Saturday, July 18, 2015

Illinois to Indiana to Ohio

A bit different on this section of the Mississippi in Keithsburg, Illinois.  Besides the large combined barge traffic, there is a significant use of private boats for fishing and cruising.  There is some limitation with locks on the river, but still a lot of water.
On this weekend , the town sponsored a live concert in the town park. The group was quite talented(in their 30's and 40's?) playing a lot of older titles like "Sweet Home Alabama"(good cover) and others for about six plus hours. People gathered round in golf carts, folding chairs, and parking their boats on the shore of the Mississippi to listen.
From Keithsburg, we head south on Route 25 to 164 to 67 to 136 east to Le Roy and Moraine View State Recreation Area.

These are all state roads . county roads, and US highways.  All along the way are large fields of very tall corn.  Some other crops as well.

Interesting views through the farmland include wind turbines as well as crops and silos.  Some crests of land might have 50 or more turbines with a sign for windfarms along the way.

Now and then , besides grain elevators on private farms, there will be a large collection of storage buildings in a town.  In this case owned by farmer co-operatives and large private companies.
You get an idea of the size of these storage elevators with the cars in front.  The Dupont sign is for agricultural chemicals also stored here. Trailer trucks line up to deliver grain to the towers and there are always train tracks to service the elevators.
Typical driving includes narrow roads like this( at 60 mph speed limit) with tall corn on both sides. Eustis is on the lookout for deer.

From Moraine, we follow Route 9 east into Indiana and Eastern Daylight Time.  Route 9 becomes Route 26 which bring us to West Lafayette, Indiana.

Did we mention how straight some of these highways were?  It starts to change a bit with Indiana.  More people, smaller farms, and larger cities----and curves.

West Lafayette is the home of Purdue University. Purdue homepage.  For a college that claims about 30,000 students, this town is quite neat and easy to drive through. An attractive college town. We are sure that changes come September!

Just north of West Lafayette is Prophetstown State Park in Battle Ground.

This is Indiana's newest park built in 2004.  A large park with nice level campsites looking out on the prairie.  It is at the junction of the Tippecanoe River where it meets the Wabash River.

The park includes a 1920's era working farm, an aquatic center which offer all kinds of water sports but does not infringe on the park views, a nicely planned bike trail,and prairie views with wild flowers.

Everything from Black Eyed Susans to Cone Flowers to Queen Anne's Lace to Black Berries!

The park has greenhouses where they grow flowers.  We have to believe that they purposely planted milkweed for the Monarch Butterflies and others.

The farm is easily accessed from the campground.  The farmhouse is well maintained and this day was hosting a happy group of 10 to 12 year olds that were baking, feeding the animals, and other activities.
The docent working with the kids was enthusiastic about the stove. She uses it all the time. This was the first time we saw a washing machine like this one. 

The barn was dismantled, moved and reconstructed here.  Inside are the horses, a few milking cows, and lots of room for hay in the hay loft.  In addition to the barn there is a good pen of pigs and a few chicken coops.  The chickens, with the rooster, roam freely during the day.  The farm sells the eggs as well as beef, pork, and bakery products. The store was being renovated, but they were supposedly still selling at least the eggs and some other products.  Bruce looks way too comfortable on the porch.
We thought some of our readers might appreciate the 231 campsite.  This was the address number for Jan's folks for many years.  Turned out to be a great campsite as well.
We saw a lot of signs of flooding coming through the midwest.  It was more apparent for Indiana into Ohio.  We saw many, many fields of corn and other crops that were flooded.  The corn was much smaller , yellow, or just dead. Some roads were closed, like this one, for flooding.  The rivers were all above their bankings. People we spoke to indicated that it was a very wet Spring that never stopped raining. Southwest of Fort Wayne was Salamonie Lake State Park.  We pulled in--did not check ahead-- and discovered that the campground was closed as a result of flooding.  Oops!  Luckily we were early and proceeded on to Ouabache State park(pronounced like Wabash) which was quite nice--------and open!
We will also mention that twice, once in Missouri and once in Indiana we followed the weather rather closely. A tornado touched down in Missouri not far from our campground and also about 7 miles west of us in Prophetstown.  Not a lot of places to go when you are in a RV.  Luckily , we avoided the rough weather--except for very heavy rain.  
Jan and I rarely make reservations.  We just don't know when we will be somewhere and we quite often change our minds about routes and will sometimes add a day or two at a park we enjoy.  The other thing is that Lady Blue is very flexible. She will fit just about anywhere.  In this case, it is the weekend and all electric sites are full at Findley State Park in  Wellington, Ohio.  But Lady Blue has solar panels and a generator.  So, even though it is one of the hottest days in Ohio, we have air conditioning and everything else we need. Thank you, Lady Blue!!  We make a point to park far away from other campers to minimize the generator annoyance. 

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