Day 31 July 10
The Crab Orchard Campground was beautiful, and we’d scored a site right on the lake. When we woke up this morning, we knew why we’d gotten such a “great” site. SKEETERS!!! The space shuttle was covered in huge skeeters. We were way too close to the stagnant water!!
Yowza!!! This wasn’t the first time we’d hi-tailed it out of a campground to escape skeeters, and it probably wouldn’t be the last.
We drove through the campus of Southern Illinois University, just to see it, and then made a stop at Walmart to buy a small hand held vacuum. I don’t love Walmart, but, it made sense to buy one there. That way, if it didn’t work, or we didn’t like it, we could return it to the next Walmart in the next town. Walmart is super convenient if you’re traveling, so, while we’re traveling, I’ll just leave it at that.
Today was a great day for interesting conversation as we drove. Here’s what we covered today:
• People with big properties spend a lot of time mowing their lawns
• I like to wear skirts when I travel, because they’re comfortable, but I don’t know how to stop the bugs from flying up them.
• General discussion about Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, and Cathy Ireland.
• General discussion about why I won’t make sandwiches in a moving RV
• What is the proper name to call a “little person?” Is it “dwarf,” or “little person,” or…??? We are pretty sure that the term “midget” is no longer used, or is not considered to be kind.
Time flew by with such stimulating conversation. We drove south on Rt 34, and before we knew it, we were in Shawnee National Forest.
We first explored an area called Garden of the Gods. While crouched down, walking through a tunnel in the rocks, I hit my head on the rock ceiling so hard, that I knocked myself on my ass.
You know what lesson I learned from that? Do NOT wear a hat while hiking. I was wearing a baseball cap, and the brim, essentially, blocked my upper peripheral view.
You know what other lesson I learned? That families out hiking with young kids, do NOT appreciate hearing the f-bomb while they’re out in nature.
Our next stop was a hiking area called Rim Rock. The guide book described the main hike at Rim Rock as having a “breath-taking view.” Hmmm…no view at all, but a pretty little hike in the woods.
And then, a stop at Pounds Hallow, a local fishing and swimming hole.
We headed out on Rt 1, to Rt 146. Went through some cool little places, and pretty countryside. We also passed about a zillion deer and their little babies out galavanting where they should not be….on the dang road. And because of this, I inadvertently invented a new swear word….”Shimaran.”
“Shimaran” is what came out of my mouth when I tried to yell, “Shit, Mark, the deer are running!” I was trying to warn him that some deer were about to run in front of us. Lucky he saw the deer, ‘cause he had no clue what I had yelled and he started yelling at me, “Use your words! Use your words!”
Early evening, we safely crossed the Kentucky state line. We had a great dinner at Patti’s 1880’s Settlement, in Grand Rivers. It’s kind of a crazy tourist trap place, but, we thought it was fun, and the dinner was delicious.
They serve these loaves of bread there called Flower Pot Loaves, or some such name. These are loaves of bread that are baked in, shaped like, and served in, flowerpots. Dangerous shit. We ate two whole flower pots of bread with our meal, and then still had enough wits about us to buy some fudge at the little gift shop! No wonder my pants are gettin’ tight!
We finally found, and settled in for the night at the Kentucky Dam Campground.