Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chicago Trip (4) 2010

We arrived in Hoyleton, Illinois, at about 10:00 AM. The last hour of the drive it was raining lightly.
While David and I were setting up the motorhome, Doreen was with Sharon and the three cats. Doreen is in heaven, she can not only pet one cat, there are three. Oh, will I be suffering from the cat dander.
In the early afternoon David and Sharon showed us the area around Hoyleton and took us to Centralia, to the Historical Museum.
Centralia was a major railroad town, was part of the Illinois oil boom, and a coal mining town.
Farming is of course still a big industry in Southern Illinois.
In the evening our hosts took us to St. Rose to the Chop House restaurant, where I had the best restaurant pork chops.

This morning we went with David and Sharon to the Illinois State Museum-Southern Illinois Artisan Shop/Southern Illinois Art Gallery.
At the gallery Illinois artist display their wares and visitors can buy them.
There were some beautiful pieces of glass ware, wood carvings and pottery.

Our next stop was at the house of Sharon’s cousin. She and her husband live on a lake.
Their tiny granddaughter and her parents were there for a visit.
We enjoyed lunch there with the whole family.

On the way home we stopped at a large field where Sharon’s brother was driving a large combine and harvesting soy beans. After a few rounds around the field he stopped and transferred the soy beans to the truck. When the truck was full his wife drove the loaded truck to the elevator.
Normally David would help by driving a truck and a loaded trailer to the elevator. Since we were visiting he did not participate today with the harvest.

We left Sharon and David at 8:00 AM and arrived at Sangchris Lake, near Springfield, Illinois at 10:30 AM.When we left there was frost on the windshield.

By 12:00 noon we were on our way to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
This museum is different than any other Presidential Library I have seen so far. They have a log cabin and the entrance of the White House there. Doreen and I liked it very much. We also saw several shows.
I have been surprised how President Obama is being treated by the people who do not like him.
President Lincoln was treated worse. In one room the walls are covered with caricatures from newspapers printed when he was President. Some drawings hint that he had an African background.
This sounds familiar.
To enjoy the museum one has to spend at least three hours there. Unfortunately taking pictures is not allowed inside the museum, only in the large entrance hall.

So far we are enjoying this trip. We spent some good times with our friends, the motorhome is running fine, I finally figured out how to transfer files from Microsoft Word to my blog, and the weather is perfect for traveling. During the day it is in the 60’s and at night in the 40’s.
Only typing is still a pain on this new computer. I am wasting time because the cursor jumps all over the place and the words end up at the strangest places. I have to call the computer manufacturer.

This morning we tried to visit Lincoln’s New Salem State History Site. It is a reconstruction of the old town of New Salem, where Abraham Lincoln lived 1831 to 1837.
We were out of luck, they are closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
I took two pictures from the outside.

So we went back to the motorhome, hooked up the car and headed north. We stopped at the Elks Lodge in Oglesby, Illinois.

Starved Rock State Park is near Oglesby. Early this morning we drove there and walked up the Rock.
There is a legend that a band of Indians starved up on top, rather than be taken prisoner by another tribe.
The view from the top is spectacular; one can see the Illinois River, barges and tug boats, and the surrounding wooded hills.

10:30 AM we left Oglesby and headed for Rock Island. We are the only campers at the Moose Lodge.
After lunch we headed for the Black Hawk State Historic Site. We missed the entrance and continued on to Wall Mart. We also saw for the first time a Wells Fargo and a Chase bank, it was time to get some money.
We had spaghetti and meat sauce for dinner. The meat sauce was different this time. I had opened up, by mistake, a jar of salsa with beans and corn, instead of spaghetti sauce. Doreen did not notice it and cooked it with the meat. It tasted ok.

At 9:00 AM we were at the Black Hawk State Historic Site Museum. Black Hawk was a Sauk warrior.
The Sauk and Mesquakie Indians farmed the land along the Rock River, before white people forced them to move.
They actually lived in small houses.

From the museum we went to the John Deere Pavilion. The company displays some of their latest products and some old ones. There are also monitors where one can push a button and watch the history of the company, information about farming, and food production.

Our next stop was the Rock Island Arsenal. It is the nations largest government owned and operated arsenal. At the museum we saw some of the weapons and products made at the arsenal.
There is one of the largest collections of hand guns. The guns on display are from all over the world.

On the island is also the Mississippi River Visitor Center. Here we saw a tugboat with 15 barges go through lock 15.
In the movie theater we saw a film about the Mississippi River.

We arrived at the Mississippi Palisades State Park, near Savanna, Illinois, about 10:00 AM. All the sites were reserved. We drove around and got discouraged. On the way out I talked to the person at the pay booth.
He gave us a space used by the camp hosts. We made out this time. Our site has full hook ups.
After setting up the motorhome we drove to Galena, to the Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site.
The home was presented to General Grant by the citizen of Galena, when he came back from the Civil War.

When we came back to the park we went to the overlook area. From there one can see a stretch of the Mississippi River. Right now the river is very high.

Now we are in Northbrook, Illinois. We are staying on the property of our friends, Gertrud and Helmut. They live next to the Forest Preserve, a large wooded area.
On the way to Northbrook we stopped at the large Black Hawk Monument in Oregon, Illinois. The warrior looks over the Rock River. This part of Illinois is hilly and very beautiful.

In the afternoon we visited my friend David and his wife, they live in Des Plaines, my former home town. David and I graduated together from the Chicago Tool and Die Institute, Triton College and Northeastern Illinois University.

This morning Helmut and Gertrud took us to the Chicago Botanical Garden. We could not have come at a better time. The trees are at the height of the fall colors, and the garden is large and beautiful.
We had a wonderful time and enjoyed the scenery and the summer like weather. The temperature was 82 degrees F.

They had an orchid show. Orchid growers displayed their winning flowers.

In the evening we visited Norbert and his family. Norbert is Gertrud and Helmut’s son. I was surprised
how fluently Norbert’s two young sons spoke German. Norbert was born in the US. His wife does not speak German. Norbert speaks German with them, while his wife speaks English with the children.


We took the train to Chicago and then jumped on the sightseeing trolly. This is the only way to see a big city. The guides were knowledgeable and funny.

1 comment:

Barbara and Ron said...

I had Ron take that same picture of the Lincolns in the museum, but I joined them in the shot. I thought of it as 'the Lincolns and their new best friend', but Ron called it 'the Lincolns and their maid.'

Sounds like you're having a good trip. I'm enjoying reading about it.