Chain o’ Lakes State Park
Made it! After a time-consuming tour of the campgrounds to find the right combo of traits and availability for two weeks, I opted for a site with electrical power and cool shade. There was exactly one site without that hookup (at a cheaper rate), but it looked to me as if I’d be battling very limited daily spans of solar if I took it, particularly in light of the Chicago area’s predilection for “Chicago sunny weather” (grey overcast). True, the cost is a choker ($145/week at the discounted Senior Rate), but oh well… That cool shade ought to come in handy less than a week from now, as the daily temperatures climb from the current low 70s up over 90 degrees. Chain o’ Lakes is in Spring Grove, Illinois. Given the boggy terrain, the major crop production here in the growing season is mosquitoes.
I actually stayed two nights at the Petro Truck Stop in Rochelle, wallowing in bandwidth over their WiFi connection that reached out into their RV parking area. I’ve had to battle for a spot in the past at this same time of year, but this time, I was alone the first night and had just one other rig there the second. And yet Chain o’ Lakes is nearly booked up. Weird. Apparently, nobody’s going far from home.
Also weird was the hunt for a grocery store along the way here. Surrounding the State Park is a vast recreation area due to all the waterways, and the only purported grocery stores here substitute beer for fresh produce in their very limited shelf space. After two strike-outs, I had to give in and drive 10 miles out of my way to hit a real grocery, but I’m glad I did. Resupply should not be an issue however, since I’ll be driving through civilization to get to appointments, friends and family. For now, my main tasks will be to take a Power Nap, go for a walk, and cook a dinner that is thankfully more involved than opening up a can of soup! Life is good.