The last part of September I spent a fine day in Springfield on my way back to O'Hare (for the next days flight back to Seattle).
I parked in the lot adjacent to the visitors center.
I used my Golden Eagle national park passport for the discount ($1.00) for parking. If you've got one all you do is enter the card number at the automated kiosk at the parking lot, feed it a dollar bill and you're good to go for a an hour which is adequate to see Lincoln's home and other restored homes in the neighborhood.
The park ranger did a great job leading my group of fellow tourists through the home.
Lincoln has always been one of my favorite people so being able to visit his place was very special to me. I was so impressed with the Lincoln memorial in D.C. and now seeing his place of residence brought all that together for me.
I checked out another historic home across the street and then headed back to the parking lot.
I then drove off, navigating the one way grid system of downtown Springield, to the Lincoln Museum.
There is a big parking garage next door but it was a Monday and there was plenty of street parking available so I did that a couple of blocks from the museum.
The museum was wonderful.
I took in all the exhibits and was particularly impressed with the displays of Abe's top hat and gloves he wore the night of his assasination.
All the other exhibits are exceptional as well.
The big multi media show of Lincoln's life is not to be missed and will keep even media savy adolescents attention throughout.
I headed out the door just before closing time and strolled across the street to the visitor information center.
I told a meember of the staff I wanted to see Lincoln's tomb. He informed me that it was closed to tours on Mondays. I told him I just wanted to see the exterior if nothing else and take a picture or two.
He was very helpful in providing me with a map on how to get there.
A few mintues later I arrived at the location of the tomb which is located in in private cemetary. I followed the signs and pulled into the parking area adjacent to Abe's final resting place.
I walked around for a couple of minutes snapping pictures of the giant monument that holds the remains of that great president. It was a gloomy late afternoon with threatening skies .. perfect for soft light picture taking.
It then donned on me that my car was the only one in the parking lot and I was the only person as far I could see (liviing) in that cemetary. There was no breeze and it was very quiet....no groundskeepers ...nobody around except me, Mr. Lincoln and his neighbors ..the residents of this old graveyard.
All of a sudden the place took on an erie feel. I had an attack of goosebumps and said to myself..I'm outta here.
I'd be kidding if I said I didn't feel relieved to drive through the gates and put the place in my rear view mirror.
I'm sure if you've been there when it was swarming with rourists its an entirely different experience.
But for me that visit to Lincoln's tomb will always be remembered...and if your a fan of Abe Lincoln its on the must see list.