Thursday, August 24, 2023

A Good Museum, 100' Heat & a Huge Glacier

 Location: Forest "Bo" Wood (COE) Campground; Sullivan, Illinois

My plan to do some exploring before leaving the last campground worked out well. Since my check-in time at my current campground wasn't until 5:00 I got everything ready to travel on the inside of Liberty2 except for tying down the recliner. I then headed off to Danville, Illinois which is about 20 minutes away to explore a war museum. On my way, I saw a sign for a National Cemetery so I detoured to it before the museum. I can't believe I had to accidentally find the cemetery since that is one of the things I specifically look for in an area to pay my respects to veterans who has passed on. The only reason I can think of is I didn't except one in such a small town like Danville that only has a population of 30,000. To get to the cemetery, I drove through an extremely large VA complex. It is as large and has as many buildings as a medium sized college campus. It was a nice surprise. I later found out they service vets from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri. A big wow.

Honor and respect to those who have led the way to the other side.

The museum was the Vermilion County War Museum and it ranks in my top 10 for museums. They have sections on every war or conflict the U.S. has been involved. Since I was the only visitor, I got a personal tour by a Navy Veteran who was stationed at Norfolk, Virginia during the 1970's. My ship was based out of Little Creek, Virginia so we were within about 20 miles of each other and didn't know it. He was a Gunner's Mate on an aircraft carrier while I was an Operations Specialist on an LST, so at that time we wouldn't have had much in common other than the Navy. We swapped sea stories as he showed me around the museum. I guess I need to give the definition of a "sea story" for my non-Navy readers. The definition goes like this,,,,, "What is the difference between a fairy tale and a sea story?" A fairy tale begins with "once upon a time,,,,," and a sea story begins with "and this is no sh$t,,,,,,". It's been a decade or more since I thought of that, but it magically came back once the stories started. Any way, it is a very good museum and worth a stop if you're in the area.

There is so much stuff in the museum, it is hard to get a picture to represent it. This is picture 1 of 2

Picture 2 of 2

Remember about a month or so ago when I was trying to decide on my route back to Louisiana? Well, I may have made a poor decision based on today's and tomorrow's temperature being 100 degrees. I can't complain too much because my home base in Louisiana has had 100+ days for a couple of weeks or more with the next predicted day below 100 being September 1st. But had I have headed north from the Rally into Michigan and hung a left around Lake Michigan after crossing the Might Mac Bridge, I would currently be in daily highs of mid 70's. Oh well, the temperature forecast was wrong when I decided on the route so I made the best decision based on the best information at the time. We will see how long I'm in this hot weather, maybe just a couple of days. As most RV'ers know, we are lucky if our A/C keeps the temperature inside the RV within 15 to 20 degrees of the outside temperature. Liberty2 is currently keeping it about 15 degrees from the outside temp. I'm lucky my campsite gets shade starting about 3:00 which is usually the hottest part of the day. Tomorrow is moving day and I hope the next campsite is shaded too.

My current campsite, but since I'm tardy on posting, tomorrow is already moving day.

This is the Hippie Memorial in the small town of Arcola, Illinois. I passed within two city blocks of it and they have a long parking area so I stopped. The metal structure represents the times of the Hippie movement. There is also a nice love-seat bench. The hippies definitely had it right on a few things, but wrong on the others. So, in memory of them, "peace out" and "make love, not war".

My current campground is located about midway between Indianapolis and St. Louis. It is a very nice and large Corps of Engineers campground built on the shores of Lake Shelbyville. The non-hydro dam was built in the late 1960' and is on the Kaskaskia River which empties into the Mississippi River about 50 miles south of St. Louis. The interesting thing about the location of the dam is it is the point where the Wisconsin Glacier quit moving south before retreating north. Since this location would have been the leading edge of the glacier, it would have only been about 700 feet thick right where I'm camped now.  Farther north it got up to 5,000 feet thick. The glacier started retreating about 20,000 years ago after having been around for 75,000 years. It is also the glacier that carved out the Great Lakes. You can still see the material that was pushed in front of the glacier as it moved south. That material plus lots of granite rocks and boulders were left behind when the glacier moved back north. 

One of the boat ramps and island in Lake Shelbyville.

The dam. They have an above average visitor center with a well designed section of displays.

This is on the back porch of the visitor's center overlooking the lake. The average depth of the lake is only about 20 feet.

Also on the back porch of the visitors center. Surprise, surprise, a "double barrel rocking bench". I looked around in hopes of finding a nice looking woman to try it out. Sadly, none was around.

Shelbyville is a "good vibe town". I don't know if it is good enough to make my good vibe list, but it might.

I haven't seen a fancy courthouse since the last time I was in Texas. It was a nice surprise.

These county roads are everywhere here in Illinois as well as Indiana and Ohio. Most are straight as an arrow with row crops growing on each side. A person could easily get lost while driving around just to "see what I can see". 

As I mentioned earlier, tomorrow is moving day and I'll be moving to another COE campground about 120 miles south. It also has a 5:00 check-in time, so I'll pull out around 2:30. I hope the cool front that is coming from the north speeds up and gets here before I have to start hitching up. Fingers crossed.     

Ya'll take care of each other. Maybe, I'll Cya down the road.

1 comment:

  1. I can relate to those "sea stories" Darrell. In the Air Force there called lies and war stories.