A Travellerspoint blog


August 22, 2020

Coon Fork Lake, WI to Chain O Lakes, IL

View Murphy2 on LifeWithMurphy's travel map.

Intense storms throughout the night. I remember one bolt lit up the camper like it was daytime. The dogs made it all night without a peep. Their morning poops were a little irregular; Sera had a tiny one, but we only fed her a little rice in the evening. Bodie had 2 poops, and they were gray. Somewhat different, but not terrifying.


Our campsite was right on Coon Fork Lake so we took the Pygmy off the trailer and both Eric and I took turns touring around the lake. As it was still raining, the lake was quiet and still. There is something deeply peaceful and relaxing about being out on the water with only birds as company. I got to see a Bald Eagle and a Heron? (Big and sort of blue) The price for such an enjoyable interlude was about a pint of blood sucked out by the murderous mosquitoes when we had to load the kayaks. After that sacrifice, we just threw everything wet in the van and took off. We had to detour a few times as US12 east had some serious problems. On one of the detours, I checked the tandem and something seemed WRONG. Turns out, one of our J brackets broke. We tried to get back on US12 before the end of the detour, but no luck so we ended up in Neillsville and picked up some ratchet straps to fix the tandem situation. There we sat in the parking lot of Advanced Auto with kayak trailer parts all over. We were finally to get onto 94 and our next stop is Chain O Lakes in Illinois. The dogs are pretty quiet as they received light breakfasts with rice. The rest of the afternoon was spent on interstates until we got close to Illinois.
Pulled into Chain O Lakes and found Honeysuckle loop to be sites stacked up on each other to take advantage of the view of Turner Lake. We actually parked the Sprinter sideways and gave ourselves complete privacy and a nice view of the lake. We walked around and determined that the non water sites were much bigger and more private, but the view was quite soothing from our site. Always find the best qualities of the site you chose or you will go nuts. Both of us tired so we are struggling to stay awake and watch a movie inside as the bugs rule the night and my ankles are wall to wall bug bites from our stolen kayak moments this morning.

Posted by LifeWithMurphy 07:12 Archived in USA Comments (0)

August 23, 2020

Chain O Lakes, IL to Pokagon, IN

While we made the best of a congested site area that had lake access, we both longed for a bit of privacy and a lake that wasn't choked with weeds. When morning rolled around, we headed for Chicago and hoped that traffic would be manageable. It was pretty easy as it was 9:00 on a Sunday and I enjoyed seeing all the street exits that I remembered from my V.I. Warshawski detective novels.

We decided to investigate Indiana Dunes National Park so we slide around the south side of Chicago into Gary Indiana. Not a very prosperous place from the looks of it. We hit the park as it was really starting to fill up and parked at the West Beach Park and took the Dune Succession Hike. The trail was very well maintained and the views were pretty interesting, especially seeing the city of Chicago across the water. The park was created when the steel industry was trying to place a large plant on 1200 acres on the banks of Lake Michigan. They wanted a port built and would trade land (national park) for a federally funded port. And thus, Indiana Dunes NP was created. Unfortunately, the hike ended on a very crowded beach. We took deep breaths, put on our masks and hustled through the beach goers. We started out on the next Dune Succession Hike, but the sand was too hot for the dogs, and we were pretty warm as well, so back to the van. We drove to the Visitor Center and picked up a Jr. Ranger program and headed out to Pokagon State Park in Indiana.

The van needed DEF so we stopped in a nearby town and decided to pick up some pipe insulation for the tandem to rest on. I finally got to stop by a Menards. It was like a Lowes and Tractor Supply all in one. I didn't have a whole lot of positive expectations regarding our site after last night, but our site was on a cul de sac with steps down to the James Upper Basin. It was still pretty warm so we rolled out the awning and went for a beach hike with the dogs. The lake bottom was a little muddy, but the dogs (and ourselves) enjoyed the cool breezes and water. What is it about water that speaks to my soul. Was I a fish in a past Life? The lake was pretty busy on one of the final days of summer, but that was expected. However, there was one boater that definitely had hearing issues, if not now...2 days from now. The lake finally got silent around dusk and the sunset took a slight edge off of the heat. Tomorrow we head home...yippee! Sometimes the best part of a vacation is realizing that home is a pretty spectacular place with some very special people.


Posted by LifeWithMurphy 07:13 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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