Staycation - late Summer 2009 travel blog

Illini State Park

river barges


It would have been pretty easy to drive home from the Quad Cities. In fact it would have been pretty easy to drive straight home from everywhere we've been on this trip. That's why it's our version of a Staycation. Even now that we are only about an hour from home, the incredibly beautiful weather makes us loathe to drive those final sixty miles.

We wanted to continue camping on the water. Although we have raced east and west on I-80 countless times, we never noticed the exit for Illini State Park. A friend told us that he enjoyed camping there, sitting on the banks of the Illinois River sipping a glass of wine and watching the barges go by.

Although personal recommendations are valuable, we alway try to be well informed when we choose a spot to stay. Ken researched the park online and the web indicated that this park was big rig friendly and only the even numbered sites could be reserved. We wanted to stay here for the weekend and arriving early would give us a chance to get one of the open sites. As we turned off the expressway I consulted the campground reference book for final directions and noticed that the sites only accommodated rigs up to thirty feet. The motor home alone is forty feet long. Uh oh.

But now that we are here, would amend our information sources just a bit. Most of the sites are big enough for us, but we wanted one on the river bank with an open southern exposure so that the dish would find the satellite. Only the even numbered sites were reservable all right, but nearly all the sites on the water were even numbered. Bummer!

The campground hosts gave us a perfect site for the night, but warned that we would have to leave in the morning since it was taken for the weekend. Not long after we set up, the host came to tell us that they were able to shift a reservation to open up another waterfront site. But it did have some trees overhead. Worth a try.

After three weeks of sunshine, blue skies, and perfect temperatures, rain is in the forecast, so we'll spend what may be our final weekend, perched in this lovely spot, sipping a glass of wine and watching the barges go by.

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