This audio tour brings to life the land, the towns, the people, and the history to the places and sights you pass as you travel along Interstate 55 from St. Louis, MO to Springfield, IL, transforming what was once a monotonous ride alongside insipid farmlands, past unknown towns, and through unidentified terrain into an enlightening, informative, stimulating, enjoyable, and let’s just say, no longer boring (for those that have made this trek before) journey.
Mississippi River; Bloody Island; Cahokia Mounds; Horseradish Capital of the World; Historic National Road; Converted Railroads; Nike Missile Silos; Route 66; Coal Below Us; Mother Jones and Union Miner’s Cemetery; Ghost Towns; Outer Space Visitors; Lewis Thomas Home; Lake Springfield; The Capitol of Illinois; and sooooo much more!
The tour starts at the gas station on Chouteau Avenue between 6th street and Broadway a few blocks from the Interstate on-ramp. However, feel free to download the app and listen to the intro at any time, and then, when you are about a half mile from the Poplar Street Bridge (which carries Interstate 55 and 64 over the Mississippi River) on either I55 of I64 (aka Hwy 40 to St. Louis locals), you will cross your first trigger point and the tour will automatically begin.
Places to stop along the way:
Cahokia Mounds; Mother Jones and Union Miners Cemetery; Robert’s Cemetery and Savanah Nature Preserve; and any of the many fascinating Illinois towns we pass along the way.
Best time of day:
Daylight hours are best, but, even if you take the tour at night, it will help the time pass as many of the stories pertain to locations marked by road signs.
Always always always focus on the road, drive safely, and obey all traffic laws. Nothing on this tour requires your immediate or prolonged attention. If something you hear inspires you to explore an attraction further, turn off at the next Interstate exit and take local roads to where the attraction is located. Your best view of every attraction is NOT from the Interstate, so do not pull over or slow down because of the tour.
Keep in mind that it is against the law to stop on the Interstate except in the case of an emergency, and, it is also the law in Illinois that the only time you should be in the left hand lane is when you are passing another vehicle or when you are giving plenty of space to somebody on the right-hand shoulder of the road.
Finally, as everybody’s speed varies, and unforeseen circumstances such as weather or traffic can result in varying speeds, you may experience some brief periods of silence between attractions. However, once you reach the next trigger point, the relevant audio will automatically begin playing so there is no need to look at your device while you are on the tour. If you do somehow go off course, some guy with a pretty cool accent will tell you so over the app. Also, speeding excessively will result in you passing through trigger points early which throws off the synchronicity of the tour and there can be little doubt you will then miss some of the best attractions along the tour.