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Monday, February 5, 2024

Day 2 - To The South End of Illinois - Cave In Rock State Park

Leaving Central Illinois, we soon routed our way to get off the interstate. He found some nice double digit state roads that were in good shape and still heading directly south. This is our kind of traveling. We would much rather prefer to see the back roads and the small towns of the USA. All you see from the interstate is the same chain stores, town after town after town, all of the same franchises and strip malls and shopping centers.

The sky was clear blue but there were some clouds coming in from the southwest. We were really enjoying that beautiful orb of light overhead. We literally had to turn off the heat in the motorhome and open up the vents to get some of that fresh air. That hot sunshine blasting on us through the front windshield felt strangely good for the middle of February. You sure can tell we are from Wisconsin!

We were driving along, I noticed it was getting near noon. I looked ahead at the next little town called Montrose Illinois. I zoomed in on the town with my Google maps and saw a little teeny intersection. There was a circular park looking thing, as well as a little parking lot next to it for about 3 or 4 cars. I told Steve this might make a good stop to make lunch! 

We pulled in and it was a really nice memorial done up for the veterans. It had all the names of their local veterans as well as a separate panel to one side of current hometown people that are serving in the military at this time. 

What a beautiful array of stones with names of all of the fallen soldiers. In the center if you stood in the middle of the circle you could also read a soldier's prayer through the opening onto the back wall. Very nicely done! 

We took the dogs out and made a nice little exercise walk around the parks boundaries. It felt good to stretch our legs and walk among the blades of green grass!

Lo and behold, I looked down and saw my first dandelion of the season! What a treat... 

We made up a little lunch, stretched our legs a bit one more time with the dogs, and then headed back on the highway in the southerly direction.

More and more we were seeing these little oil pumping units scattered among the farm fields. Here and there were accumulation tanks on various corners where I am sure the crude oil is pumped over to be gathered. 

Some were working, some were not. I would imagine the farmers get paid pretty well to have these spaced here and there among their farmland. All they have to do is plow and plant and harvest around it. 

As we drove along, we were seeing more and more green! What a delightful change after all of the heavy white snow, dark gray skies, and winter winds of Wisconsin. 

Our intended goal to reach for the night was a place we have been before. The reason why we are stopping there is because we know it's there and we know we can hook up and we know we can get comfortable. I was not feeling the best even before we left, and I have a feeling of flu bug is taking it's toll on me as the day wears on.

On the far southern end of Illinois is a state park called Cave In Rock, located on the shores of the Ohio River. Over the river is Kentucky on the other side. There is a little ferry to take across if you wish to get over there instead of going all the way around to the major highways to take a big bridge.

The State Park is just on the Eastern edge of the little town called Cave in Rock. Yes, there is a big cave down along the shore but we haven't been able to get down there yet. The last time we were here the floodwaters were so high we couldn't get to that area to see it. Maybe this time!

Here is their website:

As we were driving into the park entrance we could see this big barge coming up the river. It's way out there along the edge of the trees if you look closely at the photo below. Then there's also a ferry boat used to transport heavy equipment in the foreground. 

We came to the entrance of the park, and we know from past experience that we need to pay the host directly. There is no pay post or envelopes. As we drove past his site we, saw he was not there. But that's okay, we knew we would catch up with him later.

There are two loops to this campground, one which is all electric sites, and the other one is tenting sites. Their website calls them actually class b / tenting sites. We also know from the website that the shower building is closed. But there is water within the park as well as the dump station is open. Each site has 50 and 30 amp electric, in the loop that we chose. We actually drove up to the top of the loop up on the hill and took the same site we had last time!

There was only one other camper in the entire park besides us. And they looked very quiet. Steve later found out that they are there to be close to a hospital for a medical situation for a mother-in-law. So they are gone all day over at the hospital and just come back here to sleep. 

All the sites are paved and level, and each one has an additional shorter parking spur next to it to put your vehicle. Perfect to back in our little cargo trailer. Yes, we do have a locking hitch device as well as a locking pin device on the trailer and an alarm we can set for motion or even movement behind the trailer. 

The center of this big loop of campsites is wide open and grassy. It's covered with many oak leaves and fallen acorns. The last time we were here, we woke up in the morning and looked out to about 20 or 30 deer browsing among the acorns! 

The weather was beautiful, the temps were up in the mid-fifties. The dogs couldn't wait to get outside and stretch out and relax on the grass. Well, the crunchy leaves anyhow. It was such a change from the snow and the ice and the cold up north. 

We got out the lawn chairs and Nicholas seems to enjoy perching on one of them. Binney always sits on a sitting one while we relax in our reclining chairs. Glad we got two sitting chairs when they were on sale instead of just one!

We got settled into the campsite. We put some chicken pot pies from our favorite deli in the convection microwave and ran the Roku stick through Steve's visible phone hotspot. He gets unlimited streaming. There are about 20 stations in the area of regular broadcast TV too.

We have been binge watching a series called In With the Old on Amazon Prime. All about people fixing up old houses. Right up our alley, hey?

By now I was feeling a little worse, I think a flu bug got me. I have the flu shot but who knows how many strains are floating around. We went to bed early, And we were soon fast asleep in the peaceful quiet woods. No complaints at all about this campsite whatsoever. For 20 bucks with electric power, it's a pretty good stop at the very southern end of Illinois.

We woke up in the morning to a sunny day. Steve perked up some coffee and we shared some donuts with the dogs.

But I was actually feeling worse. So we weren't going to go any further.

285 miles traveled today
612 total


  1. Nice to have all the comforts of home and no schedule when you don't feel good.

    1. Steve just paid for 2 more days... Hoping I feel better soon. We want to get out our bikes and explore the park.

  2. I hope you feel better Karen....no fun to get sick when you are traveling.

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    1. Goofy blogspot has been acting up latelyGoofy blogspot has been acting up lately

  4. Hoping you are feeling better soon. Your stop might have been a blessing, avoiding the destruction to the eastern states.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Yep, it seems the timing was right. Feeling better now though.

  5. Feel better real quick. Looks like avery nice place to stay.

    1. We really did enjoy it. But it's nice to move on to the next spot now.

  6. Golly, I’m trusting your health is restored quickly❤️
    So nice you have such good accommodations and
    the sweet doggies are great travelers!
    Linda a.

  7. No fun getting sick period, but when it's right at the beginning of an adventure it's even worse. Hopefully you've only been side-swiped by the bug. Glad you've got a suitable spot to chill for a couple of days.


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