GNABRT Day 40 – Ahead of the curve

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GNABRT map - day 40Great North American Baseball Road Trip shapes up to be a driving and arriving bear, so I’m squeezing out a daily blog in advance of my expected return to the hotel sometime around 2 am (to take off for a 9 hour marathon to Minnesota no later than 5 hours later).

It’s the White Sox tonight, which I’ll summarize in the next blog.  The big spin around tonight’s game has been mostly people sending flowers and donations for my implied demise parking in Chicago’s South Side in the night-time.

While I respect the cautions of my advisors, I have to assume that since tens of thousands of fans park and walk to the games for six months a year and only a few of them are never seen again, I have better than average odds of resuming my GNABRT tomorrow.

So, in order to maximize chances for a little sleep before the next drive (and straight to the game after arriving in Minnesota), I am currently doing laundry, typing this blog and packing up all bags prior to leaving for Chicago around 2:30 this afternoon.

The city:  Mattoon, Illinois.  Braced by timberline to the north and a prairie to the south, the small town started back in the early 1800’s with settlers from Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Generally, farming became the major production, with corn, potatoes and hogs the first significant food items worked.  As usual, the railroads were the spur for economic expansion and, in a first so far, also provided the town name, after railroad construction engineer, William B. Mattoon (in 1861).

Among Mattoon’s claims to fame are the first post of Ulysses S. Grant, the original Burger King (not related to the Have it Your Way chain) and being the “Bagel Capital of the World” (thanks to the Lender’s Bagel factory), which produced the Lender’s Bagelfest weeklong festival.

Miscellany for Day 40:

– I was considering my travels yesterday as I realized I was crossing three states in my one-day trip to Cincinnati.  Over the course of the GNABRT, it looks like I will cross all but 7 of the 48 contiguous United States.  Whew!

– Incredibly, I am now booked through all but two locations for the trip (Boston and Baltimore).  After that, I have a couple of guest host homes and a return back to my very missed own home.

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