Penny and Bob's Great Adventure - 2012 travel blog

Welcome to Illinois

Just follow I-80 East

This is a small Pioneer plant. Many of you have bought Pioneer...

Utica, IL reminds me of an artsy town, like New Hope, PA

Very busy little town on a Friday night

I like bacon; I like chocolate. I do NOT think I'd like...

A little history

Our campsite at Hickory Hollow

This came in while we were there. Nice paint job!

The back of the motorhome

Dam and locks on the Illinois River

Types of Towboats and barges on the Illinois River

How locks work

An offset barge coming into the lock

Nearing the outgates

He's all in now

Eagles are returning ... but we were there too early in the...

It was a little windy on our trip from Buffalo, IA to Utica, IL so I was a bit tired when we got into camp today.

Along the way, we passed a llama farm with beautiful llalmas in the pastures, a huge ethanol plant, lots of corn and soybean fields (of course), and Chicago. Driving I-80 through Chicago is no big long as you don't hit it during rush hour!

Other than the wind, it was an easy drive to the Hickory Hollow Campground which is a very nice, clean campground with long level pull thru spaces. We got set up and then went into town to do some shopping.

Utica reminded us of New Hope in Pennsylvania (but not as big)...a lot of small touristy shops. Really rather quaint. The so-called meat market didn't impress us at all, though. It was merely a small grocery store with the regular pre-packaged meats that we think the owner bought from a larger chain.

There were a lot of younger people in town (of course, at our age, everyone's "younger"!) and we didn't stay around too long.


Off to do some geocaching today and one of the routes took us along the Illinois River to the locks. So we stayed around there awhile to watch a barge go through the locks which was rather neat. The tow boat (they are not called tug boats) was pushing 5 barges...3 on the left and 2 on the right. He pushes on the left side but when he got into the locks, he had to unhook from the left and move to the right so he would fit in the lock. Then, once the water leveled and the lower gates opened, he unhooked from the right and moved back to the left. It was all pretty neat, albeit slow, to watch.

Don't remember too much else. So on to Grovertown, Indiana tomorrow.

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