The area between Carbondale and Cairo (That’s “kay-row” if you’re a native) abounds with scenic wood hills—mostly oak and hickory—and sandstone cliffs. Laetitia and her group began their day at Giant City State Park, named for its sandstone bluffs, with narrow paths in between resembling city streets. They had lunch at the Lodge, famous for its fried chicken. They made an additional stop at Ferne Clyffe State Park, a lovely natural area of woods and sandstone near Goreville, before driving to Marion, where they were spending the night.
There is a small subculture throughout much of the English-speaking world that is focused on the preparation and consumption of roadkill, that is, animals found dead on roadsides after being hit by cars. There are cookbooks with roadkill recipes, and even a song calledRoadkill Stew. Although some suspect that the topic is more about humor and urban legend than practice, certain states—West Virginia, for example—have laws on the books making it legal to take home and eat roadkill. Laetitia’s group ended the day at a motel in Marion, Illinois. Laetitia heard a story at happy hour about a Marion fellow named Mel who was jilted by his girlfriend because he liked roadkill food. It became the limerick of the day, even though Laetitia wasn’t convinced of the gossip’s veracity.
Young Mel loved a lady in Marion
Who worked as a public librarian
But his love went to waste
She abhorred his keen taste
For dumplings with fresh roadkill carrion.