Friday, June 12, 2009

Flying planes and flying shoes

Jim and I like to explore wherever we go, many times off the beaten path. One of my favorite websites is There you can find the coolest, weirdest, and oddest things to be found in the United States. If we are stopping somewhere overnight, a few days, or just passing through, I visit the website to see if there is anything interesting to see.

I searched the website to see if there was anything interesting to see around this neck of the woods. Sure enough, there were a few things. Jim plotted them out on the map, I loaded up my camera, he took his GPS, and off we went.

It was a nice warm sunny day, and it felt good to be out driving around. Our first stop was the Charles Lindbergh Crash Site #1, located in Sulphur Springs, IL. In a farm field, next to an old barn is a granite memorial commemorating the crash site of "Lucky Lindy" as Charles Lindbergh was called. Lindy was an air mail pilot, and was on his way to Chicago on the night of September 16, 1926. There was thick fog and he decided to turn around and head back to St. Louis. Unbeknown to Lindbergh, his mechanic had replaced his plane's 110-gallon gas tank with one that held only 80 gallons. He ran out of gas midway and had to bail out, barely being cut into pieces by the spinning propeller. He survived the crash (one of four). On the 75th anniversary of the crash, the La Salle County Historical Society unveiled a granite slab at the site. This joined a marker already in place at Lindbergh's other Illinois crash site, near the town of Covell.

Next stop was this crazy looking site. This is the "Agricultural Crash" site. The sign reads,"Dedicated to all farmers and ag-related business folks that have lived thru the agricultural crash of the 1980's." It is sponsored by a couple who own the local implement company. This sure grabs your attention while driving down the road!

Our next stop was a shoe tree. Although this photo doesn't really do it justice, I wanted to at least try to capture the essence of it. It would have been a lot better if it were winter and there were no leaves on the tree. You can't really see, but this tree had about 40 pairs of shoes hanging in it! My question is, what possess a person to just haul off and throw their shoes in a tree? And someone else comes along and thinks, "Gee, that looks like a good idea!" And then throws their shoes up there, too? And so on and so on? This is a phenomenon that is happening all over the States. What am I missing here? Can someone explain it to me?

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