Long day today. Out earlier than usual. 410 miles on one tank of gas at 50.1 mpg. Started in Kentucky, then to Indiana and Illinois and almost to Missouri. We could see the arch for the Jefferson Expansion Memorial, otherwise known as the St Louis arch as we pulled into our hotel. Passed the 6000 mile mark for the trip today. 2 new national parks.
Lincoln’s boyhood home in Indiana. This is where he grew up from a young boy of 9 to a young man of 18. I think this is the last of the Lincoln National Parks. We have previously been to the Lincoln Memorial in DC, to his summer White House in north DC, to his birth place, to the place he lived from ages 2 to 9, and to his home and his burial site in Springfield. Everything I learn about Lincoln just makes me admire him more. It is hard to imagine our country today if there had not been a Lincoln to lead at the time he became President.
Then onto the other side of Indiana – Vincennes- and the George Rogers Clark National Memorial Park. This is a man almost forgotten to history who led the American effort to fight the British in the lands that were the western frontier of America in the late 1700’s. Everyone has studied the American revolutionary war and knows about George Washington, the Continental Congress, and the military actions in the East. However, the actions of George Rogers Clark and the men who fought with him are all but forgotten. At one point he led 180 men through ice cold waters up to their waist and higher for several hours in order to make a surprise attack on a British held fort. As a result, when the war was over, the current day lands of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and part of Minnesota, became part of the newly formed United States.
He was only 26 when this occurred and lived into his 60’s in relative obscurity. Meanwhile his youngest brother, William, became famous as one of the leaders of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. We will see the site dedicated to the start of that expedition tomorrow.