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Old 06-16-2012, 02:37 PM   #1
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three day trip to cave in rock

Gary and I had a wonderful trip to Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. We had only 3 days for the adventure, but since it was only 3 hours from home, we still had time for relaxation along with hiking and touring some of the area. There is an event called Hog Rock with camping, motorcycles and rowdy adult partying from June 14-17. We headed home on Wednesday and passed many many motorcycles and RVs on their way to the party. Whew, dodged a bullet there.

We stayed in Cave in Rock State Park. Although amenities were sparse the campsites were clean, there was 30 amp, flush toilets and hot showers... just what we really required. We set up our Aframe minimalistic style. Since there was plenty of shade and the flying bugs weren't too bad we left the Eazy Up awning packed away.


Here are the steps down to the cave, along the Ohio river:


Cave entrance, (some other tourists) and annoying graffiti. I don't understand why people feel they have the right to "tag" nature :


Tug and barge on the Ohio:




We are allowed 4 pics per post, so I'll start another.
Deb
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:41 PM   #2
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We took several nice hikes. The first was at Rim Rock park. At the bottom of the stairs, at the entrance to "Fat Man Squeeze" you can see Gary getting ready to go in:


He's waving:


The exit of Fat Man Squeeze:


Ox Bow Cave:
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:46 PM   #3
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More of nature's beauty in Shawnee National Forest:






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Old 06-16-2012, 02:49 PM   #4
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The next location for a great hike was The Garden of the Gods.
Here is Camel Rock:


Chimney Rock:


Interesting rock formations with banded layers:


A view from Camel Rock:
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:03 PM   #5
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And a trip to Cave in Rock includes a free fairy ride across the Ohio into Kentucky. Here we are waiting for the fairy at the end of Illinois 1:


Gary enjoying the ride:


In Kentucky we did a little antique shopping and shopped an Amish store. We picked up some fresh veggies and fresh spices and headed back to the camp.

Folks think of Illinois as being mostly farmland prairie, and from central Illinois up the dirt is pretty much rich and flat. In the southern part of Illinois, in particular Shawnee National Forest, where an ancient glacier ended, pushing up rocks, then melted, creating a small sea, then dried up, are some wonderful scenic areas left for all to enjoy.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/shaw...10669&actid=50

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Old 06-16-2012, 03:05 PM   #6
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That place is beautiful! I hope to go there someday. Thanks for the pictures.
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:06 PM   #7
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Looks like a great park. It's on my list now. Thanks for sharing the photos and your experience!
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:39 PM   #8
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Wow..what beautiful country! Reminds me of the country described in Allan Eckert's "The Frontiersmen." Next time, you should stay for Hog Rock....lol
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loganmartin View Post
Next time, you should stay for Hog Rock....lol
haha, loganmartin! No way, not even...them folks is craaazy!

Deb
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:42 PM   #10
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Beautiful pix! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:55 AM   #11
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Those places look amazing!
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:20 AM   #12
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thanks for this . i have bookmarked this 4 or 5 day stop over on our way down south this year ...

d-mo
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:33 PM   #13
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Thanks for sharing the pics. I've added it to the list.

I can relate to your comment about the flat lands in Illinois. I spent 20 years in Burlington Iowa, across the river from Gulfport Ill. Work the farms in Manmouth, Roseville and Carthage areas. Great beef in Ia and Ill.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:56 PM   #14
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I'm glad you all are enjoying our pics. The rock formations and trails really are an unexpected experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by D-mo View Post
thanks for this . i have bookmarked this 4 or 5 day stop over on our way down south this year ...

d-mo
These I've shown you are beautiful 1/4 to 1/2 mile hikes, that take 45 minutes or as long as you care to linger. They are located off Illinois 1 on the east side of Shawnee National Forest. We stayed at Cave in Rock State Park campground. Camp sites were nice but, although it had hot showers, the bath house was fair to mediocre. Next time we will stay at the campground at Ferne Clyffe State Park (located in the Y between I-24 and I-57) and hike Bell Smith Springs and that area. Many of the campgrounds are nice but have no electricity and Gary and I like our 30 amp.

Here is a link to some informative reading.
A hikers guide for the Shawnee National Forest


Deb
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:56 PM   #15
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have always wanted to go to shawnee natl forest, but am unsure rv length /slide out restrictions. not worried about water, but 30 amps would be nice. info on ill dnr website is not the greatest, imo. when you check out mo. state campgrounds, they at least put up a pic of what your site will look like and tell you if any side restrictions, slope and how far to the bath house.
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