Illinois Part I: Effingham

Effingham. Doesn’t that sound like a cuss word? I think it does. I had lots of fun with that joke for the two weeks we stayed at the Lakewood Campground. When we got up in the morning, I demanded Mike make me some Effingham coffee. Then the Effingham water pressure was bad. We cleaned the Effingham kitchen after dinner. That joke never got old for me.

Actually, that joke was pretty much the highlight of our stay in Effingham… aside from Thanksgiving. Effingham is an agricultural community in the middle of southern Illinois where I-57 and I-70 intersect. The population is only about 12,000. There wasn’t a lot to see in the area (most farm fields look the same after awhile). The weather was cold and gloomy during most of the two weeks we were there, so we didn’t get out too much. After arriving to our new campground, we realized we completed the Eastern Time Zone back in Indiana, and had made it back to Central Time with this stop in the Land of Lincoln. I was excited about the change until I realized I had to make another adjustment for the time change just like I did a few weeks earlier when Daylight Saving Time came into effect. Sunsets at 4:30 PM are not invigorating. The early darkness just makes me want to be a lazy sloth.

We just did normal and boring things while we were at this stop. We ran some errands; got haircuts; Mike got a blood test to make sure his thyroid works properly after his surgery. We did grocery shopping and had a nice Thanksgiving. During the times when the weather did clear, we tried to take the dogs for nice walks. One of the hike & bike trails in town was closed for deer hunting season, so that option was eliminated. Another day we went to a Nature Center on the outskirts of town. The trails were so wet and muddy, we both had to throw away our tennis shoes when we got back home!

We took only one road trip to the small town of Vandalia, which was the state capital for a brief time in history. We planned on spending the afternoon walking around town and exploring all the small town businesses. When we arrived we found a downtown that was one block long, and had about three businesses open. Needless to stay, our “afternoon” outing turned out to be a 15 minute pit stop. I was so discouraged after that daytrip, I didn’t suggest we go see any other sights for the rest of our Effingham stay.

 

The weather was cold and miserable while we were in Effingham, so we only got to have two campfires outside. Repeat after me: "cabin fever".

The weather was cold and miserable while we were in Effingham, so we only got to have two campfires outside. Repeat after me: “cabin fever”.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. Even though we were alone in a strange location, I was not inclined to skimp on our turkey day dinner. Thank goodness Mike is willing to eat leftovers for days on end.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. Even though we were alone in a strange location, I was not inclined to skimp on our turkey day dinner. Thank goodness Mike is willing to eat leftovers for days on end.

Our neighborhood geese enjoying an icy Thanksgiving morning.

Our neighborhood geese enjoying an icy Thanksgiving morning.

Thanksgiving morning at our campground.

Thanksgiving morning at our campground.

It snowed most of the night before thanksgiving.

It snowed most of the night before thanksgiving.

Our campground was on a little lake on the outskirts of Effingham. The sunrises and sunsets were very peaceful.

Our campground was on a little lake on the outskirts of Effingham. The sunrises and sunsets were very peaceful.

Most of the people who stayed at Camp Lakewood drove in at dusk and stayed one night while en route to another destination. The place was basically empty by 9:00 in the mornings until new folks began to arrive around 3:30 or 4:00 in the afternoons. Since we were there for the long duration of two weeks, the campground manager gave us the 'best' spot. Not much to look at, but the building beside us ended up blocking lots of wind. Actually, the campground had 80% of its water hook-ups turned off for winter... so with what was available, this spot did turn out to be a good one.

Most of the people who stayed at Camp Lakewood drove in at dusk and stayed one night while en route to another destination. The place was basically empty by 9:00 in the mornings until new folks began to arrive around 3:30 or 4:00 in the afternoons. Since we were there for the long duration of two weeks, the campground manager gave us the ‘best’ spot. Not much to look at, but the building beside us ended up blocking lots of wind. Actually, the campground had 80% of its water hook-ups turned off for winter… so with what was available, this spot did turn out to be a good one.

After we FINALLY finished eating our Thanksgiving leftovers, Mike made fried chicken for dinner. He makes the best fried chicken - which is unfortunate for my thighs.

After we FINALLY finished eating our Thanksgiving leftovers, Mike made fried chicken for dinner. He makes the best fried chicken – which is unfortunate for my thighs.

Since we were cooped up in our warm and dry house during most of our stay, Cessna watched lots of Cesar the Dog Whisper on television.

Since we were cooped up in our warm and dry house during most of our stay, Cessna watched lots of Cesar the Dog Whisperer on television.

 

 

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