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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Craig's caught with his pants down!







(Craig/Karin) Our next stop brings us to Middle Fork River Forest Preserve. It's near Penfield, Illinois. That's about 30 miles north of Champaign, Illinois. As we get close to arriving, all we see around us is flat farmland....miles and miles of it. Is there really a forest out here? Much less a river? Well, the forest pops up out of nowhere as we get to within a mile of the preserve. So we find the entrance and weave our way back towards the camping area.
There are about 200 camping sites in the preserve. We are the only ones camping here! There are a couple of cars around....people walking their dogs, jogging and fishing. We pull up to the registration office and it's deserted. We're on the honor system. So we put our $12 into an envelope and shove it into the slot.
We decide to take a hike. We find a trail that leads us back to a bend in the river with a large sandbar. The water is crystal clear! Hmmm....it's a warm day, should we take a dip? Well, we check the water temperature and it's pretty chilly! So we sit and enjoy the surroundings for a few minutes. We see a beaver here and there, but they're pretty quick. Just can't get the camera ready quick enough to snap a shot.
We head back and get our bikes. There's a 2 mile trail that looks like fun. Shouldn't be too tough, right? We got quite the workout on this one. Steep hills and winding turns. We finished up the trail and headed back to the camper. As we dismounted our bikes, we noticed that Karin's front tire was flat. Better that it happened now rather than a mile or so ago!
Craig's wanting a shower pretty bad. We see some forest rangers and ask if the showers are open. We were trying to conserve our water, because we didn't completely fill it up at our last stop. The rangers responded that the showers wouldn't be open for another week, but the water spigots around the campground were operational. We did buy a "solar" shower before our trip. Craig wants to use it now. It takes about 3 hours for the sun to heat the water in this solar shower. Craig says he can take a shower now, for no water is too cold for him.
Each campsite has a steel pole that is made to hold a lantern. Craig hangs the shower there and strips down to his underwear (or skivvies, per his Navy term). He screams a bit as the ice cold water pours over his head. Wow! Look at him move!! This is gonna be a quick shower :)
Whoops...here comes a car! Craig runs to Karin's side and sits by her as the car approaches, using her as a shield. Karin decides to run and get him a towel...but as she stands up and moves, his cover is blown. I wonder what the people in the car were thinking as they see a middle-aged man, soaking wet, in his "skivvies", sitting at a picnic table, shivering...with his legs crossed. Needless to say, the car made a beeline for the exit.
Later on, we made a campfire. We cooked up some hot dogs and marshmallows. Ok, not the most nutritious meal, but it was good!
We wake up the next morning and pack up. Our next stop will be in Hoosierville! Karin's niece, Megan, lives in Bloomington, Indiana and attends college there. Indiana Hoosiers, here we come!

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