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Entering Illinois
Travels alongside the Mississippi
Illinois, along with Iowa, was a surprise. There were bluffs, rolling hills, farm, and wonderful people. For a Milwaukee resident, who always thinks of Chicago when considering Illinois, the western section, along and near the river, was a revelation. Though in many places, the river was nowhere to be seen, these photos were taken along the Illinois section of the River Road.

Welcome to Illinois. This is a bit different from my usual first impression of the state, and is far from the Interstate. The place is dotted with farms, and small towns.

The great countryside, is made even more impressive by the changing colors of the fall season. These bluffs and rolling hills are evidence of the changing course of the Mississippi, now several miles to the west. This landscape was sculpted by the river when it flowed through these parts.

A view of some of the rolling fields of the great Illinois farmland. This is rural, pastoral Illinois, nothing like the urban sprawl of Chicago, many miles to the east, or the southern grandeur, many miles to the south. This is pure midwestern culture, and scenery.

A look down the hill, and out across some fields, with the October flames of the fall trees in the foreground.

This is a scenic road, and a scenic area, and the State of Illinois has set up a number of rest areas, and scenic overlooks here. Parts of this area are owned by the State, and are designated as a state park. These particular photos are taken from a tower, built as a vantage point from which to view the miles of rolling hills, and farmer's fields below.

 A look out at the fertile fields, the rolled hay, the grazing animals, and the storage silos, shows where the real wealth of this state came from. This is why Chicago came to be, and why the rest of the cities sprang into existence --- abundant food. Without these fields, and others like them, we would still be living in caves.

A look over carefully tilled, and managed fields. If you think about it, there is something magical about being able to get land to produce food.

A very pastoral setting, with farm, rolling fields, tree planted wind breaks, and grazing animals.

A long look off into the distance. These fields, and the people who work, and own them are what the country is all about. Out here, cities seem unreal, and unnatural.

All of the colors of the rainbow (well, perhaps not blue) are visible in the tops of the trees below.

The scenic River Road, twists around the hills, and heads south where, some miles off, it will rejoin with the Mississippi.

Passing through the small town of Hanover, Illinois. There are many such places, here on the River Road, and throughout the country.

Leaving Hanover, and entering a changing part of the road. The farms and field will soon be replaced by bluffs, and by the river, as the road twists to the west, to meet the Mississippi.
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