Monday, October 14, 2013

10/13/2013: Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park, Whittington IL
Now in Illinois!

Well, as you can see from our location, we are making progress towards home. When we left the Cochranes in Pennsylvania we headed on down the road to the Smiths, Steve, Margaret, and Ellie. They live in Centerville Delaware. Steve and Trox went to kindergarten together! Yish! I don't even remember first grade let alone have friends from that time era but Trox does and Steve and Margaret made us more than welcome. We stayed with them for two nights and had lots of fun. To get to Delaware Trox actually paddled the Brandywine River while I drove Merlin down. When he got to the point where we met he decided to take a bike ride and met a guy, Shawn, who rode with him for awhile and showed him some great single track! Shawn also recommended some other places in the area to ride.
The Brandywine River

Wild flowers along the paddle

A covered Bridge

A turtle

While we stayed with Steve & Margaret we actually drove back up to PA and went to a mushroom farm to buy fresh 'shrooms - YUMMMMM - and went to the Brandywine Battlefield and the museum. At the Battlefield there is a Sycamore Tree that Uncle Jim told us to see. It was living when the constitution was signed. It is a pretty impressive tree.
The commemorative plaque

It is big

It didn't hug back

We left Steve & Margaret's and pushed on towards Virginia to see my sister. On the way we stopped so Trox could ride where Shawn had recommended. It was a great ride and included a skills section which was very challenging. Because of our stopping we managed to hit the beltway in DC at 4:30 - oh joy! Ended up it wasn't too bad because of the government shutdown!
Bryan's field trail at White Clay

Part of the skills section.
I wouldn't want to walk on that
let alone ride a bike!

Glad we were not going the other way!

We stayed at my sister's for two nights and while we were there Trox changed the oil in Merlin and we did some general cleaning and cooking and laundry and etc. From there we headed for Donna's (many of you know her) parents - more Smiths, Norma & Tom in western Virginia. They live just across from the New River and have an amazing view. On the way we drove about 50 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Unfortunately it was foggy about half the time and of course the visitor centers were all closed due to the shutdown! But we still got to see lots of pretty views!
The Blue Ridge Parkway

We only spent one night with Norma & Tom and now are "barn running" heading for home! Last night was spent in Kentucky and tonight we are in Illinois not too far from St. Louis. One of the things we did at my sister's was to pick up some packages of things we had ordered along the road one of which was a new camera to replace the one that Trox uses since it died. So now he is supplying me with bird pictures again!
Along the Kanawha River in West Virginia

Along the Kanawha River in West Virginia

Canada Geese
along the Kanawha River in West Virginia

a bee

The Kanawha River where we stopped for lunch
in Dunbar West Virginia

And now we are spending the night along the Rend Lake in Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park in Illinois. When we arrived we had lots of sunlight left so I paddled and Trox rode! The lake is huge so I stayed in the little coves where the water was calmer.
Sparrows at our breakfast stop

Rend Lake

Crossing the Ohio River

A bird on Trox' ride

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