From Thousand Trails Indian Lakes in Batesville, IN we moved a couple of hundred miles north to Monticello, IN to an ROD park: White Oaks. The park is located on Lake Freeman, a large lake that attracts many vacationing Indianians. Our site was up a steep hill that leveled out to a large grassy area with around 40 sites. Our site was nice (50 amp., full hookup), but a bit muddy … it has rained 3-4 days out of every seven since we left Branson, MO at Christmas … now that it is June we are really ready for some sustained sunshine.
There are quite a few nice little places to eat in the area including The Sportsman Inn just outside of Monticello (picture below). Lynda had the Italian sub (delicious!) and I had the fish and chips. The atmosphere was excellent with our table overlooking the lake where boaters and jet skis frolicked (picture of historic building below). In Monticello itself is Harvest Time Restaurant. It is open for all three meals and features an inexpensive menu with great food (for lunch Lynda had a cheeseburger and I had the Rueben). A short 20 miles away is the city of Lafayette, IN (home of Purdue University). If you are in town try Hu Hot Mongolian Grill. It is an all you can eat Mongolian Barbeque with excellent fresh food cooked in front of you on a Mongolian grill (yum).
|The Sportsman Restaurant|
One of our favorite places in the area was the small town of Delphi, IN. The Stonehouse in Delphi (picture below) is a restaurant located in an historic downtown building. Lynda had the ultimate grilled cheese and I enjoyed a double cheeseburger. All of their breads and buns are homemade and delicious. We also tried a piece of sugar cream pie (we were told it was the state pie of Indiana) … sorry Indiana … it wasn’t one of our favorites. One of the major attractions in Delphi is a length of the Wabash-Erie Canal. Once the Erie canal reached Lake Erie from the Hudson River in New York it was extended across Indiana to the Mississippi river where goods could go to New Orleans, thus completing a huge circuit for the movement of crops, goods, furs, and other commodities. We took a short trip on the small stretch of the canal that has been restored and listened to the fascinating history of the region. Following our boat trip, “Mr. Reed Case” who was the superintendent on the canal project beginning in 1838, greeted us at the dock. He built a wonderful house in 1843 that is now available for tours led by the “Reed Case” actor. Here are a few pictures of our canal experience.
|Restored Canal Boat|
|Warehouse as seen from the canal|
|The boat barely fits below this bridge|
|Warehouse now used as the canal boat boathouse|
|kiln for making lime|
|Typical bridge over the canal|
|"Mr. Reed Case"|
|The Reed Case House|
|Log cabin from the area|
|Log cabin from the area|
From Monticello, Indiana we traveled 200 miles to Sublette, Illinois and stayed at a Coast to Coast affiliated park: Woodhaven Lakes. Woodhaven Lakes is not really a campground for travelers. It is the largest member owned camping site in the United States with 6100 leased or owned sites, but only 12 sites available for transient C2C members. The site we were in was a curved pull-through with water and electric on one side of the coach and sewer on the other … not ideal in any way! Apparently the park is a popular getaway for Chicago folk to enjoy weekends in the wilderness with several lakes, swimming pools and a golf course on the property. However, it wasn’t ideal for us. Nevertheless, Sublette had two really good restaurants. La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant features both Mexican and American dishes (I had Fajitas while Lynda had a fried chicken special … both were really good at a reasonable price). The other restaurant in town is Route 52 Roadhouse Pizzeria and Pub. It has excellent pizza starting at 3 p.m. We ordered the garbage can pizza and it weighed around five pounds, however also highly recommended by the locals was the spaghetti pizza. There is also an excellent meat market in town (Country Village Meat Market) with excellent sausages, homemade jerky, and even smoked dog bones (our dog Cody really enjoyed his!). Here is a picture of one of the lakes in the park.
|A deer wandered by our campsite|
Moving from Sublette we went up the Mississippi River to Bagley Wisconsin and the Yogi Bear Park located just out of town. Just three days before we arrived, the park was struck by a tornado (picture below of some of the damage) and it was still very rainy during our short stay, so we hunkered down and stayed in the park. This is not really our type of park. However, if we still had children at home it would be high on our list. It has a water slide; playground with a huge bouncy mat; child sized pedal cars; and lots of organized activities for kids. We ate a couple of times at the park restaurant (no great shakes, but great for kids) and enjoyed watching the kids play oblivious to the rain, wind, and weather.
From Bagley, Wisconsin our next stop was Spring Grove, Minnesota where we stayed at the ROD park: Hidden Grove. There is a two and a half mile stretch of dirt road to get into the park that coated the coach and jeep in a nice layer of dirt. That being said, the road is smoother than many of Minnesota’s paved roads and is easy enough to navigate when dry. We only stayed in Spring Grove one night and ate at Docs Blue Moose. The food was good and the service was friendly. The place is popular with the locals and was crowded even though the road outside was under construction and patrons had to walk a couple of blocks to get there. The town is really cute with great art pieces on display (see pics below). We planned on staying a bit longer, but weather again threatened and we thought it best to leave before rain made the dirt road slick.
|The Viking Bronze in downtown park shows the town's heritage|
|Gazebo in the Park|
|Civc Building with Art Statues ... see detail below|
From Minnesota we arrived in Forest City, Iowa home of Winnebago Industries. Winnebago has updated their electric service for coaches being serviced to 50 amp., which was a welcomed addition. However, they still offer no water or sewer. While here it’s up every morning at 6 a.m. to prepare the coach to travel and then over to the Customer Service Center to meet with the assigned technician. The coach is returned between 3 and 3:30 p.m. each day. To take a shower and wash dishes we needed to dump our grey water every three days so this adds to the stress of the trip. While there they repaired a couple of minor leaks that became major (turns out one of the seals on the slides had been installed backwards), repaired the front door (it had been caught in the wind and squeaked terribly), the electrical panel door (broke in the cold temperatures in Branson over Christmas last year), resealed a leaky back window, resealed all of our outside seals, repaired one of the slide locks which prevented the slide from coming out, and did the 30,000 mile maintenance on the engine (oil change, etc.). So with a good feeling about the livability of our coach and a lighter wallet we are off again.
Until next time, keep doing what you love!