Upon leaving Nebraska a bit abruptly, we discovered that Missouri and Illinois are also full of corn and soy farms. Regardless of the endless green rows of corn and soy, farm country is still beautiful. The humidity not so much, but the landscape was unexpected for us. For whatever reason, Doug and Katie always pictured this area of the country as flat and treeless. We were very wrong. It really solidifies this whole traveling and seeing the country thing we are doing, because not only are we proving ourselves wrong, but we are also showing our children what the country really looks like.
Missouri also Loves Water Slides
We did not find Missouri to be a place of misery, but the word play is too fun. Especially since this blog post is about two states, we just could not pass it up. Sorry, not sorry.
Anywho, in Missouri we stayed in the tiny town of Bevier (it is French). The RV park is also an RV dealership and events venue. They had a lake (really just a large pond) and a giant water slide. Due to our arriving on a Wednesday, we had the park to ourselves and enjoyed the water slide for two days without anyone else on it.
While we did not do much else in this particular area, Katie did learn some fun facts about the neighboring town of Macon while she was at the laundromat. Apparently, Macon was home to the child actor from the TV show The Munsters. Not only is his old home apparently haunted, but so is the condemned home across the street (which is a lovely older home with one of those beautiful iron gates in front). The condemned home was in the process of being torn down when its haunted status became known, so some paranormal experts were being brought in to assess the situation before the demolishing process continues. Macon is also the home to one of the world’s largest exotic animal sales. And despite having a recent outbreak of Covid-19, Macon hosted both the exotic animal sale (which so many people apparently attend – it is gross) and the county fair.
So we got out of town as early as possible on Saturday and booked it to Illinois.
World’s Largest Rocking Chair
On our way to the state park we called home for a week, Katie spotted a sign and we changed course slightly to stop at a roadside attraction. We drove into Casey, Illinois, and viewed the world’s largest rocking chair, windchime, and pitchfork. These were not the only structures in the town, but we wanted to get to our rig parked and settled in the state park. It was a great detour.
Fox Ridge State Park
Illinois is quite lovely. We spent the week at Fox Ridge State Park and pretty much had the whole campground to ourselves all week long. Friday night though, the Illinois folk rolled in and the place was packed. The great thing about camping in the time of Covid-19, is that even though the campground was packed on Friday, people have their own space and it is easily over six feet away from their neighbors. People get to enjoy the gorgeous outdoors, get out of their homes, and still practice social distancing.
Anyway, back to Fox Ridge State Park. It was lovely. Lots of trees, birds, and raccoons. There was a cute little pond which had turtles living in it. Next to the pond was an adorable pollinator garden full of flowers, bees, and butterflies. There was a lake, but the stairs down to it were closed, so we never saw it. We also did not really take any of the hiking trails because of ticks and the heat. But we did drive through the park and we found the river, which we tossed rocks into for a while before driving back through the park.
Katie and the kids actually spent more time at home this week. Maybe it was the heat. Maybe Katie wasn’t feeling particularly adventurous. Maybe it was the poor raccoon trapped in one of the campground trash cans that made Katie want to stay close to home to save all the raccoons. Who knows.
Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site
One of the first days in the area, Katie took the kids to the this historic park, which had the cabin Abraham Lincoln’s parents once lived in. The area was beautiful and the park employees were very friendly and opened up the cabin for the kids to see. All around great outdoor experience, though they did skip the indoor museum piece.
Charleston Lake Dam
One of our outings outside the state park was to a lake about 10 minutes away. We actually did not see much of the lake, because we stopped there for the spillway. On her way home from the grocery store, Katie spotted what looked like a waterfall from the road. Turns out it was a man made waterfall, known as the Charleston Lake Spillway. It was really neat and the area below it was fun to explore. There was also a playground, so obviously the kids felt it was necessary to swing and slide until it was too hot to do so.
While we did not do anything spectacular this week, we did enjoy our time. Plus, even though we are experiencing new places each week, we do not necessarily have the energy or desire to explore the area as much as it deserves. And because of Covid-19 we are purposfully avoiding major cities, which is a bummer because Katie has a desire to experience Chicago. So really this just means we have another trip to Missouri and Illinois in our future…at some point.
Next up are our adventures in Indiana and Ohio!
CURRENT ADVENTURE STATS:
On the road: 11 1/2 months
Miles towing our home: 8,724
Campgrounds visited: 57
Breweries visited: 33
National Parks visited: 15/62
National Monuments/Seashores/Historic Sites/etc.: 5
State Parks visited: 7