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Over the past few summers I have tackled the National Road, the Oregon Trail, and I've motorcycled to the Arctic Circle (Yukon) and Alaska. In the summer of 2013 I tackled Illinois Route 1. Starting on the south side of Chicago, Illinois 1 is the longest state highway, meandering south until it ends in Cave In Rock, Illinois, on the banks of the Ohio River. Once again, I operated with the assistance of Verizon Wireless, using an Apple iPhone and Nokia Lumia 928 to make all photographs.

In the land of pirates and cut-throats

Posted: August 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: General posts | No Comments »

Chicago’s history of gangsters, colorful crime bosses and more recently, governmental corruption are well known. But,  traveling a mere 325 miles down Illinois State Route 1,  there is a small town at the southern tip of the state  that was once arguably the most crime ridden and dangerous place in the state.  Cave In Rock, Illinois with it’s current day population of 346 people was a hot bed of river pirates and desperadoes. A large  55-foot cave, about the size of a small barn was created during the 1812  New Madrid Earthquake.  On the banks of the Ohio River, this huge cave gave  pirates a natural base from which to plunder river traffic. From about  1790’s to the 1870’s the area was notorious for piracy, counter-fitting, horse thieving and all forms of crime.  Crime family and syndicates fought among themselves for control of the area, often using assassination as a tool of advancement and control.

On a Tuesday morning, while visiting Cave In Rock, I found no robbers, no rapists or no murders… not even a horse thief. I did however, find people hard at work and hard at play.  That’s not to say I didn’t find a few charters however….

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