue. This is a good place to stop and take pictures and collect Superman Memorabilia. These are hard to find. It took us a few trips around town and stopping to ask a local for directions to find it.

Superman Statue in Metropolis, IL

Elsewhere in Metropolis, near Harris Casino-Metropolis, we found access to the Ohio River. The casino obstructed the view to the east, but we were able to see a few miles to the west down the Ohio River.

The Canadian National (former Illinois Central) Railroad Bridge over the Ohio River at Metropolis.

Not much more in Metropolis as far as "usual" attractions. We did happen across some unusual items in this town. Below are two examples.

This is a grocery store in Metropolis. It's pretty easy to guess who John is...

One of the few KFC's that still have the bucket...and still spell out the name.
Next, itís off to Kentucky, via I-24. I-24 has a magnificent bridge over the Ohio River. If you look to the east while crossing the bridge, you will see Lock and Dam number 52 on the Ohio River.

Eastbound I-24 approching the Ohio River.

Now to Kentucky...State Number 2!...
We journeyed down I-24 we stopped at the welcome center for free road maps and tourist information the headed to Kentucky Dam. To access the dam site, we exited I-24 at Exit 27 (U.S. Rt. 62) and headed east. At Kentucky Dam, there is a place to pull off and park to take in the great view of Kentucky Lake.

Signs on U.S. Rt. 62 at Kentucky Lake and Kentucky Dam

Looking south at Kentucky Lake

Looking east along U.S. Rt. 62 as it crosses Kentucky Dam.

We got back in the Blazer and head east down U.S. Rt. 62 to Kentucky State Route 453 and took it north back to I-24 and headed west back to the Julian M. Carroll Purchase Parkway, and headed south. We didn't stay on the parkway long (only till the next exit). We exited at U.S. Rt. 68 at Briensburg, KY. U.S. Rt. 68 is a very pretty route. It winds and twists along Kentucky Lake. At Aurora, KY. U.S. Rt. 68 turns east and crosses the lake.

The view of KY Lake from the intersection of U.S. Rt. 68 and Kentucky State Route 94 at Aurora, KY.

Looking east along U.S. Rt. 68 and the bridge over the Tennessee River side of KY Lake.

Looking north at KY Lake.

We loaded up and now made our way to Tennessee. To do so we continued east on U.S. Rt. 68 to I-24. The interchange of U.S. Rt. 68 and I-24 is the first place we were able to start picking up Nashville FM radio. The most powerful of them being WRVW-FM 107.5, A Clear Channel Worldwide Station.

Now Tennessee...State Number 3!...

Again the first thing we did in Tennessee was stop at the welcome center for free maps and tourist info. Tennessee must think road maps are gold. The stockpile was hidden in a cabinet in a stand in the center of the building. After a bit of investigating...I was able to locate them and help myself to a few... Shortly after moving on down I-24 we exited onto Tennessee Secondary State Route 48 and headed to Clarksville, TN. A stop was made at an Amoco Station on the north side of town for re-fueling. Then made our way through town via U.S. Rt. 41A and By-PASS U.S. Rt. 41A . On By-PASS U.S. Rt. 41A, we stopped at a river walk for a few pictures.

Looking down the Cumberland River's Lake Barkley at the R J Corman Railroad Bridge in Clarksville, TN.

Continuing on our way we headed around town on By-PASS U.S. Rt. 41A to Tennessee State Route 12 south. Tenn St Rt 12 is a very winding, but scenic route. Dinner was in Ashland City at a Sonic Drive In... One of the best places for a burger, fries, and tater tots with an ice cold Dr. Pepper. After dinner we headed the rest of the way down Tenn St Rt 12 into Nashville, arriving 12 hours after we left Coal City. We ended up circling Nashville a few times and finding where Clear Channel Radio in Nashville is located. Then finding a place to stay.

The Knights Inn in Nashville at I-24 and Robertson Parkway.

Day TWO...