Sunday, August 26, 2007

Siloam State Park – Ken’s Kind of Weekend

This weekend, the last before EIU football begins, was set aside TO DO NOTHING! That was the plan, no plans allowed. And, we couldn’t have planned it any better!

Friday Ken called about 2pm to ask me to check the online weather radar to see if he could head out to Siloam State Park with the motorhome between rain storms. No problem. At the moment all the weather appeared to be going south of us.

So Ken headed out and ended up unhooking the Jeep and parking ‘Baby’ all by himself in a downpour, despite weather radar showing otherwise….but, more on that later!

He made it back home in time for us to grab a bite to eat and then head to the 7:30 QND football game where QND tromped Macomb 44-0. Ken was on the phone off and on to track the Quincy High School game where great-nephew James made his first touchdown as quarterback.

At 10:00 we stopped by the house to pick up the dogs and then headed out to our campsite.

The rain was rather steady at this point with a little thunder and lightening. We opened the windows, turned on the fantastic fans and fell asleep to the sounds of the summer thundershower.

We have not yet succumbed to placing a clock in the bedroom. The idea is that you get up when you don’t feel like sleeping anymore and that’s what we did. I was up about 6:30, Saturday morning, and took the dogs for a long walk around all the loops of the campground.

When I got back Ken was up and we sat outside with our pot of coffee for about an hour.

The hummingbrids had already found our feeder.

This rather homely little fellow spent a lot of time trying to defend the feeder as his own personal property. One of the little turf battles almost ended with Ken getting a hummingbird up-side the head!

Campsite 42 is very private if you are in a motorhome since it is on a corner and the RV totally blocks the awning and firering from view of anyone passing on the road. There is also plenty of grassy area for the dogs, which is especially good with the rainy weather.

The rain had brought with it cool weather and so we were able to keep all of the windows open on the motorhome all weekend instead of using any A/C.

Ken made a big breakfast and then after dishes we took the dogs for another walk. When Ken and I walk them together its totally different from walks with just me. We put them on their long 15 ft cables so they have lots of freedom. We also walk a lot slower so they get more time to explore than when the do ‘exercise walks’ with Mom. There were people out now and Ditka and Sox made several new friends on the way.

Ken decided that since it was an ‘eat and sleep’ weekend for him it was about time once again for the sleep part so he napped while I enjoyed my gravity chair under the awning, with the hummers and my latest bit of reading, the “Law of Attraction”. This is a book written about 20 years ago that is one of many books over the previous decades to present the ideas of today’s ‘The Secret”, that Oprah has helped to make so popular…the latest spin on the ‘power of positive thinking’.

Ken was back up about 1pm and looking for the eating side of his ‘eat and sleep’ weekend. Since my nose had been in my book the whole time, I hadn’t done anything about lunch. We decided to open up the top on the jeep and take a ride in to Mike’s Place in Liberty. Let’s face it, we go to Mike’s for their awesome desserts, but feel obliged to have their roast beef sandwich as a starter so it seems like it’s actually lunch. We topped off some really good sandwiches with warm fresh peach pie a la mode.

Back at the campsite, late afternoon, we packed up ‘Marge’ our boat with her and headed down to one of the boat ramps.Ken has kept me to my word that I’ll do the inflation on the this is his...

...if-you-are-taking-pictures-who-is-pumping-up-this-boat?? look!
but its really not hard and we were shoving off within about 15 minutes of reaching the lake. We found shady spots along the shore where Ken could do some fishing.

We weren’t expecting much since Spring Lake isn’t known for being a really hot fishing spot but lo and behold…

Ken came up with a nice large mouth bass! First time he’s caught a fish in Siloam for a few decades. Thanks to his young friend, Jeremy, for his fishing instruction!

We really enjoyed the time on the lake and it re-enforced even more how much we enjoy weekends at Siloam State Park Although I really enjoy that the park isn’t packed with people, it’s too bad more people aren’t taking advantage of this park.

As the sun started to set we got off the lake and headed back to our site.

Ken loves to cook over the open fire so we had burgers and sautéed garlic asparagus in olive oil which he did in a big iron skillet.

