Illinois, Land of Lincoln, state of some of my earliest visits as a child to relatives in Quincy and Plainville, but it was probably 1992 before Bud and I made our first trip there together.
After some shopping and sight seeing in Galena including U.S. Grant's home, we went in search of a place to pitch our tent.
And found the Wooded Wonderland on Devil's Ladder Road.
If I had a means of time travel, this is one time and one place I would go back to.
Just above our campsite I found a spring fed pool of water. I've always been enamored of springs.
The mining of lead in the areas near Dubuque and Galena began in the early 1700's.
When I took this photo it was with the certainty that it was an old lead mine.
The dusty road led down to a corral of horses. Were they kept for trail rides? If so, what a gorgeous area to ride in.
I tried making friends with this little beauty and came very close until she realized I didn't really have a treat in my hand.
Other Illinois trips have included Nauvoo, Illinois, twice. The first time to visit the restored Historic Mormon Village as well as the Icarian Museum*; the second to see the rebuilt Mormon Temple. (* The Icarians moved into Nauvoo and took over many of the homes and buildings abandoned by the Mormons when they left for Salt Lake City. Bud's ancestry includes the Icarians.)
Grand Detour, named for an odd turn in the Rock River, to visit the home and rebuilt blacksmith shop where John Deere built the first successful steel plow which led to the giant implement company we know today.
And Kickapoo State Park - site of our last tent camping and memorable for lack of sleep. First because of the heat, second because of the all-night noise of someone opening and closing their cooler. I did not know until the next morning when I saw their little paw prints that it was raccoon's raiding our cooler which I had left setting on the picnic table outside our tent. They ate everything except the ketchup and mustard!
On a later trip to Illinois, 2004 or 05, we overnighted at Quincy.
It is now Quincy's Tourist Information Center.
The next day we journeyed on to Cahokia Mounds State Historical Site near Collinsville. It was a place I remembered hearing my grandparents talk about and always wanted to see.
Bud standing in front of the heavy bronze doors in the Center. Each door weighs about 800 pounds. The bas-relief panels depict birds in flight over Monks Mound.
If you are planning a trip to the St. Louis area, you might want to include Cahokia Mounds in your itinerary.
Illinois, Land of Lincoln and in all my times in this state, I have yet to visit Springfield. I would still like to go there - to see Lincoln's Home and Presidential Library as well as other historical buildings in that area, but most especially to see ....