Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 9--Indiana to Iowa

The beach on Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes State Park

It was fun to wake up this morning and see what a great campground we’d found.  We’d arrived after dark having traveled 520 miles in one long day.  When we left Niagara Falls, I looked ahead on the Rand McNalley atlas for a state park on our route that might have an RV camp.  Since we were on the road earlier than planned, we figured Indiana Dunes State Park, about 6 miles north of I-90/80 near Chesterton, Indiana would work.  I googled it on Keith’s iphone, and called the office, which is open until 11pm!  It was $10 to enter the state park, and $17.30 to stay overnight with electric hook-up.   Our lunch stop, made it a push to get there, but well worth it.  And by going so far we had an hour of time-zone advantage. The wooded campsite was in full fall regalia.  The showers were nearby and clean.  The camp has140 sites, but very few were occupied on this early October weeknight. 

It’s less than a mile to the south end of Lake Michigan, still in the state park, where we spent some time enjoying being the only people in sight on a beautiful 3 mile beach of fine sand with gentle breaking waves from the north wind.  This place had some great rocks…very flat, with interesting colors and shapes…shale?  We filled Keith’s pockets for Henry’s souvenirs!  There was a huge, two-story, art-deco style bathhouse from 1929, locked up for the season.  The grey skies prevented views of Chicago to the west, but made the place seem even more special.  It’s hard to imagine that beach on a busy summer weekend, so close to this huge metropolitan area. But, we can definitely recommend the spot.

When he realized we were on the shore of Lake Michigan, Dad remembered crossing the lake on a large boat as part of an FFA leadership training camp.  He was 17 years old, and state president of the Nebraska Association.  Mom said her parents crossed Lake Michigan on a ferry when they were on their honeymoon. And, the trip to Lyons when she was 14 included a boat crossing of Lake Michigan.  We decided this would have been the same trip that she had mentioned earlier…something about a teenage crush and trip to ……point with one of the Boeheim boys in Lyons!  This name came up when we checked for cemetery records at the Boeheim-Pusateri Funeral home in Lyons, NY.  We did a google search the other day and found that Jim Boeheim, successful basketball coach at Syracuse University, was also from Lyons! 

The next destination was Amana, Iowa.  Amana is home of the Amana Appliances, now owned by Whirlpool.  The Amana colonies were started in 1855 by Inspirationists living a communal way of life.  There are lots of shops in the seven villages.  We checked out the quilt shop while Keith and Dad napped.

We are back to central Iowa early.  2,623.3 miles on the RV right now, at the Flying J where we washed the RV before returning it tonight.  Keith and Jan will be on the way to Kansas City soon.  Mom, Dad and I will stay in the Des Moines area overnight. 

Dad wanted to push the button to bring in the slide-out this morning!

                            Happy Birthday Mom.  We’d do it all again!

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