Around the World... One Journey at a Time. Around the World... One Journey at a Time.

Across the U.S.: Day 44

by Kathy 2. September 2009 12:46

<< Day 43: New River Gorge to Twin Knobs Recreation Area  | Day 45: Rend Lake to St. Louis, Missouri >>

Twin Knobs Recreation Area to Rend Lake, Illinois


Genevieve and I were talking this morning about all of the activities that we had done so far on this journey. I asked her if she remembered them all or if the events were scrambled together. She said that she remembered some things better than others, adding that “your mind is like a big book, and some of the pages have bookmarks on them.”

Our campground was surrounded by dense forest, which offered a sense of privacy and peaceful seclusion.

The area is called “Twin Knobs” because of the two large hills protruding on the edge of the lake. After breakfast, we set off on a hike to the observation point on top of the tallest hill. The trail was about 2 ¼ miles round trip.

Some of the trees had large birdhouses.

There were a few benches along the way.

We had fun searching for unusual plants and different kinds of insects. The kids were fascinated by this big yellow mushroom, which had ants crawling around the stem.

We found a “short cut” half way up the hill.

The climb over the roots was steep and a bit slippery. We all scrambled up fairly easily. Ben, who was bringing up the rear, did not have to catch any tumbling bodies.

Sebastian and Genevieve at the top.

I had expected to find a glorious hill-top view of the surrounding lake. However, the trees blocked all but some tiny snippets of water that we could see through the branches.

On the way back down the trail, we discovered some soft furry moss.

We thought that there might be an animal living in this tree hole.

We got close enough to take a photo, which didn’t show any eyeballs peering back at us; however, we didn’t dare stick our heads all the way in to peek up and down.

Another possible animal home.

Hiking back:

After lunch, we packed up the RV and headed west for our next stopping point—Rend Lake in the middle of southern Illinois. Due to our late start, we decided to take the freeway, which would still involve 5 hours of driving. We wanted to arrive early enough to go for a bicycle ride along the miles of trails near the lake.

The 4-lane freeway was smooth, and we rolled along over hills wrapped in dense green foliage and trees.

We passed a long convoy of military vehicles that stretched out as far as we could see.

Ever since our Hummer adventure in Moab, Genevieve has been talking about getting a “real” Hummer (the wide, original version) when she gets older. She was excited to see a few Hummers mixed in with the trucks.

This mural reminded us that Kentucky is known for its beautiful horses and the sport of horse racing.

We enjoyed the picturesque scenery.

Louisville, Kentucky is located along one side of Ohio River, which forms the border between Kentucky and Indiana. How many bridges does it take to connect Louisville with the south-eastern edge of Indiana? Apparently, a lot.

We couldn’t figure out if this railway bridge was being constructed or torn down.

The Belle of Louisville was awaiting her passengers.

On the east side of Louisville, we crossed over another bridge into Indiana.

Welcome to Indiana!

We needed to stop for gasoline and to restock our food supplies. We keep a copy of the reference book “The Next Exit” in the RV; it provides a detailed listing of services and stores off of each exit along major highways throughout the United States. We looked at the upcoming exits near Corydon, Indiana, and selected an exit with a gas station and supermarket. That was easy!

Through southern Indiana, we drove over more rolling green hills with trees on both sides. We passed one farm after another.

This house had probably seen a lot, although now its eyes were hollow.

Some buses were being stored on a hill.

We passed through the Hoosier National Forest. “Do you know what a Hoosier is?” I asked Ben. He first said a basketball player for the University of Indiana. Then he peered at me sideways and said, “Hoosier daddy?”

I love that man—he adds lightness and laughter to my life!

The surrounding land started flattening out, with lots of corn fields.

We crossed the Wabash River, with its surprise-ending railroad tracks.

Rain speckled our windshield. Welcome to Illinois!

During the first ½ mile across the border, we passed by a number of oil pumps, including one immersed in a corn field.

The land flattened out completely.

The gentle splashes of rain gradually turned to a steady downpour.

Our speed limit in the motorhome was expressly limited to 55 miles per hour, while cars could travel 65.

We shared a laugh at the name of this advertised business: “Curl Up N Dye.”

We seemed to be in the “land of the cell towers”—they were everywhere.

We didn’t have reservations tonight but hoped to find a spot at the Wayne Fiztgerrell State Park campground next to Rend Lake. After meandering through backroads, wondering if we were lost, we finally arrived around 7:30 p.m. The campgrounds were simply lovely—large and flat, with lots of trees. We found a great spot with a view of the lake.

Our neighbors were camped in this converted “log cabin” bus.

The steady rain meant no bikes or BBQ tonight. We put out the awning and created a dry space outside for Sebastian to play with his cars.

After dinner, we played a board game together as a family and then dropped off to sleep. We had crossed the time zone line in western Kentucky and could sleep in an extra hour in the morning. Ahh, the simple joys in life.


<< Day 43: New River Gorge to Twin Knobs Recreation Area  | Day 45: Rend Lake to St. Louis, Missouri >>

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Places We’ve Been, w/Quick Links

   Bumthang Valley
   Gom Kora
   Paro Valley
   Punakha Dzong
   Sangdrup Jongkhar
   Wangdi Phrodrang

   Janko Marca
   La Paz
   Laguna Colorada
   Laguna Verde
   Salar de Coipasa
   Salar de Uyuni
   San Pablo
   Santa Rosa
   Sud Lipez
   World’s Most Dangerous Road

   Banff National Park
   Battle Hill Nat'l Hist. Site
   Boya Lake Prov. Park, BC
   Burns Lake Bike Park
   Canyon Sainte-Anne
   Dawson Creek
   Eastern Townships
   Fort Nelson
   Jasper National Park
   Kluane Lake, YK
   'Ksan Historical Village
   Lake Louise
   Liard Hot Springs
   Niagara Falls
   Quebec City
   Thousand Islands
   Vancouver Island
   Watson Lake

   Forbidden City
   Great Wall at Mutianyu
   Hong Kong
   Summer Palace
   Terracotta Warriors
   Tiananmen Square
   Yungang Caves

Costa Rica
   Arenal Volcano
   Finca Corsicana
   Hanging Bridges
   Manuel Antonio
   Poas Volcano
   Proyecto Asis
   Sky Trek Zip Lining
   Venado Caves


   Amazon Rainforest
   Chaquiñan Bicycle Trail
   La Mitad del Mundo
   Napo Wildlife Center
   Papallacta Hot Springs
   Proyecto DCR
   Yasuní National Park


   Baja California
   Frida Kahlo Museum
   Hierve el Agua
   Marietas Islands
   Mexico City
   Monte Alban
   Oaxaca City
   Puerto Angel
   Puerto Escondido
   Puerto Vallarta
   San Agustin
   San Martin Tilcajete
   Santa Fe de la Laguna
   Santa María el Tule
   Studio of Jacobo Angeles
   Teotitlán del Valle

   Dead Vlei
   Elondo Village
   Etosha Nat'l Park
   Hippo Pools Camp
   Hoba Meteorite
   Khowarib Camp
   Moose McGregor's Bakery
   Mowani Camp
   Ngepi Camp
   Nkasa Lupala
   n'Kwzi Camp
   River Dance Lodge
   Seisriem Camp
   Treesleeper Camp

   Cañón del Pato
   Cerro de Pasco
   La Oroya
   Machu Picchu
   Nuevo Jaén
   Tingo Maria
   Yungay Memorial


South Africa

   Rock of Gibraltar
   Santillana del Mar

United States National Parks
   Arches National Park, UT
   Badlands National Park, SD
   Bandelier National Monument, NM
   Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
   Cahokia Mounds (UNESCO site), IL
   Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
   Canyon de Chelly Nat'l Monument, AZ
   Cape Hatteras National Shoreline, NC
   Capitol Reef National Park, UT
   Civil Rights Memorial, AL
   Death Valley National Park, CA
   Denali National Park, AK
   Devil’s Tower National Monument, WY
   El Morro National Monument, NM
   Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.
   Glacier National Park, MT
   Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
   Grand Tetons National Park, WY
   Great Basin National Park, NV
   Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI
   Joshua Tree National Park, CA
   Kaloko-Honokohau Nat'l Hist. Park, HI
   Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, NM
   King's Canyon National Park, CA
   Martin Luther King Jr. Nat'l Hist. Site, GA
   Mesa Verde National Park, CO
   Montezuma's Castle Nat'l Monument, AZ
   Monticello, VA
   Mount Rushmore National Memorial, SD
   Mt. Rainier National Park, WA
   Olympic National Park, WA
   Petrified Wood National Park, AZ
   Pinnacles National Monument, CA
   Pu'uhonua o Honaunau Nat'l Hist Pk, HI
   Pu'ukohola Heiau Nat'l Historic Site, HI
   San Antonio Missions Nat'l Hist. Park, TX
   Tuzigoot National Monument, AZ
   Walnut Canyon National Monument, AZ
   Washington Monument
   White Sands National Monument, NM
   Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, AK
   Wright Brothers National Memorial in NC
   Yellowstone National Park, WY
   Yosemite National Park, CA

