One of our goals for The Great Loop is to get to know America better, and remember its history. We have entered “America’s heartland.” We are in Ottowa, Ill., the site of the first Lincoln-Douglas debate. Seven debates took place between the two men vying for the Republican nomination. Abe Lincoln won and became one of our most consequential presidents.
He obviously was a good speaker, but more than that. We know that he put great thought into what he said, and considered the consequences. His reward? To preside over the Civil War and get assassinated. Such are the consequences of effective communication, coupled with deep principles, when some don’t want to hear it.
This might sound “too deep,” but The Loop is not only about adventure and socializing. It’s also about America … its history and its complexity, both past and present.
At least, it can be. I’m determined that it will be.
So, we took the bikes into town to acquaint ourselves with this town’s part in American history. A stop at the visitor’s center helped a lot. (When visiting a new place, the visitor’s center is always a good stop. I’m surprised how many people pass by them!) This is a charming town that displays its history proudly. See photos and captions below.