The World's Largest Selection of Mascot Costumes

Trip Start Aug 24, 2013
1
6
7
Trip End Aug 31, 2013


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow
Where I stayed
Starved Rock State Park

Flag of United States  , Illinois
Thursday, August 29, 2013

We were sad to leave our beautiful hotel room in Mason City, but we began our trip east toward Starved Rock State Park, Illinois. We knew it would be a long driving day, so we took off early and found a place to eat in Mason City (thanks again, Yelp!) and got on the road by 8 a.m. 

We wanted to visit a fossil park in Rockford, Iowa, just a few miles south of our route, but when we got to the town, the bridge across the creek that cuts through the town was closed for construction, so we couldn't get to the park on the other side of town without traveling about 20 miles out of the way. How do people live like that?

So back on the eastward road toward the Mississippi River. There were several routes we could take, but we decided on a route that would take us on some of the road marked as scenic routes on the Iowa map. We quickly learned that once we left the very flat terrain, all the roads in Eastern Iowa are pretty scenic, whether they are marked as such or not.

We stopped in some antique malls and bought a few things (a $7 lamp!), and pulled off at a "scenic view" that showed us a stunning Mississippi river. We stopped in Dubuque at Uncle Timmy's Sandwich Factory for chili dogs and started south so we could cross the river at a place where you actually drive north for several miles along a causeway that stretches over some islands. It was very beachy feeling and beautiful. 

We continued into Illinois and heading southeast toward the state park. It was a long drive through many small towns, including Dixon, whose claim to fame is that it's where Ronald Reagan was born and grew up (we got out of there fast). 

In one town, we stopped at a place called Facemakers in Savanna, Ill., where the sign said, "Home of the World's Largest Selection of Mascot Costumes," but we couldn't figure out how to get into the building, which appeared to be an old school of some sort. I was sure we'd be chased out by some large tigers or lions or some other animal in a letter sweater, but we made it back to our car unmolested.

We finally made it to our cabin at Starved Rock State Park, a beautiful park built by the CCC during the Depression. They told us that locals picketed the construction, complaining that there were people in town who needed the work, so some parts of the park were set aside and built by local workmen.
 
In typical Gibson fashion, we turned a six-hour drive into 10 hours on the road. But after dinner in the lodge dining room, we headed off to bed so we could be rested for our final day of driving.
Slideshow Report as Spam

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: