Saturday, September 14, 2013

Iowa to the Land of Lincoln

We enjoyed great pasta and good conversation at dinner out with our Iowa cousins Friday evening. What a really great restaurant Monica’s was….if you are ever in Iowa City check it out!  But it was early to bed for us as we’d experienced 3 non-stop days!
Leaving Iowa City we traveled back on I-80 across the Mississippi  and turned south towards Peoria on our way to Springfield IL to experience some Lincoln history.  Beautiful rolling and flat farmland with 99% corn and soybean farms.  An occasional Grain elevator and small town dotted along the way. We traveled both on Interstate and Illinois state roads and did not experience any bad traffic all day.
I always wonder why there are one or two wind turbines out by themselves..we saw two out in the middle of nowhere.  Often when we see a large turbine farm there are a certain % not working. We came upon one large group today and of the maybe 100 only 2 were working..why is this? 
You can see we had beautiful blue skies – and with temperatures in the low 80’s it was a perfect day!
We continued south through Peoria and continued through Lincoln to Springfield.  We stopped at a Steak n’ Shake for lunch. Ben had a shake on his mind.  We had lunch with many teams of soccer and cross country teams – the place was swamped but the service was good considering and the food was great!  We had a burger and shake – Jane had Salty Carmel Pretzel and Ben had Turtle with  Chocolate, Carmel and Nuts…both were excellent.
Carmel Pretzel Shake
About 30 miles further south we found Double J Campground  and set up camp. Very nice location in a cottonwood grove. Lots of shade but with a sunny spot here and there if you wanted the heat.
Our site at Double J Campground
Since this was our first night camping on this trip it was time to discover if we had forgotten anything!  OH MY – the coffee basket and carafe were missing from the coffee pot!  Ben had used them when he camped during his time at Penland Arts & Crafts School a week ago – Jane took them out and put them through the dishwasher – and that is where they remain!  Not good!  Back up the road 6 miles to a Walmart to buy another pot.  Amazing that it although a different brand – is an exact fit!  so now we have a second pot in case this one quits!
We were quite impressed by the Walmart – tan color with white columns – then we noticed a Lincoln quote painted over the doors….I guess this really is Lincoln Country!
Dinner tonight was the plan-overs from last nights pasta dinner – it may have been even better the second night!  Thanks again Nora Lee and Wayne!
Evening came earlier than we had realized. Dark by 7 PM.  A great surprise was this lovely sunset over the nearby lake.
sunset 2
Tomorrow we drive back about 8 miles into Springfield to see all the Lincoln historical sites. Tonight reading and a little TV this campground had internet and cable TV. 

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