Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Mother of All Road Trips

I have been home now for over a week from my Sacred Vacation of 2010 and, in a word, it was, well, sacred. Actually life-changing. Yesterday, after I recounted where I had been, what I had been up to since the end of spring semester, my professor friend asked me if my trip was motivating. Good question.

Originally, the purpose of this road trip was related to my thesis. I would travel to Indianapolis to attend a monument preservation workshop at Crown Hill Cemetery. A branch of the National Park Service promotes and offers practical hands-on learning in a...cemetery. I met Robert Milne, Superintendent of Crown Hill Cemetery, last October when I flew to Nashville for four days mid-semester to attend a NCPTT (google it, please) cemetery preservation conference. We were treated to power point lectures, poster presentations, and then field trips to local cemeteries.

I am 'working on my thesis' this summer, so I decided to kick off this academic adventure/triathlon in cultural landscape reports and treatments plans with a road trip to the NPS-NCPTT Crown Hill workshop. My husband asked if I wanted to fly, rather than drive, and I said 'no way!" This was my Sacred Vacation of 2010, my road trip of all road trips!

Last November after reading my horoscope (see 'Cosmic Luck' post, Nov 19, 2009), I made a list of all those places/landscapes I wanted to visit in 2010. It was all pretend back then, but the wheels started turning when I happened upon the flier announcing the workshop. I dug out my list, penned in olive-green permanent ink with a ultra fine-point Sharpie. My Sacred Vacation! It was meant to be, and it was less than 2 weeks away. Should I do it? Could I pull this off? Would I be able to drive that far by myself?

You bet! I wouldn't think, I would do. And I did. And it was everything and more than I dreamed my Sacred Vacation of 2010 to be.

So back to my professor friend's question...was this road trip through the heart of the Midwest visiting rural cemeteries designed in the late 19th century a source of motivation for me to get cracking on the writing of my thesis?

You bet! And it starts here and now with this post. I need to put down on this virtual paper my scribbled notes that document the road trip.

June 2, 2010, Wednesday, 3:14 pm 63,820 beginning mileage $180 atm
Pine Hill Cemetery, Wheatland, IA north of Hwy 30; gas
Ringling Bro. circus train, salted peanuts in diet coke
Clinton, IA over-nite - pizza, Blue Moon w/orange slice
GAR-Lyndon Twp. Cemetery, Lyndon, IL
Riverside Cemetery, Prophetstown, IL
drive west of Morrison, IL - allee of trees arching over old Lincoln Hwy

June 3, 2010, Thursday, 7 am drive east over Miss River
allee of trees in morning lite - tunnel of shade
Dixon, IL Oakwood Cemetery. gatehouse, mausoleums, bench, morning lite.
HORRIBLE bandstand strx!!!!
north central IL - Wal Mart distribution center
Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, IL
gas, salted peanuts in diet coke, Lakeshore Drive S. along Lake Mich.
Indianapolis,IN hard rain - Indianapolis River Promenade, Victory Field,
baseball, ride along river on foldable

June 4th, 2010, Friday, 7 am Lilly House and Gardens. filtered morning lite. mist
Crown Hill Cemetery; workshop x 9 am - 4:30
TGFGoogle but still missed the exit and ended up on i-70E/ gas - buster bar 4 frustration!!!
Cincinnati, OH - found Spring Grove, gates locked. St. Bernard, cemx2

June 5th, 2010, Saturday, 7:30 am. Spring Grove Cemetery. breath-taking. LOL! Holy Grand-Daddy of Rural Cemeteries!!!!
long drive ahead Greenburg,IN w-mart/memory card, battery for Canon, gas
Clinton, Il Woodlawn Cemetery
Lincoln, IL, Old Union Cemetery HWS, gas, salted peanuts and diet coke

June 6th, 2010, Sunday, Jacksonville, IL, Diamond Grove Cemetery
Quincy, IL Riverview and Madison Park HWS/ gas, salted peanuts and diet coke
Nauvoo, IL x 2
Aspen Grove Cemetery, Burlington, IA
6:49 pm ending mileage 65,367

Posts over the next few days will provide a more descriptive travel log with fotos from the road that I traveled for my Sacred Vacation of 2010. The writer's block is clearing and I am ready to let the motivation do its magic.

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