United States, Cities and Places
   The Alamo, TX
   Alaska Wildlife Conservation Cntr.
   Alpine Loop in CO
   Anchorage, AK
   Antares Junction, AZ
   Arctic Circle, AK
   Barrel Oak Winery in VA
   Biloxi, MS
   Bottle Tree Farm in CA
   Calico Ghost Town, CA
   Canfield Mountain Trail System, ID
   Cape St. Vincent, NY
   Carson City, NV
   Carter Caves State Park in KY
   Chappie-Shasta OHV Area, CA
   Child's Glacier, AK
   Circle B Chuckwagon Show in SD
   City Museum in MO
   Cody, WY
   Corn Palace in SD
   Crazy Horse Memorial in SD
   Custer State Park, SD
   Dalton Highway, AK
   Dinosaur Tracks in AZ
   Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC
   Dry Falls (Sun Lakes-Dry Falls), WA
   Fairbanks, AK
   Front Royal, VA
   Gallup, NM
   Goffs, CA
   Grand Canyon Caves, AZ
   Grand Canyon Skywalk, AZ
   Grave Digger Monster Truck in NC
   Great Salt Lake, UT
   Hackberry General Store in AZ
   Hannibal, MO
   Hatteras Island, NC
   Hawaii (Big Island)
   Hickison Petroglyphs, NV
   Holbrook, AZ
   Hole in the Rock, UT
   Homer, AK
   Honey Island Swamp Tour in LA
   Hoover Dam, NV
   Hyder, AK
   Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Co. in AZ
   John’s Peak OHV Area, OR
   Kailua-Kona, HI
   Keepers of the Wild Nature Park in AZ
   Kennecott, AK
   Kennecott Copper Mine in UT
   Kingman, AZ
   Lake Havasu, AZ
   Lake Tahoe, NV
   Las Vegas, NV (winter 2010)
   Little Brown Church in IA
   London Bridge in AZ
   Loneliest Road in America, Hwy. 50, NV
   Los Angeles, CA
   Lost Colony Show on Roanoke Isl., NC
   Lowe’s Speedway in NC
   Mardi Gras World in LA
   Mark Twain Museum in MO
   Meteor Crater, AZ
   Million Dollar Highway, CO
   Minnesota Zoo
   Mitchell, SD
   Moab, UT
   Moab, UT (dirt biking)
   Montgomery, AL
   Montpelier, ID
   Navajo Nation, AZ
   Needles, CA
   Nevada Beach, NV
   Newberry Springs, CA
   New River Gorge, WV
   New Orleans, LA
   Niagara Falls 
   North Pole, AK
   Oatman, AZ
   Old Faithful Geyser in WY
   Omak Stampede, WA
   Painted Desert, AZ
   Park City, UT (summer)
   Plymouth, NC
   Portage Valley, AK
   Portland, OR
   Prospect OHV Trail System, OR
   Resaca, GA
   Riverside State Park, WA
   Rock City in TN
   Rosa Parks Library and Museum in AL
   Roswell, NM
   Russian River, AK
   Salt Lake City, UT
   San Antonio, TX
   San Diego, CA
   San Juan Islands, WA
   San Francisco, CA
   Santa Catalina Island, CA
   Seattle, WA
   Sedona, AZ
   Shoe Tree in CA
   Shoe Tree in NV
   Silverton, CO
   Sonora, TX
   St. Louis, MO
   St. Paul, MN
   Talkeetna, AK
   Telluride, CO
   Route 66
   Twin Knobs Recreation Area in KY
   Virginia Beach, VA
   Washington D.C.
   Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park in IL
   Williamsburg, VA
   Winom Frazier OHV Area, OR
   Winslow, AZ
   Zion National Park, UT

Planning Our Adventures

For us, each journey begins with the initial heart pangs to venture to a certain part of the world. Then the ideas start coming together . . . ahh, the possibilities . . . and the dream evolves gradually into an actual plan. But, oh, the joy of the dream!  Click here to learn more about how we plan and prepare for our journeys.

Where Are We Now?

Click here to discover where we are now, as well as our uncoming travel plans.

Words for the Heart

“. . . and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anais Nin