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THURSDAY - Knowing that we would be traveling mostly over Interstate 72 and then Interstate 55 today and not seeing anything too interesting other than a lot of farm and ranch lands, I scouted out a couple of sightseeing opportunities in the town where we'll be spendng the night.

As you can see in the first photo we were heading through downtown Hannibal just before 11:00AM this morning.

A few minutes later and we were crossing the Mississippi River into Illinois and weren't too surprised when the first gasoline price we saw was $3.68 and that was at Walmart's Murphy USA Station which is usually the cheapest price around.

Goodbye Hannibal, until next time!

Just before we approached the state capitol of Springfield, we pulled off the Interstate and found a Steak-n-Shake restaurant to have lunch. Afterwards it was time to return to the Interstate and press on to our destination in Lincoln, IL.

The town of Lincoln, IL has the distinction of being the only town in the entire country named for and christened by Abraham Lincoln "before" he became our 16th President (1861-1865), lots of places were named Lincoln after he was elected and achieved national fame.

Lincoln, IL was planned and surveyed from 1852-1853 and Abraham Lincoln provided legal services to the town’s planners.

On August 27, 1853, the first lots of land in the new town were sold. Abraham Lincoln was on hand to officially christen the town, which had been named in his honor. As Lincoln did not drink alcohol, the juice of a watermelon was sprinkled on the ground to christen the town.

Located right next door to the Amtrak Station in Lincoln, IL you'll find...

...the Lincoln Watermelon Monument, which now commemorates this slightly odd moment.

The Historic Route 66 cuts right through the downtown areas of Lincoln, IL which explains a couple of oddities that can be found here.

First up is this photo of the town's fire station. See anything odd in the photo?

It's not the fact that they appear to be installing a new roof, but you're close!

YES! That is a phone booth up there on the roof.

This is not just a prank, it was actually manned by the firefighters in the 1960s during inclement weather to observe and warn the townspeople of impending dangerous weather, especially tornados. I'll bet they're glad about all the modern advancements in weather prediction we've made over the last 60-years.

In case you were wondering, NO a phone is no longer located inside of the booth on the roof.

One last item we explored before arriving at our destination is certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the "World’s Largest Covered Wagon". I think they better revisit that decision, because today it is not covered at all. However I did find a photo online from as recent as September of 2023 where there was a cover on it.

I guess they only cover the wagon during special events or holidays?

At 25' tall and 40' long it's still pretty large, larger than THE POD.

Who's that driving? Why it's nothing other than that lawyer fellow, Abraham Lincoln.

Just around the corner from the covered wagon is the only Walmart Supercenter location in Lincoln, IL and our destination for tonight.

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