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Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Day 3 - 4 - 5 at Cave In Rock State Park in Illinois

Here we are again for three, four and five days of our vacation at Cave in Rock State Park located at the southern tip of Illinois.

For more information on the park, please go to my previous blog post

I'm not feeling the best, a flu bug seems to have caught me. So we hunkered down for a couple more days here at the park. It's a nice location and we are up on top of a hill overlooking the big loop of empty sites. There's only one other camper here so we have it basically to ourselves. They are gone all day and just come back in the evening.

Things are quiet and peaceful. We are parked in a lovely area of oak trees and pine trees. Every once in awhile a random acorn falls down off of the tree overhead and lands on the roof. Plop!

We haven't needed to use the solar on the cargo trailer because this campsite has electric hookups. If you look back a few blogs, you will see that Steve installed 320 Watts of solar on the roof of our cargo trailer. We can use this to supplement our power grid, along with the Bluetti power station.  We can run electrical things directly off the cargo trailer, like charging our e-bikes or running an extension cord out into the campsite for something. Or else we can plug the 30 amp cord of our motorhome directly into the Bluetti to have additional power in the motorhome when we are boondocking. 

We've seen a lot of birds flying around and some noisy crows or ravens have been circling over in the woods and making some noise. Little Nicholas seems to enjoy watching the birds. He perches up on our bed and looks out the window. 

My friend Paula asked how is Nicholas doing after his neutering surgery and not jumping around. Well, he can get up and down off of our bed pretty easily because there's a little step on a platform at the end of the bed and then around the corner up onto the doggy bed. From that platform, there is another platform that actually encompasses our water pump next to the bed and then from there he can hop up onto the bed itself. So it's really like four little steps to get up there so he's not just jumping up and hampering his incision. 

It is still getting cold here at night, down in the '30s. Last night it was down to 29. We are okay with our heated holding tanks. But we also do lose a lot of heat through the single pane windows. Our last motorhome had dual pane and it made a big difference.

We had cut some of this Reflectix insulating silver material to fit in many of our windows last fall. But we just didn't have a roll wide enough to complete the last three windows that were taller than the rest. I had ordered some right before we left and it came in time. We stuffed the roll into a compartment to work on while we were on the road.

Steve decided to get that task done by measuring, carefully cutting, and then marking each one for which window it goes in.

This one he cut very carefully to fit in between the screen door and in the main door. He cuts it a tiny bit more than the exact size of the frame. Then it kind of wedges in and holds there even when the door open and closes. 

He shoved me out of my sick bed so I could snap this picture while he was working on the one for the window over our headboard.

He completed the job on Sunday, so we had the chance to use all the Reflectix panels in every window on Sunday and Monday nights. It works really well! 

Especially noticeable is the one right over the headboard on the bed. I did notice that when I brought the dogs out late at night for a potty run, while looking back at the motorhome I couldn't see any light shining through at all. So it would be a good "stealth camping" tool as well as insulation. Nobody would know you are inside! 

We take them off each morning to let the sun shine in, and roll them up to stow away up on the top bunk. 

Yesterday, the temperatures rose all the way up into the '60s. It was absolutely wonderful. We sat out in the lawn chairs for a while, and the dogs each claimed their rightful seats on each side of me. I felt like a Queen with my Royal Subjects at my sides. 

It was so nice out, we had turned off the heater and opened up the main door with just the screen door in place. This is the new grid we mounted right before we left on vacation. We bought it at Camping World to prevent Nicholas from possibly pushing through the mesh screen if he saw something interesting outside. His puppy enthusiasm could easily take over his sense of being a good dog. We definitely don't want him on the run!

Steve also attached a little barrel clasp to the door to prevent him from just pushing hard to open it. We were going to do the butterfly catch that we did before on our last motorhome, but we couldn't find the right piece at the hardware store. So this barrel catch will work. We can lock or unlock it from the outside by sliding open the slider and reaching around with our hand.

My mid-afternoon, I felt good enough to go for a nice little walk. A few sites away from us there's a sprawling open meadow with a pond down below. 

We took the dogs on down there to take a little look around. Don't know if there's any fish in it or not. I bet it's a popular place in the middle of summer with the kids. The Ohio River nearby is way too rapid and dangerous for any swimming to go on. So I don't know what they use this pond for, but the little pier is cute. 

All in all, it felt really good to get out and stretch our legs for a little bit. The dogs enjoyed the walk and I enjoyed getting a little fresh air.

These kind of temperatures are just wonderful, compared to the cold and damp weather back home. 

We are staying here one more night, and then we will see how good I feel. See if we should travel on or stay here a little longer.

Oh, I should correct myself from yesterday's blog. The website said the sites were $20. But when Steve went to go pay the host, it was only $18 per night. Not sure why. 

Maybe because the shower house is closed? There is running water at faucets in the park.

Our freshwater was getting a little low.  So Steve hauled a couple of our 2 gallon folding water totes and added some to our tank.  It's nice to have options. 

It's time to wrap up this blog now. The chef is cooking me breakfast! 

We will see what tomorrow may bring. 


  1. Sitting still, while you get better, is allowing Steve to get some projects done,
    Be Safe and Enjoy the nicer weather.

    It's about time.

  2. Good you felt well enough for a walk and it looks like a nice campground.

    1. It sure was good to stretch the legs and get a bit of fresh air.

    2. It sure was good to stretch the legs and get a bit of fresh air.

  3. Glad you are feeling better! Dogs looking great! (JudithK here; somehow google wouldn't let me sign in.) I've used bubble wrap on a couple of windows; better than nothing, and lets the sun shine in. Spraying with water is all that's needed, but you probably know all that. As for your solution, not seeing any light at all at night when you're outside is a good sign for VERY little cold air sneaking by.

  4. Glad you are feeling better. I am sure the warmer weather helped. The reflectix does help greatly.

    1. It's so nice, and warming up. We reached mid-60s when we got further down in Arkansas


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