Sunday, August 27, 2023

Last Illinois CG, Old Home Town Next

 Location: South Marcum Campground (COE) on Rend Lake; Benton, Illinois

I've passed by this lake several times over the years while traveling through Illinois but never stopped. It is located very near I-57 which runs the entire length of Illinois. I had always looked a Gun Creek Campground in the middle portion of the lake but was scared off by bad reviews talking about unlevel campsites. Finally, this time around, I checked out the campground near the dam and the campsite pictures showed relatively level sites. So, I decided to give it a shot. My campsite pad is unlevel in both directions but well within my range to level "Libby" (notice I changed the name of my RV from Liberty2 to Libby). It's a nice campground but the 100* heat when I arrived was unbearable. Today is day 3 of 3 and much more tolerable. 

The welcoming committee to the campground. I'm assuming that is twin fawns but I guess it's possible the doe took in an orphan.

This is the leading edge of the cool front that should knock these 100* days down.

Looking out over the lake

The view while driving over the dam. It was a pretty sky for a while.

My campsite on Owl Roost Loop.

The view out my back window when I'm working on my laptop.

It is a really pretty lake, especially since it was created by damning up a river named "Big Muddy River". This is the first "notched spillway" I've seen in all of my travels. There is an underwater gate system just to west of the spillway that would be used to pass the required amount of water and to drain the lake if necessary. The notched spillway is way to pool stage (lake elevation). I was surprised there wasn't a water gauge mounted to the notch or simply some painted numbers to indicate the depth of water passing through the notch. With that depth information, it would be easy calculations to figure how much water is passing through the notch. With that information you would know how much to open the gate to meet the required discharge amount. Well, it was at least interesting to me and it is another type of spillway I can check off my list. (I really don't have a list, I just said that).

Another really nice Visitor's Center

They have a working honey bee hive inside the visitor's center. They come and go through a pipe that looked to be about 3/4 inch in diameter. Very interesting.

I also found a nice bench in the center. You can sit and watch the humming birds. There must have been at least a dozen. I figure they will be migrating south soon.

The "notched spillway". 

Although I explored the dam and ate out a couple of times, I've mostly been hunkering down these three days while waiting for cooler weather which arrived today. I'm hoping the cooler weather will get me to walking like I was doing at the rally. This town has a Dollar Tree so I bought some small bottles of fabric softener to put in my tanks after emptying them tomorrow while hitching up. I was surprised to find out this campsite is full hook up. I don't have any proof or data but it is my belief that some fabric softener in the empty tanks coats the sides and bottom which makes them slippery and helps prevents solids from sticking. If I'm right, it is a "good deal Lucille" and if I'm wrong, I'm just out $1.25.

Tomorrow is moving day and I'll be entering Missouri after about a 100 mile tow. I'll be moving to a State Park just north of Cape Girardeau, Missouri which is a place I lived when I was a mid teenager and my high school alma mater. The last time I explored the town a couple of years ago, I was surprised about the very little emotional draw the town provoked. I'm curious to see if that emotional-less feeling is permanent or just that the last time was a one-time deal.

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

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