When we first planned to come here we expected to stay for six weeks. We've never stayed anywhere longer. When the woman who checked us in said that it would cost almost the same to stay for four weeks in February rather than two, we said, "What the heck." If we didn't like it here, we could always leave. As it turned out we have enjoyed our stay here very much and can easily imagine returning some winter soon. If only it weren't such a long drive from home.
Because we had paid for a second month's stay, we were surprised to see a note on our door asking why we hadn't left yet. We took out our receipt and while it showed that we had paid for two months, the departure date had not been adjusted by the clerk who talked us into staying. The campground is nearly full. February is the most popular month here and the Gem & Mineral show generates additional traffic. The office had already booked someone else into our site, but we are still here and we had paid. They said they would fix it, but someone knocked on our door at 10pm asking what we were doing in their site. There are empty spots here and there, but at 10pm, there was no one around to help them find the spot we hope they were reassigned to.
And if we had left, we wouldn't have had a chance to go to the Illinois potluck. Campers love potlucks. They are an easy way to get together and eat without making anyone work too hard. You can always tell the potluck professionals. They bring large trays with compartments to keep all the foods from sloshing together. Newbies bring ordinary dinner plates.
At our favorite Texas campground they had potlucks every week for anyone who wanted to come, but here they are arranged with groups of people who have something in common such as an activity or where they live. Typically at such a gathering there is a state map on the wall and people mark their home town with pins. At the IL potlucks in Texas we were always surprised that everyone was from small towns far away from Chicago. We couldn't believe that there wasn't at least one other person from metropolitan Chicago. Here we met folks from many nearby towns who joined us in wondering about all the small towns in central Illinois that we had never heard of. You would think that if you lived in a state all your life, you would have at least heard of most of the communities there. Some of the folks we met tonight didn't make the expeditious getaway after Christmas that we did and we heard many horror stories as people struggled through the ice and snow to get here. This has certainly been an amazing winter of weather both here and in Illinois.