Moving Day. We towed North thankful that the big weather was now East of our course. The first few miles were along the Natchez Trace Parkway. We have sampled these quiet miles often; we don't stop at the many historical markers as often now as we once did, but, like the Blue Ridge, we swell with a citizen's pride that these places are so well preserved.
Our goal was near the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio; family time was planned and a bit of exploring in the places Al's parents ran amok in their youth.
Ferne Clyffe could become a favorite just for the archaic spelling, but we love it for the rock formations, well planned trail system and quiet campground, perched on the third highest point along the Shawnee Uplift.
For more spectacular images of Southern Illinois in rare light, go here and be amazed. http://www.shawneeexplorer.com/
Giant City State Park (just north of here) also celebrates the twisted rock formations in this corner of Illinois bypassed by the glaciers. It features a spectacular lodge, hand built with CCC love and the oversight of a fresh-out-of-school engineer named Meyer, but we prefer the campground at Ferne Clyffe.
|Giant City State Park lodge|
|FRACTURED ROCK ALONG THE TUNNEL HILL BIKE TRAIL|
Another preserved treasure is the Tunnel Hill Bike Trail with its midpoint in the little town of Vienna. North is the tunnel, South is the Cache Creek Wetlands Center. Tough choice, but we took the up grade to the Tunnel so we could enjoy the effortless coast back to town and warm dinner.
And yet another totally well preserved national treasure -- our cousin Garnet Mae. This day sharing stories and home-made pie was the sunniest of this trip and by far the happiest. Our young cousin Patsy and her free range PALs were non-stop hilarious and Garnet, at way past 80, kept up with her usual understated charm. Everyone needs a day around a farm kitchen table...everyone should have a friend like Garnet.