Skip to content

Oct 22: Havana, Illinois to Centerville, Iowa

The plan for this day was simple, get back on Hwy 136 and head west without any turns until it’s time to stop at the end of the day.  It would have worked except the town I planned to stop at, Unionville, Missouri, didn’t have the operating hotel that Google said it did, and the closest plan “B” was north across the state line in the town of Centerville, Iowa.  That last part was a tired and hungry ride in the dark.

Of course I wasn’t going to ride straight down Hwy 136 anyway.  I made a number of small side trips along the way to see what I would find.  Here are some of the things I saw.

I started out by looking around Havana again.  This is another shot of the “historic” Havana Water Tower.  It was in continuous use from when it was built in 1889 until the plaque at its base was installed in 1982.  Might still be in use.

Breakfast in Havana
I took this shot as a set-up for the next picture showing the crumbling brick foundation for the barn.


High school football field near Table Grove, Illinois
Table Grove Community Church
This is a storage and transfer facility for getting the corn from the trucks that bring it from the field to the railroad cars that carry it to Kellogg’s.  With my scooter odometer I measured the length of a standing-still train at one mile even.
McDonough County Courthouse, Macomb, Illinois
This is the town square in Carthage, Illinois.  Lincoln spoke here in 1858 when he was running for senator against Stephen Douglas.  There are lots of Lincoln references in the town.  The courthouse, concealed here by trees, was built in 1908.  I was impressed by the courthouse interior.  The main courtroom reminds me of the Scopes Monkey Trial.  Also in town is the Carthage Jail where Mormon founder Joseph Smith was killed by a mob.
Keokuk Power Plant on the Mississippi River.  Illinois on the far shore, Missouri over here.

The out of business Unionville Motel

Recent Posts



  1. It’s amazing how fast your trip is unfolding. Each time I visit it’s sort of startling how quickly you’re progressing. I’m particularly interested in your photographs and what you decide to depict along the way. As I look at what you’re sharing I try and imagine what I might be seeing in those places. Many times my feeling is we’re in sync…

    A friend in Colorado just posted on his blog a moto trip in the snow. Winter has arrived in the Rockies and I’ve wondered about your route west and whether you’ll be able to avoid the white stuff.

    Looking forward to more and I will post about your ride on Scooter in the Sticks.


    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

  2. So many colorful and insightful photos, indoors and outdoors. I have always noticed a large number of red brick buildings east of the Rockies. You already have enough photos and narrative for a unique, great-selling book…seriously. And still more material to be generated as your journey continues. With your rambling style of travel (no predetermined destination for the day) it’s bound to happen that you’ll want to quit for the day at “the next town” and oops, no motels available. At least you had a plan B which worked out. And even a plan C which entails use of your camping gear.

  3. Randy Pfyl, Cocord CA Randy Pfyl, Cocord CA

    Yeah – that Carthage courthouse is magnificent, tile floors, stained glass ceiling in the dome, the woodwork in the hand rails, etc. Also liked that photo of the two lane winding road over a rolling hills landscape – must be enjoyable on a motorcycle.
    I checked weather map before going to your website and the area Iowa you’re in now looks. but did see rain forecast in Colorado, and as per first hand report from Steve William’s friend it has already snowed in Colorado. Texas is reported flooded out. Choose your routes wisely on your way back. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *