Heading East Again Part Two: Wisconsin and Illinois And Points East

I sat down to write about our winter in NC only to find that I’d never completed this post! All the potential for another blog coma like what happened in 2015 (and I still haven’t made up for that)! Guess that’s what happens when you’d rather be out seeing and doing than writing. Here goes a quick catchup post then on to more current times.

Steve and I drove straight across South Dakota with one night at Vermillion Lake SP and on to a Corps of Engineers CG on the Mississippi River just south of LaCrosse, Blackhawk CG. We were here to spend a few days with his brother Mike and family. Little did we know what would happen here would change the rest of the trip. Long story short, while working in an awkward position at the front of the trailer Steve hurt his back and had severe pain running down his thigh. He tried to tough it out for a day then we started a series of Urgent Care and doctor visits both here and in Illinois. I guess I’d always known that at some point accident or illness would sideline us. In the back of my mind I was worried about being stranded as I’d never driven this RV. Now it was time for me to rise to the challenge. Scared? That’s an understatement! However, it is amazing what you can do when you have to step up and confront your fears. 

I drove from Wisconsin through Dubuque, Iowa to Panther Creek CG about 30 miles north of Springfield, Illinois. After doctor visits and tests and medication it was just a matter of time to heal. We decided to stay in Springfield until Steve could travel so we moved to a very nice RV park, Double J, south of Springfield. Our version of resort living!

As Steve improved we began to see the sights. If Illinois is the Land of Lincoln then Springfield is the epicenter. Everywhere you go there is Abe. We started with the Lincoln Presidential Museum and quickly decided it was one of the best we’ve visited.  

Posing With The Lincoln Family

From there we toured the old railroad station which is now a museum and had an exhibit of costumes and set design used in the movie “Lincoln”. On to the National Park site that includes a section of town preserved as it was when Lincoln lived there including the Lincoln home. We toured the home with a ranger. One of the people on the tour was a 6’8″ college student. That gave you an idea of how Abe might have looked moving about the home (yes, Lincoln was 6’6″). The old state Capitol also a museum was where he gave his “A House Divided” speech. Lastly, there is the Lincoln tomb. It came as a surprise to us to learn that his body is encased some 10 feet below the tomb because of an attempted robbery in the 1880s. His statue in front of the tomb is rubbed for good luck and the nose is shiny as a result.

Movie Set From “Lincoln”

The Lincoln Home NPS Site

Chari Rubbing Abe’s Nose

Our last and only non Lincoln sightseeing stop was at the present state Capitol. We are trying to visit all state Capitol buildings. This is number 5 for us. It is decorated in the Italian Renaissance style and the most elaborate one we have toured. The free tour was excellent.

Illinois State Capitol

Finally we were able to continue our journey east with stops of 2-3 days along the way but little sightseeing. Chari continued to drive the RV and became comfortable on the road. However Steve still had to back it in to the campsite. We did get to Guilford Courthouse National Battlefield, a NPS site before arriving a week later than planned at Cape Lookout National Seashore on Harkers Island, NC. We settled in for a winter of volunteering. See you at the beach!

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s