Sunday, October 9, 2016


Destination: Shawnee National Forest, Illinois
Last week was my birthday (big 3-0) and James decorated the whole RV with streamers, pom poms, and balloons. He also got me a delicious carrot cake, yum! It was a simple but very nice birthday in the woods.

Frankie keeping me company in the office.
This stop took us to the Shawnee Nation Forest in souther Illinois. We came in with no expectations, only knowing that we had found a rare and coveted campground with full hookups.

As a caveat, we are completely sick of RV parks at this point. They just aren't good. We spent most of the summer in RV parks since it was the busy tourist season and most campgrounds were fully booked for weeks or months into the future. If you know where you are going to be at a certain time it's great to be able to make reservations, but we didn't and couldn't. So we spent the summer crammed into parks with other rv-ers, the ever-present smell of sewer chemicals wafting in the air, no hiking trails, no real nature to speak of. Many times these parks are on the side of a busy highway. In other words, state and national park campgrounds are WAY better. The spaces are huge, you are on the water most of the time, hiking is available without first having to drive somewhere, and they have a much more festive vibe. People love to hang lights and decorations in campgrounds (lots and lots of lights). It's like Christmas all year round. For some reason absolutely no-one hangs up lights in RV parks.

Garden of the Gods, one of the Shawnee highlights. 
Our campground these last two weeks was a nice reprieve. Shawnee Forest is huge! It spans most of the souther tip of Illinois, with tons of hiking trails. We visited a lot of them, but we'd have to stay in the area for months to see everything, it's that big.

James finally got out his fishing poles again this week after months without fishing. We were staying right on a lake, so he was able to get out there are a lot and ended up catching a few bass.

It was mushroom mania this week!
Today we are headed back to southern Kentucky where we've found yet another full hookup state park! Now that it's not summer we have our pick of parks, which is great. We really enjoyed Kentucky last year, so looking forward to going back as we head into the "official" final few weeks of our trip.


RV of the Week:

An old-school Bluebird Wanderlodge, yes made by the bus company.