Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Weather conditions
High – 64
Low – 38

Today began with frost on everything – no wonder I was cold last night. Since we didn’t haven’t cell/Internet service last night or this morning, we couldn’t check the weather. I guess the weather is going to be what it is no matter what. How did they plan 100 years ago? If it was cold they put on a coat, if it was hot they took off their coat, if it rained they used an umbrella, and if it snowed they put on boots. Easy! Sometimes planning ahead actually is much more stressful! We went with the flow. (Pun intended)

We awoke to the sounds of a turkey again. (They are early risers.) Upon exiting the tent, we noticed a truck by the boat ramp. The assumption is someone arrived to hunt turkeys while we were sleeping. No shots heard.

For breakfast we had hash brown and egg casserole. We don’t eat this well for breakfast at home.

When we rolled our boats to the boat ramp, I was really surprised to see the river had risen again while we were sleeping since it hasn’t rained since Saturday. I notice small things like the river rising that I don’t notice from a road-side view.

Waiting on John to launch his boat, I thought about what used to be an active ferry location in Darwin. I thought about what life was like in the area when the ferry connected Indiana and Illinois and how things have changed on both sides of the river. Illinois still has a least one business at the top of the ramp to the ferry. The dilapidated ferry sits at the bottom of the ramp, looking like it could sink at any time. Who used the ferry? How busy was it? When was its last run between states?

The Indiana side of the ferry had only a muddy ramp and stone road bending to the right leading to somewhere. To the left of the ramp was just a grassy land beside a woods. Did there used to be any commerce here? If not, why the ferry? So many questions in just a couple of minutes while waiting on John to join me for the day.

We saw two more power plants today, which brings the total to four for the trip. We need industry, industry needs power, and power (at least in these cases) needs coal.

Today we saw two abandoned buses, bringing the total to four for the trip. One in a tree, two on the ground, and one half in the water. Hmmmmm……

The eagle population is decreasing. We only saw three today.

We stopped again today for lunch. It is much easier to find a place to get out since the banks are not nearly as steep as they were. Don’t me wrong, every bank is still not accessible, just more of them are. Today’s lunch break bank was the nicest bank we have used in a long time – if not the entire trip. Easy slope and no muck/mire/quick sand! For lunch today, in addition to our usual wraps and fruit roll-ups, we had caramelized walnuts. Yummmmm!!!!!

We traveled eighteen miles today to Hutsonville, Illinois (the other side of the river).
We were anxious to find three things – water, trash receptacle, and WiFi. Two out of three were available very close to the boat ramp. Unfortunately, WiFi is nowhere to be found. In addition to no accessible WiFi, we do not have cell service for the second day in a row, with little hope to have any tomorrow. I wonder if anyone is starting to think we have disappeared.

The boat dock in Hutsonville is the nicest we have used – slow current and not muddy. The park at the boat ramp is also very well-kept. We are camping in the park and even have picnic table to use for dinner! Luxury! For dinner we had conquesso soup (fabulous), one of the gifts we received from TJ Haase winery in Clinton, beef bean and rice burritos, and chocolate pudding.

Now we are sitting on a bench facing the river, watching the fishermen “run their nets” and launch their boats. Without the internet, it will be another evening of reading. There doesn’t seem to be much here in Hutsonville, Illinois.

I wonder what the weather will be like tomorrow!

(We were eventually able to access WiFi at the convenience store – so much for reading!)

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