We called our new boss, Bret, Monday, (5/13) to see how the Mississippi River situation was by our soon to be home. Here's a link to where we will eventually be working - http://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/MississippiRiverProject/Recreation/PleasantCreek.aspx
The bad news is the river is rising and it doesn't look like we'll be able to go there for a few more weeks. The good news is they are sending us to another Corp of Engineers (COE) Park until we can get in ours and the park we will be waiting at is Blandings Landing just outside of Galena, IL. So, we will be in Illinois and not working - we'll have to find things to do, any suggestions?
On Tuesday night we finally checked out one of the local eating establishments, The Bucksnort Pub. Tuesday nights are their pizza special nights- any size and any toppings for $12.99. Such a good deal and the pizza was delicious. We even had dessert; fried bread pudding with ice cream for me and a dish of ice cream for Marty - YUM!
Omaha and the Missouri River played a major role in the westward expansion of the U.S. There are numerous sculptures in the downtown area depicting this. One park has life-size sculptures of three covered wagons along with the people and animals that would have ridden or walked along side them. On another block there were bronze sculptures of buffalo including one that was encased into the corner of the building - the front end and back end exposed.
We enjoyed our walk in downtown Omaha and had some fun clowning around.
|A "mime" is a terrible thing to waste|
|Pretty in Pink|
|Outstanding in Orange|
|Marty's new friend - Chef Boyardee|
We left Arrowhead Park on Thursday (5/15) and headed west to Hanover, IL. We drove a little over 300 miles and it started raining for about the last 100. We crossed the Mississippi River and entered Illinois; Hanover is about 8 miles south of Galena which makes it nice for day trips into Southwestern Wisconsin, Northeastern Iowa and, of course, Illinois.
We reached the campground around 3:30 and discovered that we will be parked on grass. We walked around the campsites to determine which one would be best for us. We chose #12 and backed into a lovely site framed by trees overlooking the Mississippi River. We unhitched the rig and got all set up. Unfortunately we discovered that we couldn't get our door to close because we weren't level so we had to pack everything up and move over to site #8. We are now level and still have a beautiful view of the river. This was all done in a steady drizzle but it's the worst weather we've dealt with while setting up so we really can't complain. It was cold and drizzly for the rest of the evening so we just settled in and read and watched television.
|The only spot that's dry is our site|
|Our future home - bring your own boat!|
|Mississippi Palisades State Park in Savannah, IL|
|Looking out over the Mississippi River|
|Photo taken in the infrared spectrum|
Here's the story of the Crystal Cave - in 1868 lead miners drilled 40' into the ground looking for lead. They didn't find much lead but they did discover a natural cave. In 1932, Bernard Markus (not Merkes - darn!), one of the original lead miners opened it to the public naming it Crystal Lake Cave. The cave maintains a constant temperature of 51 degrees which would make it a nice place to spend a hot July afternoon. We took the 45 minute tour and Marty took lots of pictures of the photogenic stalacites and stalagmites. It was a pretty cool cave with some tight passageways, low ceilings, and little brown bats hanging from the ceiling (luckily not in the low ceiling part!)
|Brown Bat just hanging around|
|Now entering the Bat Cave aka the Crystal Cave|
STALACTITES AND STALAGMITES
Stalactites grow from the ceiling and hang down. Stalagmites are the lower formations.
That's it for this week, it's nice to be back in Illinois,