Friday, Sept. 23rd
Heavy clouds covered the sky for most of my drive down I-55.
I admire this old barn and windmill every time we travel down I-55. Wayne and Mary came over to Mom's this evening to watch the St. Louis Cardinals game and visit. Lucky for me, they came over every evening while I was there!
Saturday, Sept. 24th
A shopping adventure is planned for today, but first it was picture time. This is Mom's yard; the view of the field and wildlife are perfect. She especially enjoys sitting outside watching white fluffy clouds on a bright blue sky like these.
Mom retired from WalMart years ago but still likes to visit various stores. She was the Shoe Dept. Manager at the local store. Today we drove 35 miles to shop at one of several stores in Central Illinois where she set up the shoe department when the store was built.
Coming back we crossed Macoupin Creek here, south of Beaver Dam State Park.
Sunday, Sept. 25th
Some of Mom's favorite things to do: drive country roads, spend time at the river, reminisce with family, and eat fried catfish. When you can put all those together in one day...well, that's Adventure Heaven to her. Our cousin, Bonnie, recently moved into an apartment just down the hall from Mom and we asked her to join us for today's adventure.
This stretch of highway lies west of Carrollton on the way to Eldred and is a family favorite. Driving through here on our way to and from our grandparent's cabin on the river was nothing less than magical.
We also got to cross the Illinois River on the ferry at Kampsville going to and from the cabin. It's still a fantastic experience for me...and for Mom.
This shot of the Illinois River was taken looking north on the ferry.
Leaving the ferry we traveled west toward the Mississippi River. When the road came to a T we turned north and drove through Mozier. Past the town, I saw a sign for Rip Rap Road. We had no idea what to expect, which is the number one ingredient for an adventure...right?
We saw lots of egrets in the marshes along both sides of the narrow dirt road.
More than once, I heard suggestions that "maybe we should turn around" and "perhaps we've gone far enough"...teehee!
Of course I continued on...thankfully. Just look at where the road ended...on the banks of the Mississippi River. Here are Mom and Bonnie. Have you noticed what a perfect, clear fall day we had?
See the island in the far center of this photo? The man who owns it happened to pull up in his boat and we visited with him for a bit. Mom told him about her nights camping on an island somewhere in the area with her family when she was a kid. Small world...he lives in our hometown!
After soaking in a good measure of sun and river, we drove back to the highway. Along the road that passes through the Rip Rap Landing Wildlife Refuge going out, we saw these turtles lined up on a log and these egrets on the other side of Rip Rap Road.
Back on the highway, we drove south to the cabin that my grandparents and their friends, with help from family, built in 1954-55. Subsequent owners have closed in the screened porch on the river side of the cabin. I loved coming here and have many favorite memories of good times with our family.
The cabin sits just north of the river town, Hamburg. Here is a view of the Mississippi River where a creek enters it.
This is the church in Hamburg we kids attended when we were there for the weekend. A short distance from the front of the church, Mom and Aunt Audrey would wade in the clear waters of the rocky creek while they waited for us...tsk tsk tsk!
South out of Hamburg, we watched a young deer cross the road in front of us, bought peaches at a roadside honor stand, and hoped I could pick the right country road...I did. We had dinner (or lunch, depending on where you're from) at Mom's favorite river restaurant, the Riverdock in Hardin. This bridge crosses the Illinois River near the restaurant.
After stopping at a roadside market across the river to buy pecans, we drove back through the country to Eldred. As we got into town, Mom mentioned a cave that she and her dad explored there when she was a kid. So, off we went and easily found it. We weren't comfortable with her trying to walk back into it but did get these photos. Sadly, I did have to spend quite a bit of time Photoshopping all the graffiti out of these photos...grrr! I don't often do that, as you know, but wanted her great memories preserved in the photos from this day.
Turning east out of Eldred, we again drove through this magical stretch of highway. The three of us will long remember the adventures of this day!
Monday, Sept. 26th
Today's adventure takes us to Springfield where Mom and I took her C-PAP machine in for service. This is the Old State Capitol that sits in the center of downtown Springfield. You can read more about this historic building online.
It has taken some time for her to adjust but now Mom is pretty comfortable with me driving while I take photos...teehee! Here is the Illinois State Capitol. I thought that with all the other state capitol buildings I've posted, it was time to show you my own.
Of course we visited a Springfield WalMart while we were in town and then had lunch at another of Mom's long time favorite restaurants. This meal was a disappointment though.
As we left Springfield, I decided to take a brief detour. This is the entrance to the first college I attended. That was in 1980 and I was 31 years old...quite the late bloomer! The drive onto this campus is as lovely as I remembered.
I've always admired this barn just north of Carlinville on Rte 4 and loved seeing the rich golden fall color of the bean fields this time of year.
Tuesday morning I took Mom to the Driver's License Facility to get a new State ID and ran a couple more errands before driving home that afternoon. She hasn't called...I wonder if Mom is still resting up after all our adventures...haha!
Lovin' Life ~~ And Sharing Adventures With Mom