I finally left Baraboo for Orlando last Monday night, following a few last minute tribulations. I was determined no matter what, I would be hitting the road. Thanks to several cans of Full Throttle “Nature is One Bad Mother Acai Berry Flavored Energy Drink” (hey, I didn’t name it – I only drink it), I made it as far as the Green Creek rest area just south of Champaign, Illinois before I crashed around 4:30am. I pulled up the car under one of the lights in the parking lot, locked the doors, pulled up the hood on my sweater and slipped my shades on and nobody bothered me while I slept.
I woke up around 8:30am due to the noise of more people at the rest area. I went in and freshened up and then hit the road again. I kept heading south, eating breakfast at Salem, Illinois, then I gassed up the car in Vienna, IL. Still heading south, I saw signs that said “Metropolis” and just knew I had to stop. It’s not so much that I’m a huge fan of Superman, but I know Jeff is. And I love anything that screams Americana. So I pulled off the highway and just followed the big blue signs that said “Giant Superman Statue Straight Ahead.” You can’t get any easier than that.
Along the short drive, I saw the big welcoming billboard with Superman on it, an ancient Dairy Queen sign, the offices of the Metropolis Daily Planet newspaper (complete with a globe logo in bronze outside) and then, I saw it. A huge 2-story tall Superman statue at the town square. Kitty-corner from it was the Superman museum, but first, I needed photos of the statue. As luck would have it, it was a slow day in Metropolis, so I parked right next to the statue.
It sat upon a base of commemorative bricks, which I’m guessing paid for the statue to be built. On top of that was a giant Superman “S” logo and then the statue itself stood in the center of this “S” on top of a base that read “Truth, Justice and the American Way.” I took a few pictures of the statue from different angles then wandered over to the museum building. Around the outside were cutouts for people to stand behind for photo ops, and the building itself was covered in worn Superman-related billboards and art. Near the entrance to the museum was a phone booth with a “Daily Planet” sign above it, and above that, a flying Superman statue. The entrance to the museum was inside the gift shop, and even though it cost only $3, I opted not to do the museum tour due to the fact that it was almost 2pm already and I still had a ways to drive.
On the way back to the car, I decided to try to get a pic of myself with the statue. Not having arms long enough, I roped a local police officer into taking the photo with my cell phone. Well, the slogan is “protect and serve,” right? LOL
Overall, I thought the Superman statue was cool, but the rest of it would probably only appeal to a diehard Superman fan.
Once back in the car, I did take two more detours on the way out of town. I did a drive by of the Harrah’s casino, as I’ve never seen a riverboat casino before. Unfortunately, due to parking lot construction, I didn’t get a good shot of the casino boat. Driving back to the main road out of town, I passed some interesting older houses. And several of them were serious lawn ornament junkies, let me tell you.
The second detour I’ll talk about tomorrow – a visit to Fort Massac State Park, the oldest state park in Illinois with an actual fort replica to tour.
In the meantime, head on over to Flickr where I’ve posted some photos of my day with Superman…here’s a few of them:
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