We left Branson knowing that we would return. We belong to Escapees, an organization whose mission is to provide a total support network for RVers. About Escapees We stayed at their campground in Branson...full-service hook-ups for just $15/night and 7th night free. They are on the fringes of Branson, so we're close to all the action but it's relatively quiet.
We headed east to meet Lora and J. Michael for Labor Day at our favorite Ohio State Park, Caesar Creek between Dayton and Cincinnati.
We needed two places to stop on the way east. One of the joys of full-timing is being on your own schedule. We try to get settled in a spot by mid-week so that we don't compete with the weekend warriors.
Meramec State Park in Missouri was beautiful when we pulled in...sun-dappled sites and nearly empty. This is a popular park for tubing and canoing down the Meramec River. There are caverns nearby, too. Meramec State Park However, rain can be a problem as the campground is located on a flood plain. In fact, the campground is inaccessible when the river floods. Because it's been so dry, that wasn't a problem during our visit, but there is not good drainage when it rains. The water even pooled on our cement pad.
For our second stop, we chose a city park in Paris, IL, rather than Lincoln Trail State Park also in Illinois. However, the on-line description of Lincoln Trail said that it had a heavily wooded shoreline along the lake. So, I ASSUMED that the campground would be heavily wooded as well. Since Paul says his underwear gets moldy if there are too many trees and not enough sun, we thought the city park would be a better choice.
Well, you just can't make assumptions. After traveling 10 miles off the interstate to Paris, we found the city park lovely, but the camp sites on a slope that made it impossible to level the motor home...so we headed back 10 miles to the interstate and then another 5 miles south to Lincoln Trail. WOW...this is what we found.
It's a beautifully maintained park with great places to bike ride and hike. There's plenty of sunshine but shade too with a tree on each campsite. Lincoln Trail State Park Open year round, we'll definitely find our way back here.
We had a great visit with Lora and J. Michael. We took in our two favorite flea markets and took a day trip to Metamora, IN, about 1 1/2 hours away.
Metamora is a quaint, 1838 canal town where you can actually ride in a horse-drawn canal boat on the Whitewater Canal. It's a charming journey back in time with a grist mill and the only wooden aqueduct in the United States. As with all canals, the railroads brought their demise. We've seen canal ruins in the past, but we really enjoyed seeing a working canal. There are additional pictures of this historic town in the Heading East Photo Album. Check out their website at Metamora, IN
Currently, Metamora is running a campaign to elect an honorary mayor. There are two requirements in order to run:
- The Candidate must be breathing.
- The Candidate must not have more than four legs.
The website states: "This Mayor campaign will be ran just like any other democratic election process: You buy your way in!"
This is a creative fund raiser to help build a state-of-the-art interpretive center to promote and preserve the canal era history. Here are some of the candidate posters around town.
For more information about the Honorary Mayoral race in Metamora, click on this link. Metamora Mayoral Race They're having a lot of fun with it.
We're currently in Delaware State Park (a Passport America campground) north of Columbus. It's been a treat to stay put for 9 days...and as it turns out, we're the only ones in our loop of 10 sites. That's one of the unique things about this park...it is made up of 20 loops with about 10-15 sites per loop. Lots of hiking trails and the bike riding is great. Delaware State Park
Today, we imbibed of the famous Fried Bologna Sandwiches at the G & R Tavern in Waldo, OH. Now, you might we wondering what's so special about fried bologna...which was our initial thought, too. However, we had heard so much about it starting with the CBS Morning News back in 2003 and from various sources since, we had it on our "Must Try" list for quite some time. Twelve thirty on a Thursday afternoon and the place is jumpin'. There were cars from Virginia and Michigan in addition to Ohio and, of course, our South Dakota Vue. The sandwich is huge, inexpensive, and dee-licious. The mile-high cream pies looked great...we just had to bring home two slices for tonight's dessert. For more information about Fried Bologna Sandwiches at G & R Tavern, click on this link. G & R Tavern, Waldo, OH
Next week, we'll be attending a week-long Escapees Fall Rally at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds here in Ohio, about 2 1/2 hours northwest of here. It's a week full of a variety of seminars, entertainment, and meetin' and greetin' other RVers. We're looking forward to it.
Our new lifestyle continues to be surreal in many ways. We still have to catch ourselves thinking we have to pack up to get back home and then realizing we don't. We were able to take advantage of an "early bird special" at a restaurant and having time to read, study, or do whatever is still a treat beyond imagination. We're so grateful for this opportunity.