Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Story of Home (In Two Crosses)

Photo from the official Bald Knob Cross of Peace Facebook Page
This is the Bald Knob Cross of Peace.  It sits at the highest point in the Shawnee National Forest in a little rural town called Alto Pass.  It is over 100 feet tall and, when illuminated at night, can be seen from 7,500 square miles.  It is about 30 miles from my hometown, and it may be my favorite place on Earth.  Here is a picture of my sister and me on our last visit to the cross together (a few years ago).

I grew up in Southern Illinois.  Northern Illinois is Chicago.  Central Illinois is farmland.  Southern Illinois is this:  National Forests.  National Parks.  Wine trails. 

Then there is the college town of Carbondale.  I went to school here at Southern Illinois University.  There is a forest situated in the middle of campus with trails criss-crossing one another running through it.  It takes a few tries to figure out which path would get you to the right building when you emerged on the other side of the trees on your way to class.

Carbondale also has a thriving underground punk scene.  It's home to The Lost Cross, one of the oldest (if not THE oldest) DIY punk houses in the country.  By day it's a dilapidated looking house in an unassuming neighborhood, but at night it hosts shows for both local groups and touring bands from all over the US.

It is notoriously difficult to locate (the address is kept secret), which adds to its already legendary status.  It has been in continuous operation since 1986 and shows no signs of going away anytime soon.  Here is a short video about The Lost Cross that was made, I believe, when the house celebrated its 25th birthday (Warning:  there is one cuss word in this video).



I still live in a college town, though this one is in Alabama.  I don't have as much to say about our current home.  We have only been here for a year (with one year to go), and I spend the vast majority of my time at home caring for my two babies, which makes it difficult to explore (or go to punk shows).  We have found a wonderful community here, though, and I look forward to seeing what the next year brings.

Here is another picture of my sister and me, though this time we are in front of the historic train trestle in my current city.

8 comments:

  1. What a fascinating history of your home town! I hope you can find some special memories in your new, temporary home :).

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    1. We really a local German bakery, which I think is one thing we will remember about living here. I know there are more, though. Thanks for saying hello!

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  2. The Bald Knob Cross of Peace looks amazing. Thank you for sharing your favorite places :).

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    1. Thanks, Kari! It is amazing. Even the drive there is really cool. It's very scenic, and you end up driving through these quirky old towns. Then you take this (seemingly) perilous dirt road for several miles, and then you emerge from the trees and there it is! I'm obviously more than a little enthusiastic about it. =)

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  3. I love how you tied this together with the two crosses! And I think it's super cute that you and your sister are color coordinated in the second picture :)

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    1. Well, I'm admit right here that the cross theme was totally an accident. I didn't realize the pattern until I was proofreading. I'm super glad you enjoyed it, though! =)

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  4. I live in Alabama too! (In the Huntsville area). It took me a little time, but I LOVE it. There is so much to do - trails, lakes, etc, and they're free! Hopefully you can find the time to explore some before you leave!

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    1. So nice to meet a fellow Alabamian! My husband was raised in Huntsville (and his parents still live there). We actually lived there for about a year and a half before moving down to Tuscaloosa where we are now (for school). I agree there are some pretty neat things around there: Lowe Mill, Angel Island Coffee, and Monte Sano to name a few. So glad you are enjoying it there!

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