The sun rose on the 8th day of the Epic Rust Belt Road Trip. The previous night, after exploring the ruins of a few beautiful abandoned schools in rural Iowa, I'd crossed from the wide open spaces of the Corn Belt into Illinois.
In a few hours I would arrive at the Rust Belt, home of the mighty ruins of America's industrial titans. But first there were a few more stops I had to make along the way.
Along a rural highway north of Peru Township in Northern Illinois, the central structure of an abandoned asphalt plant towered above the surrounding farm fields. The gate to the property hung open and inviting. The place was clearly abandoned and there were no signs forbidding entry, so I stopped to have a quick look.
[Update: since the writing of this article, I have learned that this facility is on private property and entry is unlawful. Do not attempt to access it.]
Plants had grown up among a row of tanks near the entrance.
Off to one side, a rusty crane stood frozen in time.
A row of disused trailers and tankers remained in the back of the property.
A patina of rust covered every piece of equipment.
Black rubber conveyor belts on rusty rollers baked in the sun, still positioned to move material from the processing equipment to the massive storage bins...
and from the storage bins to transport vehicles.
One conveyor had been colonized by plants.
A small structure that once served as an office and control room still contained an assortment of control panels,
Another structure contained junction boxes and power switches.
I was glad to find this place untouched by vandals. As always, I was careful not to disturb anything during my visit.
I got back on the road and headed south toward Oglesby to check out an abandoned cement factory, which was gigantic compared to this little asphalt plant. I'll tell you all about it next week.
I have quite a few more pictures from this place -- too many to include in this article. I'll be sharing them on social media, so be sure to follow me if you'd like to see more: