Brookfield, WI to Springfield, IL

July 28, 2015

We used the alarm to get up this morning at 6:00. We had done a lot of “prep” last night so we had less to do this morning. We were ready to pull out of the driveway at 7:10.

We left Anne’s and drove into Waukesha where we went to the Waukesha Waste Water Treatment Plant to get rid of our waste water. We were done in no time and on the Interstate by 8 AM. It was a pretty day–sunny skies with a high of 84 degrees. Our destination was Springfield, IL. Traffic was light as we made our way south on Hwy. 39 to I-90. We could see for miles as we made our way through the Wisconsin countryside.

We entered Illinois at about 8:30.

We crossed the Illinois River. We had traveled that river in our boat when we made the trip from Wisconsin to Florida in 2008 by water. It brought back many nice memories of a great trip.

From the bridge, we could see a tug pushing some barges down the “working” river.

Just before our gas stop, we heard a loud bang that made both of us jump. Was that us? It was a truck who had a tire blowout traveling in the other direction. Yikes! That was loud and I’m glad it wasn’t one of our tires. We arrived in Springfield around 1:00 to see a very industrial city.

We had this reminder of where we are! Those signs are everywhere in Springfield.

We pulled into our campground, the Double J, around 1:15 and set up.

It was a nice place and convenient to all the “Lincoln sites” that we wanted to see while we are in the area.

We relaxed in the AC since the temp here was 94 degrees. Auggie was outside for awhile and then decided it was too hot for him too. We had dinner and then took the ride into town to the Lincoln Tomb Historical Site for a 114th Volunteer Infantry Regiment demonstration at 7 PM. We entered the Oak Ridge Cemetery which is the historic site for Lincoln’s Tomb.

We arrived as the demonstration was beginning. The Civil War reenactors were in the process of demonstrating drill movements and a retreat–the process of putting the flag away for the night.

Taps was played by two buglers and two rounds of salutes were made by black powder long rifles.

One of the soldiers lit off a mortar which shook the ground and made me jump. It was quite a loud “boom”. Afterwards, the soldiers marched in formation in front of the Lincoln’s Tomb for pictures and questions.

There were ladies dressed in period costumes and other uniformed soldiers milling around after the demonstration. The demonstration was quite impressive.

We entered Lincoln’s Tomb from the door in the front which is the final resting place of Abraham Lincoln, his wife, Mary, and three of their four children, Edward, William, and Thomas (Tad). The eldest son, Robert, is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Statuettes throughout the tomb depict Lincoln during his career. This is one you’ll recognize.

We stopped in front of Lincoln’s vault in the burial chamber where a volunteer explained that Lincoln’s remains rest in a concrete vault 10 feet below the marble floor of the burial chamber. Crypts in the chamber’s south wall hold the remains of Lincoln’s wife, Mary, and three of their sons.

A massive granite cenotaph marking the gravesite is flanked by the Presidential flag and the flags of the states in which the Lincoln family resided. This volunteer is holding up the Presidential flag.

The obelisk rises above the terrace of the 117 ft. Tomb. At this point in the evening, the setting sun was casting an orange glow on the pillar.

At the tomb’s entrance, there is a bronze reproduction of a marble head of Lincoln, located in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

It was a beautiful evening to be out. We walked back to the car and took the short drive back to the campground. The cicadas were out in full force creating a deafening buzz in the trees. We watched a little TV and turned in for the night. It should be a little cooler tomorrow.

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