I’m still delighting in how much we do together as a couple when we are RVing – cooking, doing the dishes together after, taking the dogs for their evening walk under a bright fool moon, and finishing off the evening watching the campfire slowly burn down.

Since we were only here for the weekend we enjoyed nice long showers without worry about our holding tanks.

With a cool breeze floating through the bedroom, I don’t think I completed a whole page in my book before I nodded off to sleep.

We stayed true to Ken’s ‘eat and sleep’ weekend on Sunday. I was up about 7:30 and sat outside under the awning with my book, the dogs and the hummingbirds. It was cool enough to warrant a sweatshirt which really felt nice after all the days this month that were bordering 100 degrees.

We did breakfast and our mornings walk with the dogs. We stopped to talk to neighbors and found that the folks in the Monaco motorhome have been on the road for most of the last 4 years, having lived before that in California. However, Siloam is one of their annual stops since he was raised on a farm here. The folks across from us with the Sunnybrook fifth wheel were on their maiden voyage with their new rig. They were out of Galesburg and had spent a gruelling prior year having their only son go through a near-fatal bout with brain cancer. With their son now looking well on his way through an amazing recovery, they were prepping for retirement and doing some extended traveling. They were interested in our boat and our dogs since they’ve talked about having both once going on the road.

As much as we love Ditka and Sox, we always caution people who are taken in by this breek of little heart-throbs. Shiba Inu’s are the most wonderful dogs around so long as you have them confined. They are easy to house-train, like to stay clean and are very sociable. However, if they get lose, all bets are off. They are highly independent and love to run. That is not something that anyone we know has ever been able to ‘train’ out of them. It’s a trait that is simply part of this ancient breed of dog. RVing and a dog who loves to bolt out the door is not a good combination. You have to be sure they NEVER get loose. So far when we’ve had disasters of them getting lose when we are traveling we have been lucky enough to have them either return on their own to the campsite, usually after an hour or two, or they’ve made their way into someone’s hands who has been kind enough to call the phone number on their tags. We subscribe to a service that allows us to have an ‘800’ number on their tags where the service then contacts us at one of several numbers we’ve provided (Ken’s cell, home, my cell). Interestingly when they end up with someone else, it’s seems to be with people who have little girls in the family. It’s as if they go out hunting cuddles! We had a family tells us one time that the girls were very sad that they found the owners because they had already convinced Mom and Dad that if the owners weren’t found they were keeping the dogs!

Today, Sox and Ditka are pretty well trained to ‘stay’ or ‘wait’ when Ken and I go in and out of the door, but let anyone else accidentally open that RV door or leave it ajar and the chase is on!

Ok, enough on my Shiba warnings…

We took our time closing down on Sunday. We took advantage of the gorgeous weather to do some chores around the rig. I did some cleaning while Ken wiped down the boat and packed it back into the motorhome compartment. After a late lunch we, packed up, pulled out, dumped and refilled with water.

Back in Quincy, we decided to try out the oversized car wash on North 24th St. in Quincy. The good news is the it is a easy low-cost way to give ‘Baby’ a quick bath. The bad news is , it was at the car wash that Ken noticed something very bad. Apparently when he was backing in to the site Friday during the rain he must have clipped a big tree branch or something just at the rear roofline.. While there was no damage to the motorhome the rear ladder was bent badly. When Ken checked it out further it turned out to be even worse since if actually broke the ladder rail, so it will have to be fully replaced. Ok, it could have been worse. I could have been directing him into the spot when it happened!

But with the exception of that rather expensive discovery, it was a perfect unplanned weekend. Ken got to eat-and-sleep-and-eat-and-sleep and have good luck fishing in between time!

Hopefully it was enough rest and relaxation to get us through the next 3 months of fun and fast-paced football weekends, our favorite season of the year!

By the way, if you get the College Sport TV network, the EIU Panther's first game will be airing at 6pm central time. If you get the Big Ten Network his game Saturday of Labor Day weekend against Purdue will air live at 11am central time. He’s number 65, currently switching off with an upper classman at D-tackle.

Since the month’s to come will be so tied to football, I thought we’d leave you with this relaxing photo I took as we came of the Siloam Lake on Saturday.

Hugs, C

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