Place Where You Live:

Alton, Illinois

The Great River Road

As my car is cruising down the magnificent River Road of Alton, Illinois, I can’t help but to admire all the alluring nature surrounding me. To my left is the Mighty Mississippi, and to my right are the towering bluffs which have been standing for thousands of years before me. I have so many amazing memories on this road, and they all flood back to me each time I travel it. I flashback to my childhood, when my father and I would ride our bikes down the narrow bike trail running alongside the road. We would bike down to the Piasa Bird, which was painted on the side of one of the bluffs. My dad would always repeat the legend of how the Illini Indians killed this monstrous bird-like creature, which they named the Piasa Bird, meaning a bird that devours men. I think about the time in sixth grade when my two best friends and I hiked up to the giant cross that crowns the top of bluffs. You feel like you’re on top of the world once you climb the treacherous hill to reach the top. I remember walking down to the bottomless Blue Pool afterwards, and imagining what hideous creatures live in the eerie, dark waters. I think back to this summer when I finally got my license, and the River Road was one of the first places my friends and I chose to drive. We would roll the windows all the way down and listen to the most perfect playlists we could create. It was then that I realized how sensational this road actually was. Each time I traveled it, I would get this feeling of contentment and satisfaction. I don’t exactly know why this road means so much to me; maybe it’s the people I’m with while on the road, or maybe it’s the immense amount of nature I’m encompassed in. Whatever the reason, the River Road holds so many stories, memories, and history behind it. If Alton, Illinois was a cupcake, the River Road would definitely be the sprinkles on top.