As much as I was looking forward to my trip to Springfield and Chicago, I was not looking forward to the 16 hour drive. Springfield Part One starts a little after 4 am on Saturday July 9th. Though the drive was long it was fairly uneventful UNTIL I got to Louisville, Kentucky. Although I’m sure its a nice town, I wasn’t feeling the love. Major construction is going on so the entrance ramp to I65 was closed. The GPS kept taking me in circles through the city. I finally ignored it and was able to get past the city and continued on my way.
Most people after that long a drive would probably have just checked into the hotel, grabbed dinner and probably had an early night. Well I’m not most people and as I’ve told a few people, Springfield is my Disney World. You might wonder why I was so excited about the capitol of Illinois. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a HUGE President Abraham Lincoln fan and Springfield has MANY Lincoln sites including the only house he ever owned and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. I got my second wind the second I drove into the city.
I checked into the Crowne Plaza , very nice hotel with the most comfortable bed that I wanted to smuggle home. Unfortunately it wouldn’t fit in my Jetta. Of course they were working on the elevators when I arrived so I took the stairs to my 5 floor room and dropped off my stuff except for my camera bag. The reservation desk was on the 2nd floor which I took an escalator up from the the first floor but I still had to climb 3 flights of steps. I debated having dinner first but decided to grab something downtown. I drove around a little before seeing visitor parking lot for the house. The lot was closed but I was able to find a garage across from the neighborhood where the house is located.
The National Park Service does not allow cars in the neighborhood so it looks almost exactly as it did when Lincoln lived there. Because it was after hours, not many people were around and I could take as many photos as I wanted. After shooting more than 100 photos and knowing I would be back once it got dark, I decided to head to my next Lincoln destination. Unfortunately I left my map back at the hotel.
The next place I photographed was the Capitol Building which had nothing to do with Lincoln as it was built after his death but the clouds were too good to pass up. I thought the Old State Capitol Building was near the new one but alas it was not. I did finally find it along with the Presidential Library and Museum.
After taking day shots of multiple Lincoln sites, I decided to grab dinner to kill time before I could take some long exposure shots of the different sites. I then retraced my steps and took long exposure night shots of the different Lincoln sites. Of course in changing angles at the Lincoln Herndon Law Office I tripped and fell injuring my hand and slight damaging my 24-70mm lens, Luckily the lens cap took the brunt of the fall but it is harder to screw in the filters now.
I was quite proud of myself, even after driving almost 1000 miles, I still managed to walk over 12,000 steps. I finally headed back to the hotel to get some much needed rest. This brings Springfield Part One to a close.
Continued in Springfield Part Two which includes tours of the house and the museum.