Wednesday, November 18, 2009

2009 11 15 Break Time at Wolf Creek State Park

We woke Sunday morning at the EIU stadium and were ready to head out of Charleston by 9 am. Since Trevor had been out late Saturday night celebrating and had no commitments until late afternoon Sunday, we gave him a call and told him to go ahead and sleep in instead of coming to see us off, and we’d see him later in the week.

Since the next game is Thursday, we decided to stay in the area rather than make the 400 mile round trip back to Quincy.

Earlier this year, we had done some exploring around Lake Shelbyville and found a couple of campgrounds within 30 miles or so of the stadium that we wanted to try out. Unfortunately, our #1 choice, Bo Woods, which was a Corp of Engineers park with full hookups was already closed for the season. In the Midwest there appear to be few parks open after October. The other park we were interested in was a state park, Wolf Creek, which still had a section open.

When we arrived at Wolf Creek, since we had been the primary ‘restroom’ for the post-game party Saturday night, Ken figured we’d better dump and refill the fresh water if we were going to stay here until next game. I took that time to unhook the jeep and drive around the open section to pick out our best options on sites.

This campground has a few 50 amp sites sprinkled here and there and also has several concrete pads directly across from the shower house. It looks like at one time all of these were probably handicap sites but they’ve removed the handicap restriction from a few of them. Since there was a forecast for 4 straight days of rain, the concrete pads were definitely an advantage. Since low temperatures were to be in the 40’s, having 50 amp service would mean we could run our two ceramic heaters without need for running our gas furnace. Bad news: the only non-handicap, concrete site with 50 amp was occupied. Good news: the occupants appear to be packing up. I talked to them and they said they’d probably be out in about an hour so we pulled in to another site temporarily and used the time to take a long walk with the dogs.

We were able to get in to the site we wanted just as it began to rain.
Ken was a real saint, taking the dogs for a walk multiple times in the next 24 hours when their seemed to be no stop to consistent heavy rain.

I was able to use our downtime to experiment a bit more with my Kindle. Kindle owners receive their books through the Sprint 3G network and there is ‘experimental” (read: it may not always work like you want it to) internet access on the device. While the device is not sexy enough to allow me to do the blog and only works really well for Google and Yahoo email, it is really good with Google searches. As long as we have at least one bar I can find out where there is a local library for wireless access or do some searches for nearby restaurant reviews and/or grocery stores. It also does a pretty good job on bringing up forecasts. While not perfect this does ease some of my frustration with not having wireless access on the road.

With the Kindle I was able to determine several destinations for Monday in the small nearby town of Sullivan: the library, a highly rated restaurant and the nearest grocery store.
The rain made for great sleeping Sunday night and so we slept in late on Monday. By mid-day we were on the road to Sullivan.

The goat tower is actually on the route between the park and Sullivan. I’m glad we got some pictures with the goats earlier this year since the weather seemed to keep the goats hunkered down.

We ate at a wonderful restaurant, called Jibby’s, near the main square in Sullivan. Ken and I both had a one of the lunch specials, the Pork Manhattan and Jibby’s special open face roast beef sandwich with spiced waffle style potatoes, coffee and tea. The food was really tasty, the atmosphere very nice, more upscale than we had expected for a small town cafĂ©, and the bill with tip was $18. Sullivan is known for its ‘Little Theatre on the Square’ and this restaurant appears to cater to the theatre crowd with a theatre motif. Click here for the review site I used on my Kindle to lead us to Jibby's.

After lunch we stopped in to the Elizabeth Titus Memorial Library a block on the other side of the square. Again, this was a pleasant surprise. I had five bars of fast wireless access in an environment that seemed more like a quiet community center. There were several men sitting in an area that had coffee available reading papers and magazine and another sitting at a nearby table doing a jigsaw puzzle….very homey. Lot’s of talk about recent reading and recommendations to those coming in on what might be a good read for the rainy day. After Ken and I had done our email, bank account checking and blog posting we headed off to the grocery store.

We picked up items we’d need for Thursday’s tailgating and went back to the RV.

We were really glad we’d waited for a cement site considering that with all the rain we seemed to now being sitting in the middle of lots and lots of standing water everywhere.

The deer in the area didn’t seem deterred by the rain. In fact, we have never seen so many deer in one campground. They also showed little to no fear of humans. They didn’t like the dogs though and would warn each other with that strange honking sound they make whenever Ken took the dogs for a walk. They were loud enough that I could even hear them calling out their warnings from inside the motorhome. Walking the dogs in the steady rain was tough enough for Ken, but Ditka and Sox were totally unruly when they so wanted to run after the deer. Ken was fit to be tied after one after-dark walk when the dogs were going nuts and in every direction while literally surrounded by the deer.

On Tuesday it really never stopped raining all day. We made some comfort food, chicken and rice soup, read, watched public TV, and watched some videos we’d had along but never gotten to.

It’s Wednesday now and with a break in the clouds Ken got up early and took a long walk with the dogs down by the lake. We’ve decided to head back in to Sullivan for lunch, check emails, post this blog and then come back to make the Italian Sausage soup for tomorrow’s tailgating.

Jenni and Kyle are in a mess as the basement of her apartment has flooded and they have been trying for 48 hours to contact the landlord with no response. Because that is where the furnace and hot water heater are, she really can’t stay there until the water is out of the basement. I’m worried if it isn’t resolved in the next few days, the next problem will be mold. I think Jenni already lost some of her special Christmas decorations that were stored down there so I really feel for them and am really frustrated with this ‘absentee landlord’ right now. Like they say, you never quit worrying about your kids, the worries are just different.

Jenni’s problem did prompt us to call nephew, John, to drop by our homestead and check to be sure our sump pump was keeping up…one more of the worries of having a house when on the road.

Ok, so its off to Sullivan again.

Hopefully by the weekend I’ll be posting an update about our win against Tennessee State and official status as OVC Champions!!

Hugs, C


Hembree said...

I hope TSU brings their band...they are fantastic!!!

Anonymous said...

I am trying to decide between the Kindle and the Nook from Barnes and Nobel. Will be anxious to hear how your reception is in "no service" areas. - And how you really like "reading" with it.