POWER VACATION!

In late May 2015 I went on a POWER VACATION! What is a POWER VACATION, you ask. Let me tell you.

These are the rules of POWER VACATION!

  1. You must visit more than one state or provence per day. I visited 16 states in 8 days.
  2. You should have a pre-planned itinerary before departing, but you must deviate from your plans at least once.
  3. Never pre-book lodging. Use your cunning and the internet to find reasonably priced, and interesting lodging along the way.
  4. Take photos of the things you might never see again: roadside attractions, the sun setting over your hotel, a strange bug, the Doubletree warm-cookie van.
  5. You must pump your own gas. Except in New Jersey!
  6. Make massive mix tapes! Listen to an entire iPod of music. Fill a Flash thumb drive with 32GB of music, and listen to it all.
  7. Talk to strangers. Treat everyone you meet as a friend, even though you might never see them again in your life.
  8. Sample unique, local foods. This might mean a strange candy or confection at a truck stop grocery store.

Tips!

  1. Bring some Energy Drinks and 5 Hour Energy bottles. After driving for 9 hours in a row, you will need them. This kid has reviews of energy drinks.
  2. If you get sleepy while driving, pull over ASAP. Don’t put people’s lives at risk.
  3. Make sure your vehicle is road-worthy. If it’s your car, get it serviced before you depart. Make sure the spare tire is inflated.
  4. Make sure you have an assortment of things to listen to. Fast music for driving fast. Slow music, podcasts and audio books for slow traffic.
  5. Keep your car clean. Don’t let energy drink cans and gum wrappers accumulate. Throw them out along the way.
  6. Stay alert to weather changes, and take precautions.

I’ll probably add to these lists, but you get the idea.

Big John: Metropolis’ Other Hero

Driving through Metropolis on your way to the World’s Largest Statue of Superman, you’ll find another large statue of a super man: Big John (37.144369, -88.716370).

Big John

Big John fits in the genre of roadside attractions known as Muffler Men: giant statues of square-jawed he-men, that beckon you to buy mufflers, or in the case of John, to buy groceries. John looks like a cross between the happiest lumberjack ever and Al Capp’s L’li Abner.

If you lived in Southern Illinois, wouldn’t you shop at Big Johns?

Big John

Read more about Big John in this lengthy article.

Last visited: May 24th, 2015.

Fort Massac Rest Area

Fort Massac

The Fort Massac Rest Area (37.159140, -88.679758) welcomes you to Metropolis, Illinois, the town Clark Kent works in. Clark Kent is, of course, the possibly-fictional superhero Superman.

The rest area is, overall, quite pleasant and features landscaped grounds, a clean bathroom (I can’t say clean bathrooms (plural) because I only visited the men’s bathroom), and an informative educational display about Emerald Ash Borer insects (which destroy ash trees).

Emerald Ash Borer

The grounds also feature Brood XXIII periodical cicadas, but the next time you’ll be able to observe them there is 2028.

Last visited: May 24th, 2015.