Hubby and I ventured beyond the straight and narrow. We exited the mad dash south and picked our way down highways and through small towns in southern Illinois.
Guided by Google directions, a state map and Hubby’s iphone, we made our way through beautiful countryside, past coal mines and corn fields, across flat land that stretched from horizon to horizon.
We passed through farmland atop oil fields – the only movement that of wandering cattle and rocking oil pump jacks.
Our goal was Cave in Rock Park and our destination was the Kentucky side of the Ohio River.
There was talk of walking up the hill and entering the cave, but upon arrival the cool windy weather suggested we enjoy a warm drive through the park instead. There was wisdom in the wind and we heeded its advice.
“A good place for a picnic” was noticed by Hubby and the idea of another road trip off the grid sometime when the weather is more agreeable was launched.
Cave in Rock is a small park and our journey through it took only minutes. Before we were ready, the highway was again before us and the decision was made to turn our attention to what lay ahead, beyond the wide Ohio River.
Exiting the park, we turned left onto Highway 1 and headed south again. Our journey was all of about 25 feet. The road ended where the Ohio River began. The means for crossing was on the opposite side of the river.
It had been 25 years since we last stood at the brink of the wide Ohio and looked across to the other side. Much had changed with us and within us during that span of time.
Before long, the ferry turned and chugged its way toward us. The load of cars it carried disembarked and we were motioned forward. It was time for us to cross over.
With a quick glance around and behind us, we left the past at the river’s edge and rolled onto the deck of opportunity and set our focus on our goal – the opposite bank – Kentucky.
Across the wide Ohio we sailed and once on terra firma again, we continued our journey south. We marveled at the differences we encountered. The beauty and wonders of the past leg of our journey were nearly forgotten as we embraced the present and eagerly looked for what lay around the next corner.