So last month we had to drive through Illinois, a near-endless panoply of dying corn stalks and not much else. Except for "the cross."

This out-of-nowhere behemoth looms 198 feet over I-57 in the otherwise thoroughly unremarkable town of Effingham. "I'm surprised there aren't a lot of wrecks here from gawkers," my way better half said as we fairly whizzed past it.

When I told a friend in Nashville about it, he said, "oh, that's just like the one next to I-40 near Knoxville [Tenn.]." That got me to wondering if there's a network of these iconic colossuses (colossi?) across the land, all made by the same company. Turns out there are not, although one Tennessean has built a slew of them, according to this site

Effingham's, though, is its own deal, erected by the Cross Foundation and surrounded by Ten Commandments monuments.

When we headed back north and hit Effingham, I still didn't notice the monuments. I was able to discern, however, the material used to construct the cross:

Aluminum siding.