Like a homing pigeon, I have returned to the lovely Big Rock campground, nicely maintained by the Kane County Forest Preserves outside (way outside) Chicago. It’s a good base for me to visit friends and family and wait for word on what’s next for me.
The campground is situated on forested land and prairie, wedged in between corn fields. There is plenty of local wildlife here – deer and birds is mostly what I’ve seen. It’s W/E sites and I’m fine with hooking up to go visit the sani-station. Unfortunately, they discriminate against out-of-county residents by charging us a much higher nightly rate. Ouch! But for the convenience, I’m willing to fork out more cash.
I especially like the quiet here. Rarely have I seen this park full and there is plenty of distance between sites. With few campers, it’s like I have my own private location to work, to read, to sit and enjoy nature in these troubled times.
I have plans to be here for a few more days and after that I am completely unsure of what’s next. I’m working on arrangements to get off the road for a year while the virus is in play – but those arrangements have been difficult to secure. As soon as I get a definitive answer, I’ll either know what to do or move on to Plan B (actually Plan M or N by now…). I’ve got no worries. I’m safe in my containment unit. My biggest danger is being out with friends and doing normal activities! But I take precautions and keep exposure to a minimum. Zoom is a wonderful bridge mechanism. I was on a call this morning that is weekly with other full-time RV friends who are Landmark grads. It’s our support group/coffee klatch/moment of zen in our lives.
I turned 65 last month – a milestone birthday in our society as it officially entitles me to geezer benefits! I had a nice party with a friend in Kansas City. We socially distanced our lunch in her garage and had a good time.
Last night a lifelong friend and I celebrated our mutual milestone birthday and toasted our good fortune of making it this far. The pandemic is the perfect opportunity to take stock and practice gratitude. I’m grateful for so much in my life, including my great-niece, Fiona, who is having a zoom birthday party tomorrow. It’s a brave new world.
I have more robins here at Big Rock including another family! This one has one junior bird who hops around following his/her mama. He tried flying into a window on the Airstream the other day and finally fell to the ground, looking a bit stunned – like, why didn’t that work? He eventually hopped away to where his mama was sitting a safe 20 yards away from me.
Before I got here, I spent nearly a week at Illini State Park in Marseilles, IL. What a wonderful place that is. It sits right on the Illinois River that provides cooling breezes. The town is on the other side of the river and makes for a convenient place to get necessities. The campground was built by the CCC in the 1930s and has touches of the workers in some of its features. The Army Corps operates locks on the river and I suspect this was an Army Corps campground at one time. The sites are level and widely dispersed. Only electric hook ups are offered.
I feel so much better being out in a wide open space after three months in the tight confines of my Kansas City RV park. This is why I am on the road and this is what I’ll miss should I be able to get off the road for a while. But I am hopeful it will be just a while. Even if I am in a sticks and bricks, I can go camping whenever I like or just take a day trip out to nature. I highly recommend the healing properties that being outdoors brings. Attending to mental health is crucial right now – don’t neglect it. Be kind to yourself, allow your feelings to come to the surface but don’t let them run your life.
Be well and keep on truckin’.