In the COVID Bubble - Winter 2021 travel blog

safely tucked in


All summer we have watched our countrymen deal with forest fires in the west and hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico with much of the blame for these catastrophic events on climate change. We must admit in hushed tones, that in our part of the country the extra warmth has been a blessing, although it has totally thrown off our ability to anticipate what weather to expect. We have have had two days of snow flurries recently, but now November has brought us a week of temperatures in the 70ยบ's with low humidity and bright blue skies.

And we took advantage of the warmth to load up the motor home and prepare for a winter away from the cold that will surely return soon. Usually we do this after the holidays with an eye on the weather forecast, trying to escape the bad weather on an uneventful day. Since holiday celebrations with family just don't make sense this COVID year, we thought if we left now we could escape before the ice and snow which have made the drive too exciting and arrive in Florida after the hurricanes are finished. The hours of daylight for safe driving are also a bit longer now than in late December.

Usually when we make our winter escape, we drive like bats out of hell, hoping to get past the freezing temperatures so we can turn on the water. Except for Chicago, we don't find the rest of our state very interesting for tourists. The faster we can escape the corn fields, the better. We can't remember the last time we camped in Illinois.

But this time since we're not in a hurry and the weather is so beautiful, we decided to pause in southern Illinois at Rend Lake, a huge body of water created by the Army Corps of Engineers for flood control and recreational opportunities. We have 760 campsites to choose from around the lake and it is located near the interstate when it is time to move on. Because COE campsites are federal property, we can camp here for half price with our geezer passes. There's a 27 hole golf course nearby, but my surgeon recommend I wait a bit longer before taking big swings. It looks like a great place to have a boat and a fishing rod. Tomorrow we'll look around and see what the southern part of our state has to offer.

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