Saturday, May 17, 2008

Just Trekkn'

Want to know a secret? Southern Illinois is beautiful. Actually, maybe it isn’t a secret at all and we’re just uninformed.

As usual, our departure time was later than planned, yet were able to visit Amy, Dane, Sebastian and Atticus in Columbia, Missouri, by mid afternoon. From there, it is on to the Mighty Mississippi and an overnight spot in historic St. Genevieve.

This morning we continued down the River Road, visiting an historic spot in Illinois that seems it should be in Missouri. Why would that be? Hint, the Mississippi river changed channels. I’m writing using computer battery, so will write more about St Genevieve and the first capitol of Illinois later.

Then on to Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois. As I said earlier, the beauty and diversity of this region was new to us. Our intention was to take part in their Wine Trail. We quickly learned we needed to get familiar with how Illinois does or more likely does not mark their roads. Also, my map reading left something to be desired. Definitely an addition to our travels should be a magnifying glass.

At any rate, the scenery was beautiful and we enjoyed the wine. The winemakers always have interesting stories also. And, they give great suggestions as to what should not be missed in the area.

That is how we found the Pomona Natural Bridge. The setting was so serene and beautiful that we kicked back in the lawn chairs. That meant we will have to make another trip to see the Little Grand Canyon.

One winery had a nice shady picnic table and the owner said he didn’t care, so we fried up a “shore lunch” right there.

Tonight we are at the Garden of the Gods Wilderness (yes, we are still in Illinois). Tomorrow we are on to visit Dan’s aunt and home.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Southern Indiana Scenic Destinations

We are planning a relatively short spring road trip to Louisville, Kentucky then back to eastern Kansas through southern Indiana and Illinois. Even though we travel frequently in Missouri, there are always surprises there too.

Anyone know of interesting destinations in this area? It is looking quite interesting--several National Scenic Byways, wineries, and state parks. Sometimes those unreported locally known sites are the best. We enjoy gardens and historical sites. We tend to shy away from big cities.