(Continued from Part 5)
Addendum to Part 5:
So, one of the things that we did after touring the Museum and the reconstructed Forts was to engage in one of the pre-eclipse crafts. We made colored moon and sun cut-outs to paste over solar viewing glasses (though we had our own glasses, so we just took the cut-outs).
Then, that evening, they had an outdoor movie the our son and I went to see; Lego Batman. We biked down with a couple of camp-chairs and a small table, and were some of the first people to stake out seats on the grass. Not only did we get to see the movie near the riverbank, on an inflatable screen, for free, but they also offered popcorn,Moon Pies, and Sun Drop for refreshments!
It was an awesome end to our day!
Now on to Part 6:
So, the next day, we ventured out to …
The city limits of Metropolis, Illinois directly abut with Fort Massac State Park, so it wasn’t hard to get into the urban setting. In fact, this sign is right where East 5th street makes a right angle from where it runs south along the park, and then to the west, right over to Superman Square.
That’s right, Metropolis has been decreed to be the official hometown of Superman. On January 21, 1972, an official release from DC Comics made the proclamation, and that was followed by the Illinois State Legislature passing Resolution 572, which affirmed that Metropolis was the “Hometown of Superman” on June 9 of the same year. Superman Square runs around the County Clerk’s Office, and from there, looking northeast along Market Street, is a 15 foot tall (painted) bronze statue of Superman.
But, how to get there? Well, we brought our bikes, and due to the floodplain nature of the area around the Ohio River, the route was overall flat (though the park area is about 20+ feet higher than much of the city along the river), and they have a designated bike route to get from the park over to the square. So it was just about 2 miles from our site to the square, and taking our time we were still there in half an hour.
So after taking pictures with Superman to prove we were there, we spent a couple of hours looking through the Super Museum, which is right across the square from the Superman Statue.
The Super Museum is pretty amazing (and air-conditioned!), starting off with the gift shop/store where you enter. For only $5 per person (kids 5&under free), you can get access to see an amazing collection of memorabilia, comics, documents, video clips and documentaries, toys, video games (bring some quarters), and actual TV and movie props from the Superman world that DC has cultivated over the years.
But even after seeing the Supergirl memorabilia room, and Batman and Darkseid, we finally came to the end. We then spent some time in the store, looking at all the stuff they had (they were out of kryptonite chunks, unfortunately). We ended up with a commemorative magnet (to stick on the steel roof inside the bus), and the last of a commemorative poster that they had in stock. With these we set off to see one more thing before biking back home.
Metropolis doesn’t only have a (painted) bronze statue of Superman, but a few blocks northeast up Market Street, they also have a statue of Lois Lane.
To get to Lois, we had to ride through the set-up for a pre-eclipse street festival, that looked (and smelled from the cooking of the food vendors setting up) good and fun. But, it was so hot and the sky so cloudless, that we thought we’d be better off heading back to the site, where we had shade trees and the woods.
And once we got back, it was still pretty hot in and around the bus. There was hardly a breeze, and even with all the windows and the roof vents open, it was hot. We’d never encountered this level of heat and humidity (and Buffalo has plenty of humidity, but is pretty breezy), so I hadn’t thought to bring a fan. But I had wired the bus’ 12 volt accessories through a switch so that we could run them off the converter when we were plugged in (or batteries when we’re not) so I started up the big heater core fan and the two defrosting fans. It worked pretty well.
Later, as the sun was going down more, it cooled off as a little breeze started up. Our son entertained us on his dobro, and I started getting a fire ready for dinner, while my wife made some potato salad and a green salad.
My contribution was to cook some burgers, and heat up some beans (in the can, of course) over the fire. The rotating, adjustable grating worked really well for being able to control the cooking, though
we started late and it quickly was pretty dark by the time the burgers were done, so it’s hard to see them well. After a wonderful dinner, it was off to bed. The Eclipse was the next day and we wanted to be ready.
(Continued in Part 7)